It's been almost two years. I never have nightmares about this topic, but sometimes, waking up in the middle of the night, on the eve of new, as always, solo expeditions, I think for a long time: what if I had been found in a week, or a month?
A paradise for ascetic gourmets Edit
Breakfast time — intuition prompted. From a bush I picked a "pack" of leaves as thick as a deck of cards. Then, carefully chewing each one, began the hermit's meal. It turned out that it was not easy to do this. After about twenty minutes, pushed the whole portion into myself. The menu is bad, but don't have to wash the dishes! I didn't think that the leaves could be poisonous. And when I drank from the Kunene River, which I had not dared to touch with my hand shortly before, I also did not think about anything.
After breakfast, tore off a large palm leaf, making a kind of Robinson skirt. But it didn't work out to flaunt in extravagant clothes: it was constantly falling off — I had to throw it away. The time was approaching noon, the sun was warming up more and more. The shadow from the crown of the tree, under which I arranged a stone chaise longue, was constantly shifting, and I was forced to "catch up" with it. The stones were so hot that it was difficult to step on them. Having seen a hollow in the water between huge boulders, I periodically climbed in for a couple of minutes to cool off. In Crimea, there is a natural landmark named "Bath of the Youth ". I called the recess with running water in the jungles of Angola "the bath of my own stupidity." When you enter the so-called "fear room" of the Czechoslovak Luna Park, you realize that there is nothing terrible there, but it is still alarming from the expectation of "surprises". I experienced similar emotions while sitting in the "stupidity bath": the water falls down with a crash, and it seems that it is about to take away.
For lunch, I gathered leaves from another plant. The effect is the same. There was something like small "fruits" growing on the tree, more precisely, seeds covered with a thin shell of pulp. I tried: it tastes like lemon peel. This is not food, only suitable for quenching thirst.
Night Ghosts Edit
The heat gradually subsided. I picked some herbs ahead of time to prepare the rookery. Tired of staring endlessly at an empty tower, left eft the place of observation. Night crept up. The grass that looked soft was actually tough. It's impossible to sleep: I tossed and turned all night. Fortunately, there are no mosquitoes here; by the way, I did not find any living creatures at all, except ants.
During the night I counted at least five "fallen" stars, making the same wish every time... Somewhere in the middle of this nightmarish night it seemed to me that one or two luminous dots were moving in the mountains.
I don't like touristic fuss. My credo is to be in places that are not very crowded. This is the first time I wanted the opposite. I wonder how many days will pass before I start going crazy? Sure not in the first day. I really wanted the little lights on the horizon to be people with flashlights; could clearly see them moving. After all, the stars can't move horizontally. Rising to his full height, began to shout at the top of his voice: "Help me!"…
On the land where communism came Edit
A joyless morning after a sleepless night (it's good that the night was warm, because there is nothing to cover with except a blanket of expectations). I got to a place where there is no money, there is no evil and good, I don't need clothes. Is it communism, perhaps? But what's the use of it. I wanted to make it to Botswana, but was stuck in the "communist kingdom". After a herbivorous breakfast, decided to go downstream Kunene, realizing that there was no chance to swim back. What did I want to see? A river that dried up overnight? Or maybe to imagine how, jumping from a running start, I float out like a torpedo on the opposite shore? The variants of the consequences could be as follows: 1) the water would have thrown me somewhere far away, where the chance of penetration of living souls is zero; 2) I would have drowned in the lower reaches or crashed if there are waterfalls ahead.
And at that moment thought I heard voices. "Well, madness has crept up unnoticed...". Rounding the rock, looked in the direction from which the sounds came. On the opposite bank... there stood a person.
Widespread mobilization: salvation is just around the corner Edit
What happened next is not difficult to guess. The guy thought I was from Angola, a neighboring country. He happily waved back at me. At that moment, it began to dawn on him…
"I'm behind the boat, wait..." he made it clear. Soon, all the residents of the tiny village, including the police, arrived at the scene. The law enforcement officers, using sign language, asked where my things were. I pointed to the tree. A couple of hours later, one of the locals brought an inflatable boat, another appeared with oars. Some came, others left, discussing what they saw: probably, fools have not visited these parts for a long time, or maybe I am the first? Being the first is an honor! How do they want to rescue me on this ridiculous boat? The water will take us away.
Opposite the place where the people gathered, two palm trees grown from the shallow water on my side of the river. I plunged into the water under the shade of their crowns and waited patiently. When I tried to go into the river up to my waist and deeper, on the other side they started waving their hands menacingly: "Come back, come back!"
Don't know how it would have ended if a boat with real rescuers hadn't appeared from behind the mountain. Dressed in special helmets and vests, both with Bob Marley hairstyles, they brought my clothes, sat me down in the center and fastened my seat belt. Then, moving diagonally, overcoming the current, we reached the shore under general applause.
Do you remember the documentary chronicle of how the inhabitants of the liberated villages met Soviet soldiers? Someone gave me a hand, someone hugged me, and some girl handed me a bottle of unfinished soda.
Everything that ends well is good Edit
The local people call themselves a community. On their return, they gathered a veche. The police returned my things to me, listing each item according to the list: nothing was missing. Then they gave the floor to the rescued one, and I thanked those present.
Someone suggested making a memorable photo. Everyone enthusiastically supported. Like a zombie, on trembling legs, I perched in the center of the frame. At that moment, I perceived what was happening through a fog due to the heat stroke I received. The picture that lies on my writing table, shows the support group and the guy who appeared first. Only the true rescuers modestly stepped aside.
This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.
This work is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license, which allows free use, distribution, and creation of derivatives, so long as the license is unchanged and clearly noted, and the original author is attributed—and if you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same license as this one.
Public domainPublic domainfalse
The standard Wikisource licenses apply to the original work of the contributor(s).
This work is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
Public domainPublic domainfalse
This work is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license, which allows free use, distribution, and creation of derivatives, so long as the license is unchanged and clearly noted, and the original author is attributed.
Public domainPublic domainfalse