GhanziApril 12 in Botswana ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C
With our truck still at the side of the road, a replacement truck was driven all the way from Cape Town (that's a long way!). They had driven all through the night and gamely arrived by mid morning. So we loaded everything onto our new truck, including 9 new people, so it was a tight squeeze. Sadly we were leaving behind our two Brazilian friends who were ending their trip in Windhoek.
It was all very emotional, even before they gave a leaving speech and presented us with gifts. One of the couple is from Salvador and they have a tradition of handing out ribbon ties to special people. You make a wish when you tie it on and it comes true once it naturally breaks. A real sweet gesture and it's just as well my eye was already watery from the scratch otherwise I would have had to come up with another excuse...
Eventually we were on our way to Botswana but our troubles weren't over there. Most of us crossed the border trouble free but the Chinese needed to pay for their visas. Apparently they have changed their processes and you can only pay in the local currency, pula, not in South African Rand or US dollar, which is tricky as you can't get the currency outside of the country.
With the card machine 'out of order' and the currency exchange office 'closed' our leader was stumped. Requests to be reasonable fell on deaf ears, so they drove to the nearest petrol station to see if they could help. They couldn't, but one of the Chinese was being very entrepreneurial and went around all the truck drivers going the other way changing as much as she could.
Eventually they had enough and we left the border 4 hours after we arrived, so we didn't see much of the Kalahari desert and the poor newbies had their first experience of putting up their tents in the pitch black.Read more