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This One Time
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Wadi Kitna by Anthony Bynom (Scary) -
My wife and I were fourth in a convoy of six 4 wheel drive vehicles heading towards Wadi Kitna in Oman. Most people in the convoy were new to ‘wadi bashing’, but we were being guided by Pete, an old hand at it. He led the convoy on his motorcycle, whilst his wife and children were in the car ahead of us, a large, much used pick up truck. The path we were on was rough and scree covered. Following Pete’s advice, we drove with our thumbs outside the rim of the steering wheel in case we hit a rock or large pothole that might jerk the steering wheel violently enough to dislocate a joint. We were kicking up a lot of dust, so much so, that my wife gave up trying to photograph the small villages we passed through. Sometime later, we reached the narrow track down to the wadi, only wide enough for one vehicle and very steep. I engaged 4 wheel drive with low gear and began the descent. About two thirds of the way down there was a sharp right hand turn, which the first two vehicles negotiated safely, but the car in front of us stopped about ten or twelve metres short of the turn. Pete’s wife got out to check its sharpness, perhaps not confident that such a large vehicle could manage the bend. Now, whether she hadn’t applied the handbrake hard enough, or whether one of the kids released it, I don’t know, but the car began to move forward gathering speed on the steep incline. Of course, it didn't make the bend and Pete’s wife let out a terrified scream,as it went over the edge of the path. We ran to the bend and watched the vehicle scraping over rocks as it plunged down to the bottom of the wadi, with the children still inside.
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