Monday, July 02, 2012

Kubu Island at last

We were up at 06:30 and ready to roll at 07:45 having winkeled the rest out of their hidey holes.  Teegan had been sick during the night so Rob and Viv hadn't had much sleep and were looking a little bit bleary eyed.  We only saw number 6  & 7 this morning and were very grateful that we had taken #8 quite by luck.

I drove at a steady 105-115km per hour because I just didn't feel comfortable at higher speeds given the weights I'm carrying and the roads.  The problem with the roads is not that they are bad but that they are really quite good with the odd bad patch which is very difficult to see sometimes so it is just much easier to drive a bit slowly and then not have to worry so much.  The signs are a little sporadic and sometimes they are missing so one ends up guessing some of the time just what speed one should be doing.  The rule of thumb is to slow down to 80 if there is any sign of habitation next to the road even if there wasn't a sign to indicate 80.  Also, having left a patch of habitation behind and not having seen a sign indicating that one can resume 120 doesn't necessarily mean that you shouldn't speed up.  You could end up driving 100km at 80km/hr so one really does need to keep track of what is happening.

We finally turned off the tar and onto the dirt after 3 days of driving and I promptly let my tyres down.  Rob and Ethene didn't bother and, as it turned out,  didn't need but being the cautious fellow that I am, down they went.  I had some fun descending a steep technical section where the shore of the mega lake used to be while rob and ethene went around on the chicken run.  From there it was a simple drive over the grass and salt pans and finally to arrive at kubu island.  The tracks can sometimes be a bit confusing but one just has to basically follow one's nose and one will find the way quite easily.  The problem is that 'the road' isn't one path, it consists of several that constantly stray over each other as one or the other becomes impassable in the wet season.

We finally arrived at the main campsite which is pretty awesome, no facilities other than long drops.  That means, no water, no electricity and not even much in the way of shade.  Our campsite was huge, we could have doubled the size of the party and still had space to spare.  We wanted to move where we had the fire but they weren't having any of that and we had to arrange the campsite around where they had located the fire.  Not ideal but really not too bad.

We had just set up camp and there were already bees congregating around the dustbin so I told rob that I was going to burn all the trash.  He wasn't enamoured with the idea, mind you neither was I but it really does make a difference and keeps the campsite very clean and bee-free.  I think that someone with an eco-conscience would have taken me to task for burning everything but at the risk of being stung again, I am willing to take some abuse.

While the rest of the adults were finishing setting up camp, I took all the kids up to a huge baobab which they just had to try and climb which they eventually accomplished.  It was a lot harder than it looks like in the photograph and once they were up, they couldn't get down and Rob eventually came up with a climbing rope which we used to lower them all safely to the ground.  No more climbing of baobab trees!

As the day started to cool off we went for a stroll around the island, it has to be one of the most photogenic places on the planet.  It seems that no matter where you point your camera, there is a great picture waiting for you.

A fantastic start to the weeks camping ...

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