Could this be the worse day of the whole trip? It’s definitely a contender. We got stuck in a stretch of black cotton soil shortly after leaving the camp this morning.

The track followed the river Khwai and it was deep and muddy in places. We tried to get out by locking the diffs and reversing to try and power out, but there was no way we could move. We were properly stuck! We knew there were vehicles at the camp, 2 miles away, so I started walking back with the GPS to get help. Not long after, I heard a safari vehicle approaching. Once they got to me, I asked for help, but they seemed reluctant to break up their journey with the tourists to come and help.

They gave me a lift back to where we camped at least and I asked the group of South African’s to come and pull us out. They didn’t hang around and before long, I was in the back with another three vehicles in convoy. It was funny to hear them talking over their cb radios to make sure the route ahead was OK. As we got near to where we had got stuck, I noticed a Land Rover parked quite close. The owner was inside and his wife had gone to see Bun. He offered to help first and got his recovery straps out.

We gave him our recovery strap  and he joined the two together. His Defender had no chance at getting us out. It couldn’t pull the weight of our heavy Landcruiser. Then stepped up the new V8 Landcruiser with it’s heavy duty recovery strap. We were out in seconds. It took another go to get us properly out and back on the grass. On our way again we were unsure which way to go. We didn’t fancy loads more water and mud crossings, so we headed back to the main track to the north gate. That was all well, but we hit a few deep sections of water that came just up over the bonnet. We were told there would be a few sections like this, so knew we would be OK.

We got through and reached the north gate. There was a new bridge over the river Khwai, saving us going over the old battered bridge. I checked under the bonnet to see if everything was ok after we signed into the Park. All of the fan blades had broken off and there was some damage to the inside of the radiator. We were 20 kms from the other entrance and then another 50kms to Maun, where we could get it fixed.

It looked like the radiator was leaking, so we had a safari driver look at it at the south gate. He said, we should be OK till we get to Maun, but just take extra water in case it starts overheating. Still, we were thinking it looked pretty bad when we first saw it. As soon as we got to Maun, we got a price for the fan blade, so we were ok to find a replacement for that. We also got a contact for a small company that specialises in fixing radiators and they said they would be able to fix it the next morning for £50.

We got a fake Toyota blade and went back to The Old bridge. I got a run in, and we didn’t cook again and had ox-tail and mash from the restaurant. It tasted fantastic after all that had happened today.