Cooking up a storm is one thing, but cooking in a storm – in a tent – is something entirely different!
We thought we experienced a storm last night, but that was just a warm-up for the doozy that came through tonight. We had decided early that we would fire up the Bush Pig braai tonight. I would stir fry a few vegetables, grill some eggplant and also
grill some salmon and shrimp kebabs for me. The braai was lit early and the veggies cut and prepared. Just as it came time to start cooking,the rain started.
Michele and I quickly moved the table and chairs inside the tent (along with all of the prepared food). Then I moved the braai close to the entrance of the tent. The entrance has an overhang that should protect the braai from rain, so that I could still cook, despite the rain.
We’d seen the dark clouds earlier, but hoped that we wouldn’t have a repeat of last night’s storm. Then I heard this loud noise, like a freight train coming. I was out in the eye of Hurricane Emily in 1987, and the sound was very reminiscent of that. We got out of the tent and looked to see what was making the noise, and could see the front of a storm moving rapidly towards us. The noise was coming from a large stand of pine trees beyond the camp, and they were being hammered by the wind ahead of the storm.
The next thing we knew, our tent was being bent and twisted by the wind and we thought it was going to be blown down. Michele was great – she put on her rain coat and held the tent in place whilst I dashed to get the mallet and spare tent pegs. We have never seen the need to use the guy-ropes on the tent, as it stands well without them. But now, it was about to be blown down! I hammered in some heavy duty pegs as fast as I could, as Michele helped to secure the guy-lines to the pegs. We soon had all of the guy-lines attached and holding down the tent, despite the fierce winds that were coming through. I even moved the Defender to the rear of the tent to act as a windbreak, but it didn’t seem to help much.
Meanwhile, the eggplant had been grilling away on the braai and was well toasted by the time we could turn our attention to it. With the wind battering the tent, and the rain coming down, I decided that we still had to eat, so I got cracking with the stir-fry in the skillet and put the kebabs on the braai. We could see others struggling in the weather, and one family of four’s tent collapsed, forcing them to retreat to the hotel.
Somehow, I kept the dinner cooking, even when hail stones began to fall (I found time to collect a few for Michele to photograph).
Wi the guy-lines deployed, the tent withstood the ravages of a severe storm. And I managed to keep the dinner cooking. Another amazing night that we’ll remember for a while.
Tomorrow, we head into Austria for more adventures.