Friday, August 05, 2016

Swartruggens to Ghanzi

We woke up early at about 06:00 after a so, so night.  The Ketel and Katel is right next to the main road so there was the sound of the odd truck going past all night long and over and above that the sound of the air conditioner which we really though that we had turned off.  So not a great nights sleep but I've had worse.

Breakfast was the traditional eggs, bacon and coffee but since they only had nescafe coffee which Caron turned her nose up at, we departed the B&B sans our morning coffee.

We were going through Groot Marico at between 80 and 90km per hour in an 80km/hr zone and a lady in a Jeep decided to overtake and had no sooner done so than she was pulled over by the cops for speeding as we neatly emerged from her radar shadow unscathed.

We were getting a little desperate for both coffee and Pula and decided that Zeerust was the place to satisfy both cravings.  It was not to be, we did manage to get some rands from the ATM but when we tried to to get some Pula from Standard bank, they had run out yesterday.  When we tried at Nedbank, they had Pula but they were still busy counting ... if we could wait an hour they would help us.  All this before we had had our first cup of coffee, which, by the way, was nowhere to be found in Zeerust and we left empty handed both in terms of coffee and Pula.

Arriving at the border was an eye opener, a beautiful brand new, huge border post clearly scaled to cope with easter weekend volumes so we were the only people in the queue and everything was going swimmingly well until a fellow traveler told us that we had to get customs clearance for a fridge, of all things.  I went back in and sure enough, they were genuinely interested in our fridge, who knows for what reason.  Then they asked if we had any camera equipment etc to which I replied in the affirmative and handed over my A4 size list of 'things with serial numbers' which they now dutifully typed in.  I would have felt bad if there was anyone behind me in the queue but there was nobody so if they want to get pedantic, then let them type ...

After customs the rest of the border was a breeze and I was heartened that the police checked with someone in the office that my VIN wasn't on the stolen list.  The Botswana side of the border was a breeze ... in and out within 10 minutes and best of all, their customs guys accepted credit cards for payment as well as cash, the cash which we didn't have.

About 2km's after the border post and before Lobatse there was a sign to "Kalahari Kofi" which we couldn't not stop at and were really very pleasantly surprised, real coffee in the middle of nowhere.  Their pancakes were also delicious so after two (tall) cups of coffee each we got on our way for the drive through to Ghanzi.

Driving through Botswana it is flat, followed by more flat and yet even more flat.  Unending flat, even the mountains are flat.  As it turns out the 'mountains' weren't mountains at all but mine dumps but that is how flat it is, a mine dump is raised to the level of a mountain or at least a small hill ... bigger than an anthill at least.

We saw several ostriches and they appeared to be giving me the beady eye ... I got the feeling that they might have known that I tucked into uncle burt over the weekend.  Having driven thousands of kilometers in my 4x4 and having managed to avoid killing bird life I am now over that particular millstone,  having killed not one but two feathered ex-friends in the space of five minutes.  I am considering painting my kills on the drivers door a-la the kills painted on allied fighter aircraft during WWII.

We tried once again to obtain Pula in Kang at the Engen and then again at the Bank of Gaborane but they too were our of Pula so we remain Pula less.

We finally arrived at Thakadu bush camp at 18:00, 10 hours to do about 700km and had a great supper overlooking a flood lit waterhole before retiring to bed.  A long day ahead of us tomorrow.

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