Name ID 939
Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 11
Extract Date: 1955 August 3
It was fairly clear on Tuesday morning at the Camp. We had a good run down into Oldeani, misty in patches, though occasionally it cleared to give us views of the Oldeani farms. I found the turning off the crater road, which took us round the back of the farms on to the road that led down to the village shops. I reckon that I just about know my way around Oldeani now after about 6 or 7 visits though I still do not reckon to know who is on all the farms. From the Karatu end to the other end of the District well over 20 miles just along the road, and there are about 30 farms in the whole area. Many of them have their houses only a mile as the crow flies from their neighbour, but it is often more like 5 miles to get round by road and tracks.
We called at the Purchases ... after we left them, we stopped at the dukas for Lazaro’s benefit, and he decided to stay there until we came back for him late in the afternoon. Then we went on to Mrs Ching’s estate for lunch. .A new family has just come there, the Holton’s, and their daughter aged nine who was very pleased to have the company of other children for half a day.
Mrs Ching and Mrs Holton are both interested in ‘improving’ church servies when the new club is opened, and asked about making contributions of suitable items of furniture. They also asked if more regular servies might be provided in the future. I am wondering just how much they may be spurred on by the fact that the Afrikaans folk are having more regular visits from their minister now!
It was well on to 5 p.m. before we got away from here, and as I had decided to spend the next two nights at Karatu, we went straight over to there, there being as much as 20 miles to cover. The roads were pretty dusty especially around the farms, and some of the bends wanted watching. On one of them the dust was so thick that we practically skidded round an S-bend, and then the wind whipped up the dust we created and blew it right across the car so that it was literally falling down the front of the windscreen as if some one had emptied a bucket of dusty sand from the roof of the car.
We picked up Lazaro at the Oldeani dukas and then got over to Karatu after 6 - to find that the Rest House was deserted, and all locked-up, though fortunately the back door had been left unlocked. We were able to get in and unpack, but there was no boy around in charge, and so no ‘kuni’ (wood) for fires, and then to our dismay not water from the taps. We scrounged round for a little wood to light the bath fire, as we were able to do the cooking on the primus. Fortunately I had a good supply of drinking water available in the car to eke out for supper and breakfast if necessary. Judging from the next day it would seem that the water supply is off here at night for the present.
However we managed to get settled in and had a cooked meal, some kind of wash and then eventually to bed. David and Paul were very good over all this kind of thing and I never had a grumble from them the whole safari; occasionally they got a bit silly in their ways, but accepted all that came. Jolly good for them!