It was in the year of '91 and the sky was full of sun
And Bernie Hill had been detailed to take the chuck wagon into
the desert for a Posh Braai with the GM and his cohorts.
Bernie was a chef at the central kitchen at the time and chefs
are really good people to send out into trackless wastes with ALL
of the food.
Bernie turned south somewhere by Sendelings drift whilst everyone
else went east, then he turned north to catch them up, then west
then south, then east then north. Get the picture. A sort of a
After a few hours he decided he was going to
run out of fuel if he carried on. Fortunately he had enough food,
alcohol and water
onboard the chuck wagon for 48 people. So he pulled into a nearby
donga and waited for passing traffic.
Unfortunately for the GM Bernie was his major source of supply.
Later in the day the GM et al returned home, hungry and thirsty
but otherwise in good spirits. (their words not mine)
Later the following day the chopper went out and found Bernie
( also in good spirits) and assisted him home with directions and
an invite to the GMs house later in the evening.
Bernie insists to this day that it was only his innate knowledge
of which type of alcohol to mix with which type of which particular
dips and chips that enabled him to survive his harrowing ordeal
in the Richtersveld.
(Submitted by Jeff Lane)
UPDATE: 21st October 2010
Hehehe! It took two years, But young
Bernie Hill has submitted the correct and honest version of this
Yes it was 1991 when I went missing in the Richtesveld.
So after reading the article I would like to give my story the
It was 4am and we left Oranjemund in the dark when we left there
were three vehicles in convoy. I followed the vehicles which was
driven by the Geologist, Keith Whitelock in the second vehicle
and myself at the back.
We drove through the desert over the
mountain range deep into the Richtesveld to a small oasis. where I started to erect
a buffet lunch awaiting VIP visitors. They were flown in
by Choppers. I refuelled the vehicle from gerry cans while
Mr keith Whitelock was seeing the guests off in the choppers, the
geologist told me that it was time for me to head back, when I
asked which way, he said just follow the tracks in the sand because
noone else has been out here, which I did for approximatley 3 hours,
I found out later that Mr Keith Whitelock asked the geologist why
he had sent me off as it was the first and only time I had been
out there. Unfortunately for me I stumbled on some old tracks
and veered off to the right, when I realised I was getting short
on fuel, I decided I should stop for the night, on board I had
nothing but left over food and rubbish a few beers and one and
a half bottle of water and some salted cheese buscuits, I had a
very cold uncomfortable long night, as soon as the sun came up
the next morning, I set off with my bottle of water to walk approx
3 mile to a mountain range which I started to climb. At approx
11am I heard the chopper but I was higher than the chopper I was
at the top of the hill, which landed at the vehicle some miles
away and took off again, by the time I walked back to the vehicle
mid afternoon a note had been left on the windscreen telling that
they had gone to refuel and to stay with the vehicle when I got
back. Eventually the chopper returned and Mr Whitelock asked
was I OK which I replied I HOPE I AM GETTING PAID FOR THIS. His
reply But of course and threw his arms around me and laughed. My
wife Brenda and I was invited that evening for a meal with the
Openheimers and other guests. And to this day I still receive
lots of humour and banter from old friends. This is an acurate
account of what happened it was not a comedy.