We pride ourselves on using routes that are often well off the beaten track and give everyone an exciting challenge to make them proud of the abilities of themselves or their off-road vehicle.
In the cedar forest we have such a route that snakes off uphill from the usual distinct track, clambering over small rocks and red mud or dust (depending upon whether it has rained recently), finishing up at a beautiful campsite set in a small clearing with views across the cedar forest for miles around. The last climb into the clearing is the hardest challenge and if you do not get the balance of power and momentum right it can take a few runs to succeed.
As darkness falls and we are serenaded by the calls of tawny owls a camp fire is lit to keep us warm. Here in the forest it gets very cold so the warmth of a fire is most welcome. Our fire in this dark landscape often does not go unnoticed and we are often joined by the locals, who stay for a while to enjoy our fire’s glow as they travel across the forest.
During the morning’s briefing I reminded everyone that they should turn right out of the campsite to begin the roadbook. The sun was hot when the last car had left so the Impala Support Teams settled down under the shade of an enormous cedar to enjoy a coffee and a chat, before leaving to sweep behind the group some two hours later.
Alec and I had been sitting for about an hour when the distant sound of engines flowed in and out of the forest. A few minutes later the sound began to increase and we realised that these cars were coming up from the track that we had left last night!
“Oh” I thought “It seems like we are not the only group to enjoy this challenge Alec.”
We got up and walked to the edge of the clearing to see who it was and to our surprise we saw some of our cars that had left some time ago. They had a sheepish air about them and we discovered amongst much merriment that they had turned LEFT not RIGHT as was written in the roadbook and were trying to creep back unnoticed, an impossible task in a silent forest.
They were soon on their way following the roadbook correctly so Alec and I settled down once more to enjoy another coffee and a chat before sweeping behind the group that had turned in the right direction.