Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The Gokwe Kid - Rogue Rhodie on a Roller: Part 15. WhereDaFukRwe Tribe

Day 25. Thursday 21st August (continued)

After doing the Auschwitz posting that I needed to do while it was still so raw in my head – I continue from the previous chapter. This is when what should be a casual cruise to a camp site is going to turn into a nightmare...

Things were now to get beyond silly. This was the great bush detective versus Google. I am heading due south, following the river. The phone is on with roaming and trying to tell me which way to go.
That was our first fight. I got confused between up river and down river. Of course I was heading up, even if it was south.

The other problem was that the phone was in a pocket and each time I pulled it out to have look see, I touched the screen and it promptly went mad and I would have to restart the lot. Still, it got me out of Prague and with the setting on 'no motorways', it had a merry time sending me around in huge circles, through places that had houses but that was it, and as what should have been an easy short drive within my roller's range became an obvious no chance, I finally stopped at a garage.

I was bloody freezing. The average temperature was about 12c and in my naivety and enthusiasm had not brought along a warm winter style jacket. After all, this was the height of central European summer hey! It hadn't rained but I was shaking worse than a heroin addict awaiting his next fix. The hot cup of chinas were just the job to warm my hands and innards.

The petrol station was well jacked up and had free WiFi. So after my hands finally stopped trembling, I started up the notebook. I knew I was sort of near my destination and wanted to check it out again. I was near a town called Orlik, which nestles on the Vltava river and approximately the mid point between Prague and the German border.

I looked up my original camp site and only now noticed they did not allow tents. Okay... Another search for a camping site in the area pops up this.

Looks and sounds rather nice. They even have an address! rekreační středisko Na Husárně
, 398 58 Kostelec nad Vltavou and phone numbers. Better still, the wonderful age of digital technology even has supplied a route map! Yipeeeee – what could possibly go wrong?

Shit loads actually. What transpires next would make the Keystone Cops look like master detectives...

At some point, I crossed a dam wall, that sort of blocked the river but it all looked rather odd with the width of the water almost identical on either side. A strange damn indeed. I was buggered if I knew how any boats could get past this obstruction. But I gathered there was some sort of get around it. (For some odd reason, though I spent time there and thought I took loads of pictures... I seem only to have two!)

Considering I wasn't that impressed with the amount of water it was holding back (compared to Kariba), it was a rather large thing that was obviously used for hydro electricity. I paced its length and reckoned on it being 449 metres and 80cms long and tying a bit of string to a stone, I fed it down and after pulling it up calculated it being 90 metres and20 cms high. Amazingly, I was only few centimetres out when I looked it whilst typing this story.

I moved on. Although – I am so confused with this dam wall!

With the lady chirping away on my helmet headphones, I passed Orlik and was suddenly met by a huge bridge on the main drag.

I parked up the scooter and switching off that annoying cow, I spent a half an hour in rhapsody, all Bohemian, because that is where the dam is. Bet you didn't know that Freddy Mercury!

Incredibly picturesque and the little yachts cruising around between the steep slopes of forest made me want not to join them. But the neat and tidy houseboats looked really smart. So after a very good piece of satisfying my soul, I started up, switched on the navigation again and put into it the exact name of the camp site. I was in theory, according to the bullshit on the screen, less than 6 kms from my destination and should arrive in 15 minutes. Excellent. I was gagging for a pint...

Following the daft tart again, it soon became obvious she didn't have a sodding clue. It was after being sent left, right, turn around, go back, up there, turn around, go down there, take the next road (what road? They are just dirt tracks going into a seriously overgrown forest with steel booms blocking them), and when I stopped and looked at the screen, the arrow just kept whizzing around in circles – destination varied between 6 – 20 clicks, time also varied, but after one hour and thirty minutes, half a tank of petrol, I realised I had become a reluctant member of a famous African tribe...

As kids in Rhodesia we had our own African orientated jokes. One went like this -

“Have you heard of the WhereDaFukRwe tribe?”

“Can't say I have.”

“Well, they lived deep in the bush, but they were only 30cm (1 foot) tall, so as a result, they were constantly lost whilst wandering about. But they had through evolution developed huge powerful legs. They would spring high into the air, above the tall elephant grass, and shout to each other ' WhereDaFukRwe?'

“Goodness gracious me! What happened to them?”

