Brad features quite heavily when I think about this overland trip (Chalfont St Peter – Kenya). He’d had a quasi relationship with Debbie, which involved some heavy Barbra Streisand action (click here). Early on in the trip he started yearning for the ocean. Bit daft really. He could have done a quick bit of geography to see there was going to be a stretch without any sea, but I suppose those were the days before Wiki.
He slowly became depressed and decided, when we were in Morocco somewhere, to make hummus. He was paired with Geeky Chris, the mathematician, for cooking duties. The chickpeas were soaked overnight, then Brad cooked em for a couple of hours over the open fire, and started squeezing them through the garlic crush. One of those hand jobbies. He could only fit three chickpeas in at a time and it constantly got blocked with the tough skins. Quite a gig in the baking hot heat, especially when you’re making enough for about 20 people. Chris hovered around trying to be helpful but just annoyed Brad.
“Gee Chris, go away and I’ll call you if I need any help!!” he shouted, eventually. Two hours later, the hummus was ready. Visibly more relaxed, he asked Chris to go and get some yoghurt from a stall by the campsite entrance, and nipped off to wash his hands. He returned just in time to see Chris empty pineapple yoghurt over the hummus.
Well. What can I say? There was some threatened violence in the men’s shower block that involved the bowl of fruity humus, an emergency group meeting and a reorganisation of cooking teams, but Brad never really recovered from that incident. He took to sitting on the roof of the cab, everyday for the long, long drives. Thinking about surfing and hummus.
A few weeks later, in the desert, we stopped off near some scrubland for a twenty minute toilet/drink break. Occasionally, there was a cafe or village we could stop at, but this time there was nothing. There were no longer any roads, just sand tracks left by other vehicles.
By now, temperature was in the 40’s, the heat was bone dry and scorching. We had a drink, stretched our legs, took it in turns to go to toilet and then clambered back on board. About two hours later, the emergency bell rang to stop Arkala driving the truck. Someone realised that Brad wasn’t on the roof. A quick check of the cab, and the back of the truck, led to gasps of horror. No Brad. We’d left him behind.
It was a long drive back, following the sandy tracks of the truck, to find him sitting under a scratchy bush. Very, very unhappy.
Sadly this was not the end of Brad’s bad times.