On Friday evening I had an invitation to join my friend’s son Fynn’s birthday party at Kuitpo forest.
Internet photos of Kuitpo in daylight
Kuitpo in daylight (from the internet)
Kanga at Kuitpo
The Woodcutters cottage – in daylight, from the Internet
Campsite at Chookarloo in Kuitpo
(The above photos (click to enlarge) are from the internet, thanks to those who took them. I didn’t take any photos on the night…)
The party ran from 4 pm to 7 pm, and I couldn’t go until after work. It’s a bit of a drive away, so by the time I got to Brookman Road it was getting late. I drove all down the road and back and up and down, and I just couldn’t find the Woodman’s cottage or the balloons or any sign of the party. It was getting dark by this time, and I thought that if I didn’t find them on one last look, I would go back to their place, assuming they would have gone home by then. I tried going down a side road, but soon realised that it wasn’t the right place, and turned around to go back to the main road – and got bogged. Of course it’s rained a bit, especially in the hills, and it was all wet and muddy on the side of the road.
(Photos of bogged cars from the internet, just to give you a flavour. I wasn’t in quite such a dire situation as the people and cars above, but I might as well have been!)
It was pretty obvious that I wouldn’t get out by myself, so I had to go and find some help. I headed off from the car – it was really dark at this stage, and I headed back to the main road. The sky was beautiful.
(A picture of the southern sky, again from the internet)
Cars went past quite regularly, their lights were very bright, and the speed seemed fast in the dark. I walked up the road towards the intersection to begin with, but I felt it was so dark that I was in danger of falling, and possibly would be in danger a bit from the cars, who wouldn’t have been able to see me well either. I thought I had a torch in the car, so went back and found it, and also got a bit better lie of the land by taking that time.
(Evocative paintings by Camilla Tadich of car lights on darkening roads. It was quite like this, but a bit darker, on Friday night)
I could see that there were some houses in the other direction from the intersection, so thought that was probably the best way to go – to the nearest house, which was on the other side of the road, and not far away. Of course I felt a bit stupid and embarrassed and anxious about it all, but what can you do!
Anyway, I knocked on the door to the house, which was set a bit away from the road, and I could see that there were people there, someone watching telly, someone else doing the dishes. Roger, who was doing the dishes, came to the door, and I explained my situation. Roger immediately started putting his boots on to come and help. He is a carpenter and had a big work truck parked outside, and he cleared out the front seat so I could get in, unhooked the trailer from the back of it, and we went off, leaving his partner to finish the dishes (sorry about that Nina!).
It was all very easy and quick once we got to the car – Roger had a length of tape/rope that he put around the tow bar of his truck and hooked underneath the back of my car and we were out in a flash. It was so fantastic to have such an easy, kind, helpful response – which is what commonly happens when trouble strikes, but which is easy to forget when so often what we hear is of trouble and danger from strangers.
So, in relatively short time I was back on the road, and called on my pals at home, before the birthday boy went to bed!