Stuck in the Mud – a dream is born.
Hi…I’m Dave. Way back in 1973 at the age of 18 I was involved in an army vehicle accident while doing National Service in what was then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). I suffered a spinal injury which resulted in paralysis of my legs. Obviously a life changing event but thanks to wonderfully supportive family and friends I’ve lived a pretty comfortable and fulfilled life.
I’ve always loved the outdoors and camping and wildlife. I’d experienced a fair bit of those pleasures as a child but life in a wheelchair meant that trips to the bush had to be limited to more accessible places such as Kruger National Park. I listened with awe and envy to family and friends relating stories of their travelling and camping experiences in the more remote parts of Botswana and Namibia and Zimbabwe. For me, it seemed that those types of trips were unattainable. I really did feel Stuck In The Mud!
So what changed? Well, in 2011 my younger brother (John) posted some photos of his trip up to Moremi National Park in Botswana. One of the photos was of their campsite at 3rd Bridge and an associated comment was: “Dave…you could manage there. The campsites are level and the ground is firm”. A seed was sown!
But this isn’t only about me. It’s very definitely about us because what has happened since the sowing of that seed could never have happened without my wife, Pippa…from moral support and shared enthusiasm to taking on the physical load necessary to make camping in the wild a reality. We work as a team and I do as much as I can but Pippa inevitably ends up doing the bulk of the packing and unpacking and lifting and carrying. Especially in sandy campsites!
Germination of the sown seed was quick. Within 3 months we’d bought a second hand Land Rover Discovery 3, a tent, camp beds and all sorts of camping equipment that we thought would be essential. We then realised that we had so much stuff we’d need an off-road trailer to carry it all. It didn’t take long to find one. We were on a mission and already planning our first African adventure!
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