While we were on our great African trek, I started off relying totally on John to take photos with his superior eye, skill and camera.
However, it soon emerged that occasionally we spotted different things, and occasionally I thought it would be nice to have a photo with him in it, which makes a pleasant novelty, so I started carrying my iPad around and occasionally remembered to use it.
The test came on the day of the safari walk – no John and I certainly didn’t want to be carrying an iPad as well as spare jumper, field glasses and water, so I decided to rely on my mobile phone, which I could transport in my pocket. Needless to say I didn’t use it, because fishing out the phone whilst already somewhat encumbered with other equipment seemed to create an unnecessary problem. (Poor John, with his heavy camera and even heavier lens…)
Anyway, apart from no photographs all went well, we returned from the walk to enjoy a champagne breakfast on the banks of the Luangwa River, and then were driven back to the camp in the 4 wheel drive.
When we got back there was no phone in my pocket..! You can imagine my lurching panic. Apart from actually not wanting to lose the phone as such, on that phone is everything I need to exist efficiently.
I hurriedly went out to the front of the camp, and to my great good fortune, happened to spot Paul, our guide, walking past, probably to take a well-earned rest. I told him my problem and he immediately said he would drive me back to retrace our steps.
It did not occur to me that it might have been stolen, unless by a monkey or baboon who might have found it an attractive plaything.
I could only assume had not a clue where I might have dropped it – whether during the walk, or during breakfast or on the way back to the camp. My chances of finding it were minuscule but doing nothing was even more hopeless.
A strong possibility was that an elephant or something large would have trodden on it, unwittingly.
So clutching at straws, off we set, two sets of eyes glued to the road. And do you know, after a few miles Paul with his sharp eyes spotted something glinting in the sand at the side of the road, near where we had stopped for breakfast – and it was my phone, very very hot but still alive!
I didn’t feel I deserved such luck. And as for Paul, I think he was gratified but a bit non-plussed by my effusive gratitude.