Some days don’t go quite to plan. Occasionally days go so completely awry that by evening you are piecing together the events wondering how on earth you ended up hundreds of kilometers from home and with all plans for the foreseeable future completely reshaped.
I went for what was meant to be a long hike on Friday morning. I had high spirits and was looking forwards to getting onto the shale band and looking down on the valley below. But events didn’t unfold as I had expected. Just ten minutes into the hike, on flat ground, I stepped across a stream and unexpectedly lost my footing and slipped. I heard my leg break before I even hit the ground.
I am extremely thankful that I had a satellite phone, thankful that I have wonderful neighbours who instantly came and found me, thankful that the doctor in Clanwilliam repositioned my bones so the blood supply wasn’t cut off, thankful to all the nurses and staff who looked after me during my stay in hospital and deeply indebt to the surgeon who has fixed me up again.
Although I didn’t get home as expected, nor complete my planned hike, I am on another journey now, of recovery and learning. The Black Eagle Project has taken a few knocks this year but I am no less excited about the project. I won’t complete the research I wanted to do on this years breeding success but I am no less determined to carry on next year. So there will probably not be many more eagle photos and updates this year, but I’m still here working away on what I can from the desk and I’m immensely excited about what next season will hold in store.