is the longest I’ve gone without writing an entry but even though we’ve been
pretty busy there’s not much to write. It’s all been travelling, Botswana
came and went very quickly!
to the beginning. We left Victoria Falls on Wednesday morning quite early and
drove all the way to Ghanzi arriving at around 7pm, after dark. Our plan was to
stop at Maun but we got there at 2pm but we felt that we could push on further
making the next day’s drive to Windhoek easier. We ended up being delayed in
Maun trying to change money and only got going again after 3pm but still, the
road was good – dirt between Maun and Ghanzi but not bad at all. The border
crossing into Botswana was, as is usual these days, quick and painless but we
struggled in Nata to change money, there’s no bank in town and the hotel had a
cash shortage so we only managed to change 20USD and with it got petrol to see
us through to Maun but not much further. The highlight of the day was that we
saw three herds of elephants – one was even crossing the road in front of us
and we weren’t even in a game reserve!
Maun we bought Steers Burgers for lunch – the sauce was great but the actual
patty only so-so. After plenty of concern on my part, Scott has agreed that when
we get home we’ll become vegetarian again. He seemed to be enjoying the meat
so much that I thought he wouldn’t like to leave it. Guess I was wrong.
Ghanzi, we camped in the grounds of the Kalahari Arms Hotel. Very small camping
area but there were only two tents so it was OK. A couple arrived in a caravan
after we had gone to bed and left before we got up so they don’t really count
except for the noise they made.
morning we didn’t get up so early and before hitting the road, we went to a
bushman craft shop. I like to support these community efforts so I bought my
standard bracelet, this time made from ostrich eggs and quite unusual. We drove
to the border to our second last country, the last before South Africa and again
had no hassles but a small hitch in proceedings. Our carnet was stamped on entry
into Botswana but they wouldn’t stamp it when we left. Apparently Botswana,
South Africa, Namibia and one or two others form a common customs union and the
only carnet will only be stamped when we leave that area. Hope that’s true.
What it means is that we’re already into the area with our car and we
shouldn’t have any problems at the SA border. Let’s see.
drove on to Gobabis, changed money and bought lunch – very nice chicken, which
we ate on the side of the road. We drove on to Windhoek and called Yvonne from a
public phone. She arranged to meet us on the side of the road just outside town.
From there we’ve just been hanging around here doing washing, watching TV and
eating well. We saw Brad on Thursday evening but he’s away for the weekend
entertaining clients so it’s just the three of us plus the three kids. Can
they make a noise!
morning was a shopping day – air filter, shoes for Scott etc and then a quiet
day further. Lunch, siesta and then work on Yvonne’s PC. A chance to check
e-mail at leisure.
was also pretty quiet. Apart from a quick walk to the café I haven’t left the
house. Scott had one more outing, he took the kids off to buy ice-creams. Scott
fulfilled a long held urge and had boerewors rolls (home made) for lunch. He
weighed himself last night and at 68kg is lighter than he’s been for years so
he can really enjoy himself. I weigh 50kg on the nose so have lost no more than
a kilo or so.
are also using the opportunity to phone around. I chatted to Liesl and Mom and
Scott has also phoned his mom. He also booked 4 nights at the Fish River Sun. At
R270 per room per night for bed and breakfast, we’re quite pleased. Apparently
the casino has closed and that’s why the place is so cheap. Or anyway cheaper
than expected! Tomorrow we’re off to the farm
now we’re watching rugby – South Africa vs. Australia. It looks like it’s
going to be close but my interest is such that I’m writing my diary while
Scott and Yvonne watch
has been a day with not too much happening. We left Windhoek around 9 or 10
(depending if you sue SA or Namibian time) and took the scenic route to the
farm. We went via a place called Spreetshoogte which has some wonderful views
over the dry, semi-desert ‘voor Namib’ as they call it.
stopped at Solitaire for fuel and wonderful apple pie. Solitaire has changed a
lot since we last saw it 12 odd years ago. It was pretty much nothing then but
now all and sundry stop there. It is not only your standard garage-cum-café but
they also offer baked goods and a small camping area complete with shade and
arrived on the farm mid-afternoon and after some tea went for a drive with Uncle
David. The farm is as great as I remembered, the goats were all kidding so we
were driving around trying to match kids to goats. Strange, you’d think they
could manage that part by themselves.
Uncle is not well. He looks old and gaunt and has lost a lot of weight. He has
self-diagnosed himself as having Malta fever some cattle borne disease but I am
not so sure. Yvonne is desperately trying to get him to go to the doctor but he
has always had a rabid mistrust of all doctors and refuses to go. They’re due
in Windhoek around 23 August and Yvonne will try again.
quiet, relaxing day on the farm. We
took a drive to the farthest camp – Springbok camp and saw quite a few animals
– springbok, foxes, ground squirrels etc. Nothing huge but lots of life. This
part of the farm is stunning with some excellent camping spots. If Robin is
still keen for a desert New Year experience then we have the place for him. If
we can get a couple of days off work I’d love to bring him here.
the afternoon Scott had a siesta and I joined my uncle on a trip to Maltehohe.
He had to get some feed for the goats and Scott has a bit of a cold so I went
along for the drive and to see what I could find for Scott. It ended up being
TCP and Med-Lemon.
the evening, mom phoned to wish me happy birthday for tomorrow which was nice
and then we watched a movie I had heard lots about but never seen – Smilla’s
sense of Snow. It was pretty good but I think the book may be a lot better, as
was our last evening with my Uncle and Aunt. They would have liked us to stay
longer but it just wasn’t possible. Well I suppose it was possible but we had
bookings and we wanted to get moving again.
especially Uncle David, have been
our most appreciative audience to date. Uncle David thinks that the whole trip
is great and when I went into town with him I was introduced to all and sundry
and our story proudly told. I’m impressed too – a guy got a series of seven
articles printed in Getaway about crossing Africa with Public Transport and he
flew across Sudan because Sudan is ‘impossible’ to cross. Yeah right?!