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A few moments in a lifetime

Adding to my bucket list

SOUTH AFRICA | Wednesday, 4 June 2014 | Views [498]

The trees stretch up around me to paw at the sky. We're driving along the road, music blasting - not my style - while I try to sleep, my eye twitching very unwillingly to the beat. I had to wake up at 6 o'clock in the pre-dawn dark to be here, and I'm wondering if such a sacrifice was worth it.
 
After approximately two hours of driving, we get to the dirt road that leads to the Homtini Tactical shooting range, right in the centre of the Knysna forest. We drag on, Stiaan driving as slowly as possible so as not to damage a car that's not his. The owner has stated multiple times how much he loves this car. The slow pace allows us to look out the window, watching the forest pass and listening to the birds. Ulrich rattles off some facts about the forest; something about miniature forest elephants... It just makes me think of Narnia.
 
We reach the shooting range, throwing open the doors to allow some space; three adults in the back of a car for three hours isn't the easiest thing I've been through! A gentleman meets us here, and eventually, after some manly talk about guns, we head to the shooting range. The guy is rather surprised to hear that it's my sister and I shooting today; not the boys. Ulrich has brought us here for a belated birthday present. I can't say I am not nervous, but the men's excitement can't be put down. Nothing funnier than a girl trying to shoot, I suppose.
 
I'm a little sorry to disappoint them, but as we rattle off the rounds, fully focused, it is discovered that we're actually quite good. After being instructed in minute detail by Ulrich on what to do, we blast those plates with a not-so-feminine enthusiasm. The range is so beautiful, the birds unperturbed by the blasts of the guns, and the sun shining for a change. How could I shoot skew in such conditions?
 
I must here really suggest that one should add 'shoot stuff' to one's bucket list! It was never on mine, but now I feel the urge to do so, and repeat the experience. The thrill of aiming, arms shaking a little from the exertion, and tugging softly at the trigger, to hear your bullet hit home with a metalic 'thunk', is amazing. Enthralling. The shot's throaty roar sounds, the gun pushes back into your shoulder, and the barrel coughs out a little smoke.   
 
The drive back is far better. We pop in at Knysna and Sedgefield, listen to far better music, and cruise home in the sunset. But to be honest, even if the drive was full of screaming people and weirdness, I can't think I would mind much. I can hear the roar of the guns, feel the sunlight on my eyelids, and the twitch of my trigger finger, ready to pull.  

Tags: bucket list, knysna, shooting, south africa

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