So we arrived at Namibia nwhich for the film buffs in the house is where they are filming Max Max. Not sure who's in this one but it might be us if the recent Mission Impossible was any indication. A passing Land Rover was put in the film because it fitted the movie. So if we drive past some film set Matilda might just be star spotted by some director. Julie tells me the stars include Charlize Theron who seems to be in a lot of these Action/SciFi movies now. If the recent Alien film is anythign to go by i mean.....and I enjoyed that.
What she learns from reading Grazia South Africa....who knew.
Some photos from our camping and Chobe Safari's...Not sure anything we do is Safari but we're in Africa as we keep being told. I've saved a bullet for Mike in my new AK47 for pointing this out yet again. Yes it was payday for the entire army base nearby and the whole town. 55 bloody minutes.......My stress levels are meant to be lower on this trip and my first proper Migrain for many years prove otherwise. The lack of alcohol my be a factor so we bought some more Vodka and Tab. For those that remember M J Fox and Back to the Future (and his "life preserver") this is Diet Caffeine Free Coke. Julie tells me they used to sell it in the UK but I only just remeber it. If i remember it was clear and this is Coke coloured. We also have RSA wine.
Photos. Note the Kingfisher....Some are Julies (Kingfisher) and some are mine.
Today I very nearly went "postal" in true Falling Down style. Having got up late and decided to do the boat trip on the river at 3pm we went to the booking office and found out you need to pay Park Fees to just go on the boat. So it was more economical to do the park and boat all on the same day. No problem there. We decided to book so went off to the cash machine to get money. I can loosely call it a cash machine as after 40 odd minutes of queuing it stopped working whilst we were stood infront of it !!!! This on top of the distinctly Botswana way of letting every one push in willy nilly. One step forward and one step back....maybe two steps back in some cases. Giving up on the money we went to KFC for lunch to calm down. Another mistake. Another queue and another push in fest and more poor service. 15 minutes queue there. Back to the cash machine and another 15 mins queue to get 1000Pula. Back to Spar to get some shopping and at least 10 minutes queuing there. Gave up on life and went back to the car and campsite. I washed and waxed Matilda. She's clean till tomorrow at least.
75 minutes queuing in total. No over estimates and in fact probably under. 55 mins in the same ATM queue alone !!!!
Later we went to another supermarket to get a cold can which i needed and we queued for about 10 minutes with one person pushing in. The cashier didn't let him and sent him packing. Finally a bit of normallity but still 10 minutes of my life for a single can of coke.
So if I lived here I may buy an AK47 and kill someone or alot of people. This place is off the list of places to retire. 2 million residents and they are all queuing all the time. They move at 3 miles per hour no matter how long you've waited. Do they care. No.
If anyone says this is Africa I will shoot them first. Theres no excuse for a bit of manners and customer service. You wait your bloody turn no matter what country you are in. Especially when I've been waiting 40 ffing minutes for cash !!!!
Not a good day......
I should also mention the slowest Interent since Ethiopia and this post has taken over an hour ro get up on the site. <10kbps anyone......we had faster modems than this in 1986.
Dash was impressed with the gift he got Matilda....Never thanked me for sticking it on the car however....
Watch this space for more things we may buy ! We have a list and all we need to do is find the shop that sells them.
You are all officially BLIND !!!
Look behind the Stork.....just like i did. (See the previous blog entry)
If it wasn't for the stork we would have never spotted them. I said "take a picture of the stork" to Julie as it was quite close and although we'd seen many of them before it was good photo. I then got out the Binoculars to take a look and spotted the backdrop. Four Cubs and their Mum sat behind the mound. One of the Cubs decided Mums tail was a plaything and then she stood up, the little one scarpered......They all then walked off. So 15 mins later and we would have missed them. If the Stork hadn't been there we would have missed them.
So you'd be useless as safari guides or in fact almost any job requiring observation skills. Also we did put a pin on the MAP when we saw them. You all failed.
Big 4...one to go.
So some more photos a little larger than usual.
I had a fire and I cooked a good meal on it. We had quite a good nosh actally. Then whilst I was tending to the fire, like men should. A meteor came from the heavens and made a crater in our Morrocan mat. Near miss for Julie. I'm sure if you look on "Heavens Above" (website) you will find the meteor shower to which I'm refering.
After dinner the animals arrive on the "hunt" for scraps. Actually this little lad stayed and sat by the fire until he thought the security guard was coming and then scarpered. Actually the torch he saw coming was another camper on the way to the loo. I tried to tell him but he was off.
Julies taken some more Photos today in Moremi National Park today. She got a lovely one of a Stork, Hippo and Bridge. Can you spot all the animals in the photos ????
