We drove from home in Outpost even further out (I didn’t think there was a further out; there is – I spent the weekend there). We drove to the Middle of Nowhere and pitched our tent.
Middle of Nowhere was actually the shores of Lake Chaya, dry now, save a few pools sporting a carpet of purple, pink and yellow lilies and a plethora of birdlife: herons and egret and rare saddle bill stork. We found a shady acacia and pitched camp beneath that and a huge sky.
We made tea once the tent was up and ate biscuits. Then we briefly walked and listened to the evening cacophany of a quarellsome quartet of turaco. Hat collected seeds to use as catty ammo. Her father had made her the catapult the week before. What will you use it for, I wanted to know. To murder mozzis, she told me. Then laughed, no, I want to hit tin cans in the garden. She was only practising in the Middle of Nowhere, she said.
The sun sank, the turuaco shut up, a delicate sliver of moon slid skywards and the darkness fell with the silence. It is hard to remember when I heard such quiet (do we hear quiet? or do we hear the absence of sound that renders it quiet?) and it was heavenly.
We cooked dinner over the coals – corn cobs and sausages – and crept to bed under canvas
And in the morning when we woke to a chilly grey sky which a scarlet sun was rushing to warm as it scrabbled out of the shadows and above the clouds, we cooked again – bacon and eggs – and drank smokey coffee and thought how good food tastes outside.
And Hat slept all the way home.