I survived the dentist yesterday. It was HORRIBLE. When they were drilling off my two teeth, it smelled like burnt hair, and bits of tooth were flying everywhere. Dentistry is sick.
Here I am in the chair. Super miserable.
Ok, back to the 'ole car ride from hell. After Mahefa and Lauren chopped down the tree, we figured out a way to try and get the car a bit farther. However the rain was getting very heavy and the wind was picking up too. The muck was getting muckier and the 4 of us had to frequently get out of the car to push/pull/dig. There is no sense in trying to wear shoes in that mud, as its too deep and the shoes would just get stuck. So, I spent the better part of the afternoon ankle deep in cestody-cow-sh*tty-muck. Lovely.
The last hour of driving that day was really quite frightening. Driving in the mud is sort of like driving in snow or on ice. We nearly crashed a zillion times and came seriously close to rolling the car twice. Mahafe really didn't have a choice in the speed that he drives, given that the car only has third gear, so we were perpetually going a bit too fast. We were fish-tailing and sliding and spinning over slippery muddy banks and cliffs. Driving into a tree head-on and rolling the car were real possibilities.
Alas, there were no accidents, as we got stuck again. Stuck deep in the mud. We had pushed our way out of the mud so many times, and did so from the present spot a few times, only to realize that there was no way we could get out. The entire "road" was mud for what looked like miles. It just wasn't practical to spend 45 minutes digging the car out of the mud, only to get stuck again 3 feet away. I was legitimately getting a bit worried at this point. We had plenty of food, but only 2 bottles of mineral water left, and no fresh water. And, there was no way we were getting out using the road ahead of us. Also, there were cows that kept coming out of the forest to stare in my general direction. Weirdos.
It was getting windier and the sky was filled with black, angry clouds. Around 5pm we hunkered down into the car. Lauren, who was very resourceful, amazingly created a fire. It was dark, pouring buckets, and so so windy, but he built a nice little fire and threw some potatoes in. He was tired of the toast biscuits and jam we had been eating now for the third day. The potatoes were horrible (burnt, covered in ash, without salt or seasoning), but warm, and I enjoyed mine.
I got the following messages on the satellite phone:
Jacky, in Toliara: "Ok. We leave the first morning with mecainian and other car. It rain here. There are cyclone."
And, my Grandma Audrey wrote: "Gramps got gout."
Help was at least on its way to being on its way. And my grandfather had gout. This was going to be a long night...