David decided to have a break at this point – it was still hundreds of kilometres to go to the sea. He needed a rest, to build up his energy and to get some new teeth – his teeth had become so loose with the malnutrition. He returned to UK. After that we would all think that David would just relax, but, no.
He wrote a book about the first part of his journey. The book, Cowbells Down the Zambezi, will be available in the shops in about a month.
David tells of the trials, dangers and fun times he had walking day after day as near as he could be to the Zambezi River. He meets many interesting people and on one occasion meets up with a herd of elephant at night:
I suppose it was inevitable that one of the elephant should decide to investigate my tree. I remained where I was, but slowly levered myself into a sitting position with my back against the trunk and smiled to myself as the huge shadow approached.
In the moonlight, I could see that he was a young bull with small but thick tusks. Suddenly realising that there was something under the tree, he stopped ten metres away and I sat perfectly still, waiting to see what his reaction would be.
For long minutes – or so it seemed – that massive animal peered into the shadows, while I gazed back at him. His trunk came up to test the wind, then he cocked his head first to one side and then the other.
There was nothing I could do but pray he didn’t get a sudden fright and run over me in his panic, because he looked awfully large from where I sat.
At one stage that bull literally crouched down, almost falling to his knees in his efforts to see through the darkness and then suddenly, he realised what I was. There was a definite transition from puzzled pachyderm to responsible elephant. Raising himself to his full height, he took one last look at my shadowy shape, and then moved purposefully into the darkness.
It’s a must-read book so look out for it in the shops.
Date: 18 October 2013