Video on the way to Bukudal
This track was in excellent condition after such a heavy wet! The roads had just been graded. And yes, there was lots of evidence of buffaloes!
We drove as the last of four vehicles in a convoy, having the most fantastic time listening to music and keeping in touch via cb radio (Thanks Matt & Jo for the radio for 4wd!)
We had a really lovely night eating freshly cooked fish on the fire (we are not yet skilled enough to catch fish- but our 14 year old yapa kept pulling them in on her handline! I am getting more skilled at killing and gutting fish which is something!)
We had a relaxing morning the next day before we needed to head back for Senior Youth Bible Study on Sunday afternoon. And of course, that's when the adventure really began...
On our way our from Bukudal, we were the only vehicle because we needed to leave early. There was a 15m long bog that we had easily come through the day before (unfortunately not captured on the video above). Easy because we were the last to come through! The silt had been moved away by the Landcruisers before us. But on the return trip, the silt had settled again and our lightly packed Hilux slid all over and got stuck in the bog.
After using our max tracks for a while, Tim decided to do the manly thing and keep trying to dig and reverse out backwards while wading in the knee deep putrid bog water. And I went back to camp for help. It was less than a km but I jogged briskly (and quietly) on the sanding track praying not to come across buffalo by myself!
When I got back to the camp, everyone jumped into action and we were soon set up with a winch on one of the Landcruisers pulling us out of the bog backwards. We recovered and the only thing to do was to go through again with a different approach.
This time we got bogged at the other end of the bog. And this was too far away to be winched backwards again.
It's times like these that it is probably good to record the scene for the sake of the story, but in those moments, it all seems too serious to stand around taking video. Tim and I were praying that we would get back in time to lead the youth, and everyone else had lots of good advice. But we were stuck in deep, our exhaust girggled under the muddy water and our true friend Jeffery was in the muck with us doing everything he could.
I can only laugh at God's amazing provision! Coming down the track in front of us appeared a Yolngu family followed by a very nice new Jeep with a very white man in brand new cammo gear. He was obviously on a hunting expedition, and the family (babies and all) were his tour guides. Without saying much at all, the hunter pulled us out through the last few meters of bog, and we were on solid ground again!
The likelihood that any vehicle would have come down that track that day was slim. And our vehicle was blocking the only way out for everyone else! But God knew, and we got back to our house with five minutes before the youth mob showed up.