Intake 2 /2015 Armstrong Tent: Andrew During, Hayden Baum, Matthew Stead
HUNTING AND FARMING
On our first day back from our 10 day holiday we set off to Rosslyn Safaris owned by Peter Johnstone. We arrived in the late evening and all raced to the four tents available. Each tent only had 2 beds, so we ended up having to ‘make a plan’ and eventually it ended up being 4 people per tent. The next day we were split up into 3 groups. The 1st group did ‘roading’ which was clearing the middle of the ranch roads from thorns and bushes. The second group went on patrol which was a lot of walking around the ranch looking for poachers and doing a game count. The 3rd group was the best….. hunting!! We had 2 trackers come with us and our professional hunter, Mr Richard Brebner. Each day we would switch groups so that everyone had a go. Hunting by far was the best activity and although we only had one bullet each, everyone in our group managed to shoot an impala. I shot a female impala and when we got to it, it was still alive. I felt really sorry for it. As it was the first animal I’ve ever killed I wasn’t to sure how I would feel, but I actually felt really sad for it. One of the trackers quickly put it out of it misery and cut it’s throat. Mr Brebner dropped us off at the skinning shed afterwards where we helped skin the impala. That night I ate the liver raw and it was the worst taste in the world, but it is a traditional activity for your first kill!After the hunting we went to the Randell’s farm in Umgusa. We were met by Mark and Frances Randell and after we had put down our backpacks we went on a tour of the farm. Later on we set up our tents and started some farm work. This included drawing the markings of the young calves onto record cards, dehorning and applying castration rings to some of the youngsters, and collecting hay bales. That night we braaied on the lawn over looking the Umgusa river.The next day after some brave members of the team tried their ‘hand’ (and arm) at pregnancy diagnosis on some of the cows, we packed up camp, said our ‘thank-yous’ and headed to Bulawayo. There we met up with the truck carrying our bikes. We off loaded and started our long and enduring cycle back to Quest. The first 8 km was on the tar and the rest on dirt road. It was estimated at about 48km in total and took about 3 hours to finish. When we finally arrived at the Falcon gates I couldn’t believe we had just cycled from Bulawayo to Quest. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. We headed to Quest main area to unpack the Overlander and our own bags. We then relaxed and tried to recover from the cycle.