No seriously, she didn't see them......I did. I did tell her, actully I screamed
it and made her jump. She was framing the picture as it was on her side of the car and then I spotted the other animals......Got it yet ?
Julie wants some credit for the photos. Most of them are hers. I cannot get the camera off her which is why theres complaints that theres no pictures of her. Most of the Bird shots are hers as she has a fetish for snapping any old Bird. The sunsets are also mostly all hers. Basically she takes all the photos.
Not sure if I mentioned this but when we went up Sani Pass I broke the top ring off the shock on the rear. This was screwed back on and then epoxy'd on. I broke it off again in Marakele park on the 4x4 trail so we are running on the spare shock I carry. We managd to get another second hand shock from a 4x4 place to replace the spare for now. The Bilstein that broke by the top unscrewing and stripping the last few threads was welded in the normal terrible way by a local garage and they ruined it. It was perfectly servicable but his welding wasn't so he completely knackered it. I could have done it at home in 5 mins in the garage properly but were not at home.
I also noticed a nut missing off the rear anti roll bar. How that unscrewed I will never know as the bolt is free both ends to spin so you would have thought if there was enough force to unscrew the nut the bolt would just spin. Anyhow as with these things, I have another....two. So its fixed. I wonder where it fell off. Hopefully through the front windscreen of a mini bus. (the pain in the arse that they are)
We are still in Seedy Hotel as Margaret puts it and its OK actually. A few home comforts missing like a washing machine but it gives a good nights rest.
Today we look for a CADAC gas bottle as the camping gas ran out again and we can't find anywhere to fill it again so i'm just going to have to get one. I don't want one as they are too tall for the roof so it will also mean eventually getting a rear mount for it. The CADAC bottle will take us over 2.5meters so a pain in the arse when going into shopping centers (and for tolls).
So to anyone who brings Camping Gaz make sure you also ge the Camping Gaz to CADAC adapter (off Ebay or camping shop) and then also the small to larger CADAC adapter when you get the South Africa. This will enable you to get it filled almost anywhere.
Another campsite ditched for being too expensive and to be honest just crap. We're in Botswana.....
So we arrived through customs quite smoothly with only some Green Peppers being confiscated. Turns out anything that grows above ground is banned as South Africa have Fruit Flies. Evidentially these don't fly across the border as they are too lazy so they hitch a lift on chilled to 3C vegatables. I'd like to meet these flies that survive 3C for 24 hours. Anyhow it was a small loss. We didn't bother smuggling anything as per advice from all other overlanders as we only had what we had so "nothing to declare". I suppose they missed the chillis we had as they aren't much different from peppers as they are indeed peppers.
We stayed the first night in Palapye and happened on the overland truck stop. Good value at 140Pula for two and although we didn' pay for the power hookup now we have the Solar (thanks to Kobus and Alett) they had a fully equiped kitchen which we used to cook dinner. Dare I say we used a Microwave !!! First time in ages and how I miss it for defrosting food.
Second night we were in the Bird Sanctuary at Nata and this was a welcome change at 85pula and cheap with good facilities considering the bargain price. I say bargain as a few months ago we would have laughed in their faces at this price. Theres 12 pula to the pound. Canpsite was good and although no toilet roll in mine Julie had some in hers.
Then on to the Salt pans to the "you just can't miss it" Kubu Island. Well I certainly could have missed it and what a dissapointment. 93km off road to get there and the campsite was rubbish with only drop toilets and nothing else. Not even water, let alone a sink. I hear you ask 'how much?", well it was 246.60pula for one night. OMFG!!! We decided to stay reluctantly and then the lovely receptionist decided to give our space to someone else so we had to move. Well my answer to that was "of course we will move,,,to another campsite" having seen the island in all its none glory we went 18km to another camp with toilets proper and showers and things like a bar !!! all for 140pula. Nice move and same sunset.
We are now in Maun and again happened on the overland truck stop. Again a find as its only 100pula. So we are staying a few night to rest and do washing. The car is dusty so had a blow out this morning and golly was she dusty. Still needs a wash outside as the Pans are mainly Salt (Duh!) so need to get rid of that with some water......not the best mix but how else?
We met some people here we met in Vic Falls and looks like their trip back up Africa, if there ever was such a thing, is on hold. They've decided to stay down here. We've also met some people who sailed to Africa from Australia and then got a Land Rover in South Africa which he promptly took for a swim in a BIG puddle and killed the computer (ECU and BCU). They are stuck here waiting for the parts.....six weeks. I've given them the manual for their car so at least they might know how to fix it should he decide to break it again.
We finally tried some Baobab seeds. Like sour sweets so quite nice. If you've ever had a lemon sour ball its like that with no lemon.
Get notifications of new Blog Entries by filling in the box below. No risk.