Protection and Preservation, Book 10
That's what we did. We loaded them and a minimal crew into Duck and flew back to Kimberly and set them out. We left them with food, water, and weapons. They had no horses. We left them there and returned to Upington.
David said to Joshua, "That's a good two hundred miles. It should keep them away. If they come back, give them no chance. Shoot to kill. That type rarely learns."
We stayed the day in Upington teaching radio and antennas. We got them on the air and talked with many in Australia and even talked a few moments to Milan. Even twenty meters would not pick up Protection or anyone in America this day. We left the next morning for Springbok.
We landed at the airstrip. I wasn't impressed. We looked but found no fuel though it was completely quiet. I said, "David, it's three hundred miles to Cape Town and about five hundred to Windhoek, Namibia, which is our next stop. Why don't we go on there. We saw nothing on the way in here."
He nodded and announced it to the plane. I went back and sought responses which were in favor of going on. We left for Windhoek in Namibia.
We landed on the long runway though our notes suggested that either would have been sufficient. We taxied over to the terminal area and released the Humvee. We had seen no sign of people and the temperature was mild but it was easy to tell that it was a dry area. We found no people but did find usable fuel. We topped off our tanks and David asked around the plane if people wanted to go on or spend the night. We would have to make a dry camp even though it would be a cool one. Lack of water was an issue. We loaded back up and took off.
We landed in Luanda and I saw beach! After our customary check in the Humvee and topping off the Duck's tanks, I said, "David, let's spend the night and take a day at the beach." I said it loudly in the terminal so people could hear me. Everyone was cheering my idea.
David looked around and said, "I'm willing but, if you go, you have to get in the water up to your necks." I was suspicious. David knew something that I didn't but I had the feeling that I would find out.
We found maps in the terminal showing roads and drove out after breakfast and locking the Duck. Only a few people stayed at the terminal.
It was a little cool but I wanted ocean as did many others. We drove over in dune buggies and the Humvee through a nice roadway to the beach. We parked and I ran to the water shedding clothing along a number of others. I went splashing in and was in almost to my waist before my body reacted to the chill. It was cold!
All around me were screams as others reacted with me. I slowly walked out until I was in neck deep. My body was getting used to the chill and it wasn't as bad. I could feel my skin reacted to the chill of the water so I walked back out. By the time I reached David, my teeth were chattering. He handed me a towel which I wrapped tightly around my body and its chill bumps. I said, "David, you might have warned me."
He smiled and said, "Where's the fun in that." I stuck my tongue out at him and gave him a raspberry. George and Trina managed to stay in the longest but wrapped themselves up in their towels together for warmth when they got out. The air wasn't that warm and the light wind didn't really help. We stayed around for perhaps an hour and motored back to the terminal.
We lazed around but saw and heard no one. It was very quiet and the few animals out were not afraid of us after our engines were cut off. We spent a restful night and took off in the morning for Libreville, Gabon, under two hours away.
We landed and checked everything out. While there were no people nor any sign of people, there was plenty of fuel and we tanked up. This time, David suggested that we go to the beach. Trina asked, "Does that mean the water temperature will be good?"
He chuckled. "Yes. You will notice that it's warmer here and the ocean will be warmer, too. I think you will enjoy it. If we can find water, we might even stay a couple of days."
We found two places with water, the terminal and a hotel on the beach. We only went to the hotel to wash off. It was dark and musty inside. However, it had outside showers with fresh water and we could sleep anywhere if it wasn't raining. David and I spent the night on the beach along with a few other couples. Surprisingly, or maybe not, the noisiest couple was Trina and George. They definitely enjoyed the evening finding it very romantic. We all made our way back to the airport terminal the next morning with tired, happy smiles on our faces.
We loaded Duck and left for Lagos. We landed to see no people again. Our search for fuel met with fair success. We found usable fuel but not in great quantities. We did fill our tanks but there was little left for another trip. Rather than spend the day and then night, we decided to fly on to our next stop, Monrovia, Liberia.
We were headed for a larger airport away from the main city when we saw another. SJ had noted it as Spriggs-Payne. With over a mile of runway, it was easily long enough for our C-130 and we landed the Duck on it with room to spare. We landed from the west over water that looked inviting. The Humvee made its usual tour finding no people and no usable fuel. That was a downer. We needed to refuel for our next leg. We took off and landed at Roberts International. It had one long runway. After landing, the Humvee crew made their examination and found fuel that we could use. We taxied over and began to refuel while further examination of the area was made. It was depressingly quiet.
It was quiet because there were again no people. We spent the night in the terminal and rose the next morning knowing that our last hours in Africa were present. Everyone was anxious. We still had far to go but arriving in the Americas was an important point in our return. We packed and climbed aboard the Duck and took off for Recife, Brazil, almost two thousand miles away. It was a five hour flight.