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VW Beatle vs. Elephant

What happens to a vdub when an elephant wants it to go backward?

This is the result of watching a herd of elephants in Tsavo national park in Kenya and one got a bit upset and came down the road and pushed us backward for quite a distance. There was a creek on one side of the road so I was trying to steer a bit looking out the back window. At some stage the front bonnet came up as a tusk dug in under the bonnet.

This was early into my stay in Kenya pre-marriage so my fiancee, Lynda was in the font with colleague from Grant advertising David Harris, an account executive from London in the back. David had a 300 millimetre lens and he said later ‘all I could see was a bloody great eye’.

Elephants usually give a mock charge at first especially if there are young ones about , this one was probably and auntie helping to protect the young, and she just kept coming down the road. I had my camera with a modest 100mm lens and had started taking photos, in the panic I dropped the camera which went under the clutch and I stalled the car, as you should never turn of the engine when near big game.

David and Lynda

This elephant push seem to go on forever, well in my mind and worrying about the drop to creek on one side of the road. Then whether it was the petrol fumes as the fuel tank is in the front, or she was happy that we were out of the way she backed off and rejoined the herd. I managed to start the engine and made a hasty retreat viewing through this little slit in the bonnet and screen. Then hesitantly got out and shut the bonnet and drove non stop to the game lodge where we were booked in to get our much needed drink.

Talking to the locals we heard about a somebody in a car killed on the main Mombassa road earlier in the year when confronted by an elephant and the car crushed after the elephant burned their trunk on the radiator, We thought thank goodness for Vdubs with no radiator.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjarro

Kilimanjaro from Ambosselli Game Park

The story starts in Canada where a flat-mate Barry Kelly got a job as a gym instructor and talked me into joining my first ever Health Club. Well it worked my girth went down to a 34” waist and started getting fit, so when I arrived in Nairobi to settle for a while I discovered a small Gym. Getting to know some of the others at the gym and talking of things to do in holidays got into discussion about a group planning a trip to climb Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa. The names of the group are forgotten but the leader had made a previous trip and knew the alternate route from the Kenya side as opposed to the usual tourist routes which leave from the Tanzania side and in most cases are much longer.

There is an apparent myth about the border of this great mountain. In the beginning the mountain was mostly in Kenya until Queen Victoria ‘gave’ it to her cousin King Wilhelm from Germany as a birthday present, at that time before the first world war Tanganyika was a German colony and became all British as East Africa after the war. This story appears to be a myth but if you look at a map you will see that the straight line of the border does a dog leg around the mountain to include all of Mount Kilimanjaro inside Tanzani