Botswana Baby!

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Day 56: Sandunes Lodge,Gobabis, Namibia-Maun, Botswana (2 November 2009)

We’re going to Botswana today!!!!! I decided to wear my Sand Lover’s Namibia shirt as it would be the last day in Namibia for awhile at least and I do love that shirt…it’s just perfect! We woke up to another beautiful day with a lovely breakfast provided by Andrew’s friendly staff. After thanking them for our wonderful stay, we were in the van and on our way for a long day’s journey to Botswana! Paul told us to pick up some sustenance for the road as it would not even be lunch on the run today, but lunch in the van so we could get to Maun with some time to spare-so everyone, well, almost everyone tried to get things that wouldn’t interrupt others when they ate, not smelly or greasy so we could manage for the entire day on a vehicle that had fussy aircon at the best of times. Anyway, we stopped a few times to look at some Baobab trees, those of the oldest of their kind, and Paul of course told us to ‘go hug a tree’ and so of course…we did! Not to worry; there are photos of that too!

So, we ate on the bus and get this, Gayle, in her usual brilliance and inconsideration brought a can of tunafish. Now if you thought that was bad, wait for it…she opened it, spilled out the liquid in the garbage back at the front of the bus seated right in front of Dawn (who is so even tempered its unbelievable), ate a forkful of the tuna and then walked it around the van putting it under people’s noses asking them if they wanted any before throwing the rest out in the bag where it would then sit for the duration of our over six hour bus ride! Can you say EEEEWWWWWWHHHHAAAAA! This after she stuck her nose in my bowl of ice cream last night asking what exactly it was…don’t you just wonder how some people just don’t fall down more often? I digress, well, anyway, we had a very long bus ride and finally made it to another border crossing and got another stamp in our passports and made our way to a SuperSpar shopping center to go shopping for food. Paul was doing all of the cooking in the delta and supplying all of the food so we really only needed to bring water and any other things we would want to drink while in the delta; and yes, of course, in true Stacey fashion…not to worry, I brought all of the fixings for s’mores. We were there for just over an hour since there was a lot of shopping to do as we would have two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners in the delta and food was to be provided for all of us and any extras would then go to the polers (drivers/polers of our mokoro boats out to the delta who would be camping with us the entire trip) and we had to bring everything that we would need in the delta as we were bush camping so nothing would be there when we got there and nothing should be there when we leave…you know the saying ‘take pictures, leave footprints’? Well, not only does it work for all of our traveling but is especially perfect for this journey into the delta.

After getting some Botswanan money (PULA) and Gayle asking Paul if she went to an ATM in Botswana could she get American money out (yes, it really happened…you can’t make that nonsense up-and this woman is well and truly over the age of 21 when I do believe you should stop making exceptions for people) we headed to our hotel near the marsh and water as we could hear the sounds of frogs and stray cats when we arrived and were told again to watch for snakes! We sat by the pool to cool off from the long bus ride for a bit and after showering when we arrived at dinner we were told that Ma and Pa Kettle had a snake in front of their room and watched as it was tackled, caught and killed by the hotel staff…GROSS! Sorry, mom, I know I didn’t tell you about that but thought it best to leave it out in the phone conversations! Anyway, we went to dinner, with the awful thought of snakes slithering around and the sight of some of those stray cats near the buffet and found that our choices were buffet or off the menu. Now, the buffet was great for meat eaters, but not much for vegetarians and some other people decided to wait and order off of the menu too. Mathew got the buffet which was the better idea as he could eat right away, but Eveline and I decided on the veggie burgers on the menu. Well, after waiting about 45 minutes with the wandering stray cats and the giant-sized Botswanan bugs, it came and well, they were truly veggie burgers! Sauteed veggies on a bun with sort of soggy fries…crazy right? After having a good laugh and of course taking some photos of my Botswanan fries, we ate our quite tasty and interesting dinner and headed off to the room to pack while being careful of slithering snakes!

We had to fix our luggage as we had to take only a day pack or small bag of only what we could carry ourselves into the delta. Whatever we didn’t need would stay in the van as Karel was staying at the hotel while we were in the delta to watch the rest of our belongings; and he says he hates boats! So, since everything was in those small boats it would be day pack, water and sleeping bags and if you couldn’t carry it it couldn’t come…needless to say we both had to repack! So, we went back to the room, shut the door tightly, cranked up the aircon, sorted our stuff and tried to get some sleep.

Tomorrow: The Okavanga Delta of Botswanan fame

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