“Sadly, they became known as The Lost Tribe of Africa and rumours has it they eventually starved to death or landed up in the bellies of pythons.”

All well and good but now I was getting tired. I was also a tad hungry. And thirsty. The Sat Nav had gone into a sulk because I had kept shouting back, and now she had stopped speaking to me and sent a message 'Gone off for my dinner and at this moment you have no GPS assistance as I have turned it off...lol, and, watch out for the wolves and bears hey – tosser!'

I was now seriously confused. I wandered through so many peasant villages, that the few living souls had gazed with wry amusement as every 20 minutes I rocked up again going backwards and forwards. I decided to track down the postal address. Maybe there would be a sign! No chance. No, supermarket, no pub, no place to rest a weary head. The sun was setting. I would die here!

Returning for the third (!) time to the village where this place was supposed to have an address, I saw three teenagers (two blokes and a lass) chatting on a street corner. Considering that dying in a dump like this would be about the climax of their lives (as in going to their own funerals), a chat on a corner must come second for top class entertainment.

Pulling up, they studied me with wry amusement as I removed my helmet from a sweat covered head and spoke the magic words -

“Oh, I say, you don't happen to speak the Queen's English by any chance and failing that, perhaps you are conversant in the Kaiser's German?”

Well, it turns out they didn't have one iota of clue what I was going on about. I had to switch into simpleton mode.

“Me”, pointing to myself, “look”, pointing to my eyes, “autocamp” pointing to the address in my little note book.

Wow, they were clapping their hands in glee! This was the greatest thing to happen to them since their first ice cream. A foreign idiot on a scooter looking like a gypsy’s one man band, in their village! It doesn't get better than that! With lots of ten words in English (or was it five), it came apparent that one of them knew someone who knew someone that knew about the camp site.

I tried to phone the numbers, but since the GPS couldn't find them it was unremarkable that the phone line had the same problem. The girl uses her mobile (Eish, they have them here) and gabbles away. I get the impression that some china of theirs knows where the place is and will turn up to take me there. I thank them profusely.

So after a few minutes a bloke turns up and the girl jumps into his car and off we go. Deeper and deeper into the forest. I am thinking, as we crash over huge ruts, dodge chopped down trees – is this my Deliverance (The Film) day. Will I be murdered, sodomised, and looted. (Not necessarily in that order.)

And then we hit another steel boom blocking the way. This is nuts! Smiling demoniacally, the kids pile out the car with axes and machetes, with drug crazed eyeballs and twisted mouths exposing fangs that would make Dracula jealous – assured me “no worry, we phone friend who have motor bike. He know the way.”

Hah-hah. They are kidding or what. What, where or is this mystery camp site that if you had a camping van or caravan, erm, how exactly do you get there? Sure enough, another kid pops up on a trail bike. The girl hops on. I say goodbye to the lad with the car and thank him for not hacking me into bits, and follow the two deeper and deeper into the darkening forest. Werewolves howl from all sides and bears follow me, as screaming in fear the roller fights me as we DRIVE over carpets of chopped branches from loggers. I couldn’t put my feet down to try and balance the heavily loaded machine as I would get my foot snagged immediately by branches and crash.

I imagined that what if the poor roaring roller packed in now or it burst a tire??? Try phoning the AA – what would they say - “ WhereDaFukRyou?”. Again and again we drove around more booms, turned left, right, and left and then suddenly, bursting out the forest onto a more wider track, we were in front of a building with a couple of cars parked outside.

Grinning, the two dismounted and explained that this was the camp site. I looked around for skeletons hanging from trees, swinging gently in the breeze. The place looked rather 'normal'. I thanked my saviours, offered to buy them a drink (presuming the place sold things like that), but they refused and after a quick photo, they wished me a nice time and off they went...

(To be continued...)

Look carefully at the map. It has been downloaded from those idiots at Google. I enhanced (it is from the link that I put up at the beginning of this nightmare – see the bit where it says how to get here... snigger), and I coloured in red the various 'roads', hah hah, going through the forest which I have bordered in blue. No wonder the SatNav gave up the ghost!



Sue D said...

This has to be the funniest yet...laughed til I cried! An amazing journey involving imaginary wolves, werewolves and dracula humans but on a serious note this chapter on Karl's travels is captivating. Sad that it's reaching it's finale.

Anonymous said...

My favourite author has amused me again!