Life on Longueville Game Farm
By Cousteau Tent – Luke Walters. (Matteo Bidoli, Quentin Fournier)
Monday morning started off with an insightful session on public speaking and presenting rounded up by the key messages and learnings the Questers had picked up during survival week. The day continued as a slightly more leisurely one than we were used to, whilst getting an understanding of the standards required for a Quest room inspection.
I think all will agree that this period was a great opportunity to refresh from survival week and recharge our batteries for “The Unexpected” turn of events which were to follow.
Our first PT session of the week commenced with a somewhat testing but amazing purely core based session taken by Mrs Fleming, where we covered a cycle of different planking techniques. I found some of the fellow Questers struggling facial expressions particularly amusing during the end of each Let. Later we got to pursue our first group cycling experience with the very interesting Lee MacNab who gave us some useful basic skills and techniques to make it easier for ourselves, in relation to cycling long distances.
I’d like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the following PT session even though it was a whole new format of exercises for me. It was my first real taste of Yoga! It was especially enjoyable to see such a range of flexibility levels, from Mr M’s back-bending Master Class, to Juan’s loud whining along with a whole load of interesting grunting sounds from across the group!
Later that afternoon 12 of the 24 of us set out to Longueville Farm in Gwanda. Obviously not knowing what to expect, it was very exciting to go somewhere with incredible views, nature and wildlife, like I never seen before. We started off with a 3.8km walk to the campsite which felt like a walk in the park compared to the previous week, and as we arrived at the lodge and camping area I was stunned by the incredible scenery surrounding the immense dam laid out before us. It had a very relaxing and peaceful vibe which we valued throughout the week. On the first morning a few others and us ‘Pommies’ had our first experience of vaccinating sheep by injecting a tick repellent liquid filled syringe into the shoulders of the young sheep. We then pursued a more labouring activity / task which was loading and off-loading large sticks and logs to use as barriers to prevent top soil run off in the fields, helping future crops grow. Obviously it doesn’t sound very interesting but at the end of the day a job is a job and somebody has to do it. The thing we look for is the satisfaction of the finished job, which is the reward itself.
This same attitude applied whilst doing bush clearing along the entrance to the farm. This certainly added to our ‘affection’ towards lantana bushes as I am sure you can tell by the sight of our legs and knees.
A particular highlight of our time at the farm has to be our Saturday morning Sunrise Voyage. Where we rose and set off just after 4am to get to the furthest peak in good time for the sunrise at 5.42am. The setting was spectacular and nothing like I had ever seen before. The thing that made this peak so fascinating was its history, the landmarks and remains which still stand from Mzilikazi and the Matabele. The 2 things that impressed me the most that morning were the remains of a one man tunnel to stop intruders from entering, and secondly Quentin’s ability to still fall asleep whilst on a rock at the top of a mountain! As we go into the second part of the Gwanda experience, I look forward to sharing more interesting experiences with the group and learning what life is like as a gold miner!