Thursday, December 28, 2006

The road to Endallah

The road to Endallah can hardly be called a road. After leaving the gleaming tarmac of Karatu's main street, the road is a dirt lane, sometimes hardly wioder than the landcruiser, and so the bushes and thorny acacias scratch the car and poke into open windows. Due to the lack of width of the lane, sometimes the landcruiser must overtake one side of the embankment, so the vehicle moves at a 40-degree angle with all 4 wheels touching the ground.

The rain carves gulleys and gorges into the red clay and we drive in the treacherous havoc inflicted by the water and ourselves and other 4x4 vehicles. After a long rain, the road becomes slick and muddy, so we fishtail down the way and run the possibility of getting stuck or sliding into one of the deep gulleys (at times 2 feet deep).

The road is peopled -- even at night in the pure darkness (no street lights of course) and so encountered in the final moment.

The last half km toward Endallah is the best part -- sharp and craggy rocks jut out of the red clay causing a bouncy and jarring ride for all.

Despite the rough and tumble ride feeling jaw-dropping amazement at the road-handling skills of the driver, we were always in immaculate hands that kept us safe.


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