15th October, 2012
By this time, not only entomologists but herpetologists, zoologists etc. were all encouraging me to start a comprehensive website for the identification of all our fauna and flora. A massive undertaking to be sure but one sorely need here. I was not in any kind of position financially to make this dream of mine come true but I guess if one wants something badly enough, all it takes is that first small step to reality.
Firstly I needed some kind of car as mine was over 15 years old and would not last me much longer so I purchased a small truck knowing that even though it would take me four or five years to pay off, in the end I would have something reliable and by having a canopy put on the back, could even sleep in if necessary. The day came when I made the final payment and now the doubts crept in. I would only have my small pension to live on with which I would have to use for fuel and food. Could I live off it? It would mean I would have no home anymore, I would have to get rid of all I owned which did not constitute much but was at least a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in. Yes, I could continue to work for the next ten years but that was NOT where I wanted to be!! I wanted to be free again. To feel the warmth of the sun on my face. To be able to sleep under the stars and watch the sun rise and set with no walls, no phones, no noise. Just me surrounded by nature. So I resigned........
I had a hard time breaking away from my boss as by now I had been working for him for over 6 years and he did not want me to leave. We came to a compromise, I would work for him three days a week. This would give me the freedom to ride around taking photographs, allow him to still have me doing his work and I could afford to keep a roof over my head.
Although this arrangement was not what I really wanted, it had advantages and I decided to try it for a few months to see how it would work. The end result was that it did not. I was still restricted to how far I could travel in the four days and I wanted to go further to different biospheres and regions such as the semi-desert of the Karoo in the south-west so I resigned again, this time for good. Who knows at this stage how wise my choice is but I do know that I need total freedom no matter that I would basically have to be living off bread and water in order to fulfil my dream. Who cares anyway? As long as I can be out there living the life I want to, I will manage somehow.
My final pay check I wanted to put aside as a small nest egg and for use in case of emergencies but after careful consideration decided to blow it all on something better to live in than my car and this is it, my new home.
It is a tent on top of a trailer which is pulled by the car. This is how it looks when the tent is erected. The window you see in this picture is by the double bed.
As you come into it, there is a small room where I can put in a chair and table. All the sides of the lower part have windows with mosquito netting on them which allows a breeze through. It also has a flap which lifts up to give shade and I can either sit under it or park the car there.I can fully open both sides if I want to and if I wanted, can buy another room which zips onto this. All of this folds down flat on top of the trailer for easy transportation.
Make no mistake, the way I am going to be spending the rest of my life may sound grand and glamorous but that is very far from the truth. I will have no bathroom facilities or running water and no where to keep food fresh. Africa is a harsh continent with extreme weather of hot, cold, windy and dry and if that doesn’t get me, the ants and mosquito’s will. Notice I do not mention crime, bad roads and freaks of nature I will have to contend with.......