ARCHIVE 186 – BACK ROAD NEAR AKALA (MONO)
October 18, 2015 14 Comments
The wideangle lens makes the road appear in worse condition than it was – and, in any case, it was dry weather; tackling this in wet conditions would be something else again.
The VW Beetle was wonderful for this sort of thing. No 4×4, just drive in the two rear wheels, the engine seated over the wheels – which made for very good grip – and a large metal plate underneath most of the length of the car, to guard against rocks and boulders.
But the car took quite a hammering on this trip and, as I pulled out at the end of my stay for the long drive back to Nairobi, my front wheels had, unbeknown to me, taken such a pounding that they were facing outwards, i.e. away from each other.
This very soon wore both tyres completely bald and, when I came upon a police road block, I had a hard job persuading them to let me through. Luckily there was an excellent garage specialising in VW repairs in Nairobi, and however badly I damaged the car, they were always able to fix it.
Another thing about this picture is that it was taken in a very fertile, agricultural landscape teeming with people. I’ve only just stopped for a photo, and already there’s a young lad standing by the car. If we were really to get stuck or break down, there were always plenty of willing hands to help push and pull us on our way. They were friendly – and distinctly humorous – people. Less friendly was the malaria, which initially got its teeth into me during this safari.
OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Red preset.