Goodbye Africa

I shall miss Africa, it has got under my skin and into my blood, no more so than in the last week. A paradox of travelling is that when all goes smoothly you can be insulated to some extent from the people and the reality of life here, travelling for days in a recovery truck, working together with the rangers, the shippers and the freight yard has brought me closer to the smiling happy people who somehow find a way.
A great illustration of this was getting my truck into the container, the container and my truck were too heavy together for the little fork lift trucks, but my truck was not. So the guys lifted him in the air, backed the truck up so the rear wheels went in and then lifted the front with another fork lift to finally push it home, some great balancing and driving skills needed and super teamwork between the FLT drivers and the container lorry driver.
So Nelson is “stuffed” which is the correct marine phrase apparently, strapped down and customs sealed, that’s quite an achievemt from on its side in a national park and in a tropical downpour. Unfortunately Nelson has gone in very wet and will probably be mouldy by the time he comes out.
Discussion and planing the rebuild already but first I am on grandad duties on Friday with little Harris, plunging straight back into normal life and looking forward too it !
First step is to get all three ton of Nelson up into the air, very very gently as Nelson is 3te and the FLT lift limit is 4te but stability is the key as a lot more damage would be done if he fell off the wobbly forks
Slowly slowly or pole pole as they say in Mombasa, the container is backed on to Nelsons rear wheels
Once the rear is in place another fork lift take over from the front to push Nelson further into the container the brolly is just to keep the monsoon rain out
Finally and with a bit of scraping Nelson is shoved into the container
Customs sea is attached by me, when I see the container in Felistowe I will hopefully remove it to show the container has not been tampered with
An off goes Nelson in his container to the ship, custom cleared with four hours to go before my pre booked flight takes off

About Gerry Mulligan

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