To many people the Skeleton Coast is an endless series of glamorous sunsets, gin and tonics and the fattest jackals known to man. I on the other hand tell a slightly different story, one that involves suffering, countless nights passed out in the back of a Hilux bakkie (pickup) and a broken back.
Few places are more uncomfortable than the back of a Hilux. Every morning I would find myself bent over like a crooked hobo with a broken back and my feet on the verge of frostbite because they were left hanging out the back of the vehicle. Naturally I also woke up every morning to a pounding headache and the unfailing urgency for a #2, and take my word for it, that second point was a problem.
Out in the desert a #2 involves a spade, a long walk and for us town folk a rather awkward looking pose. On the upside however an alfresco #2 in the desert is routinely rewarded with some of the best views known to man. But a hangover and a case of the shits has less to do with the Hilux and rather more to do with the previous evenings celebrations.
Every night we sat around an open fire and drank until we fell over. Even though our days were littered with personal injury, driver disputes and the inevitable damage to property we had a lot to celebrate. Though I mostly just celebrated being alive.
But the Skeleton Coast is a strange place. Even when you are at your worst, all that is needed is a cup of black coffee on the tailgate of your Toyota, the sun on your face and the deafening sound of silence. That and you are good to do it all over again.