Driving the path less travelled by
The 3rd week at Toro campus started off rather hectic! We wrote our exams on botany and introduction to guiding which we were all glad to get sorted. Following this was our individual practical drives, where we take turns twice a day to be the guide for a full trip out in the bush. This involved packing the hot box with a variety of hot and cold drinks, snacks and some of the best buttermilk rusks money can buy!
The best drive during the week was Chloe’s. We ended up deciding to stay out later and headed to the other side of the reserve to see if we could get a look at the Tenby pride. Not only did we get an amazing sighting up close, but we followed on when others didn’t and managed to get a sighting of them all taking a drink not even 15 meters away from us. On the way back we were seven meters away from a Spotted Eagle-owl. Beautiful, not only because it was right there, but no one could really get a picture, so we could treasure the moment, and that moment was ours.
Often when we do a game drive, we tend to go for a short bushwalk, but instead, we went to a dry riverbed and our trainer Jack showed us a technique for getting clean water when out walking on the trail. This involved digging a small hole and placing rocks around the outside and pooling out the dirty water using the sand to filter it until it’s clean and drinkable. Which tasted even better than the water at camp!
All our practical work led to our 4×4 training, learning about our land rover and cruiser, about the different gears and abilities, and how to use these so that no obstacle is unassailable! After a day of theory, we then went off to a sandy area and learnt about all the rescue kit and how to use it. Then taking part in a kinetic rescue where one of the vehicles accelerates as fast as possible and in one big tug pulls the bogged down vehicle free.
Overall a great week getting hands-on experience with how to drive in the bush, and how to enjoy a nice coffee after a good long drive.
Blog by: Alexander Turnbull