Student Blogs

One Last Ride

Nick “Rocky SnelBoa” Snel

Heyerdahl Tent

 

And so, we embarked on our final trip with Quest on Thursday the 3rd, headed towards Botswana. Spirits were high and everyone was excited for the trip to come, knowing it would be a lot of fun, as well as our very last trip, marking the near end of our Quest experience. That first night we camped in the salt pans, some slept in the overlander, some slept outside the overlander, and some slept on top of the overlander, yes, on the roof, in their tents. Ah… Quest boys… The next day we made our way to the campsite we would be staying at, ready to prematurely celebrate Nick “Ush” Proudfoot’s birthday. To be frank, the Botswana portion of the trip passed in quite a blur. Some of the guys went on the plane flight over the Okavango Delta which they thoroughly enjoyed, and all of us took the Makorokoro trip on the delta to another campsite where we relaxed and had a swim in a natural pool. The delta was as beautiful as the mosquitoes were annoying that day. Before we knew it we were leaving Botswana on our way to Victoria Falls. We had all already been assigned our job experience placements, they ranged from hotel work, to a placement in a fish farm in Zambia, to work in a mechanics workshop, to work with a construction company, to crocodile cage diving and finally with tour guides. That first night was just one big party, knowing we’d be losing 8 guys for the next couple days, and the following morning, after a refreshing PT session, we visited the Vic Falls snake park, following which the rest of us prepared for work the next day, mostly by napping, and a little more than a third of us left for Zambia. From what I heard everybody’s first day was mostly a success. Personally, I worked in the kitchens and as a waiter at Elephant Camp on my first day working for the tour guides. It was all a bit of a rush, learning everything you could of what you were doing in one day, since you’d be doing something else the next one, meeting lots of new people who you’d never see again and having to try to remember their names despite that, it was a mentally straining, but enjoyable time. We all came back to camp that afternoon and shared stories of our first day of work. Albert and Alex “Ant Man” Herselman had already figured out a way to earn money while working, and due to the offer that the guy running the croc cage diving had given them for people they brought in, 3 for the price of 2, James “Nolsie” Dey, Alex Kubierske and I decided to split 3 ways and go for a day with the prehistoric beasts. After we had paid and signed the release wavers we were informed that the water was freezing cold, which we paid no mind to until we entered said freezing cold water and promptly started going off like jackhammers. Despite that, diving with those crocodiles, especially the 50-year-old albino, was an amazing experience. The activities in Vic Falls were plentiful for those with enough money to make them happen, although Karl “Gunter” Rieger, Tim and I were allowed to do the Vic Falls gorge swing for free due to working for the people that organised it. Every night was a party for those who wanted it, every day was an interesting experience in the work place, and it was all thoroughly enjoyable. Our final Quest trip was topped off by water rafting below Victoria Falls on our last day there. A series of 19 rapids to cross, many boats flipped, many people were thrown into the churning waters of the Zambezi, I, personally, was ejected from the raft by a rather big wave, and our dear Mr M managed to fall in by rapid number 2, and then continued the trend by falling in another 2 or 3 times. By the end we were all soaked and tired, and all we could think of while we made the hike back to the top of the gorge was the feast that awaited us. Leaving to come back to Quest the next day was bittersweet, we realised that it would be our last drive in the overlander as a group, and we attempted to enjoy it as much as we could, blasting our music, one last time…

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