Life & Travels Afloat in our Moody
After a few days in Windhoek, it was time to head back. Out at 4.30am, fill up with fuel and wend our way out on the road through the surrounding hills. It is the only city that I have visited that has a ‘border points’ on the roads leading to it. Apparently these are to detect naughty people trying to smuggle things through.
The hills give way to flatter land filled with game reserves and farms. Not farms as you might think of, but vast areas of land only capable of supporting quite small numbers of cattle or sheep. That continues all the way to the border.
If I forgot to mention before, Botswana is flat! There are also very few roads, and it is the first time I have seen a satnav show 500km to the next junction. Petrol stations are very infrequent, perhaps 200km apart, reflecting the limited traffic which mostly comprises of bakkies and huge trucks with double-articulated trailers, and animals….
One cannot relax driving here. Cattle wander randomly across the road, as do donkeys and then there are the ‘chickens’.
These huge birds graze the wide verges seemingly impervious to the passing traffic. And yet if one slows down at all, they raise their heads high and run for cover. Not that it is that easy to hide when you’re that size, but getting decent photos was impossible. We slowed down or stopped a number of times only to get a glimpse of tail feathers. Of the many ideas discussed to pass time, the most constructive use for a dead ostrich was as camouflage for speed cameras. Alternatively, it would make for a serious braai.
Then there was the bakkie broken down by the roadside a long way from help.
The guys had dismantled the rear axle and one stood hopefully by the side of the road with a half-shaft in his hand. We gave him a lift to the nearest roadside fuel stop where there were also some repair shops, but it was at least 60km from the truck.
Close to the border with South Africa, there is a long downhill section with various warnings for truck drivers. The last of these is ‘to the point’ (see photo!).
The border crossing was again painless, both sides being dealt with in a few minutes. Having driven nearly 3,000km on the round trip without issue, approaching the outskirts of Johannesburg we had to brake very hard to miss a pedestrian. He was crossing a major highway seemingly oblivious to the traffic passing at about 110kph in each direction. Far from jumping out of the way, he made no indication of having noticed us missing him by about a metre. No idea what he was on but……..
Anyway, weary from the 15 hour drive, it was great to crawl into bed!
Annemarie is flying out on the 5th Oct, so now time to get planning some travelling around SA.