Life & Travels Afloat in our Moody
Leaving the park gate at Kaa behind, we had optimistically thought that the ‘road’ would then be rather easier. Not so, it was just as bad, and another long sand slog followed. We had prepared a number of possible routes through to Maun, the main entry town to the Okavango Delta. But after these tracks, decided to try and take the shortest one to tarred roads.
It took us along a very long ‘community’ track, again very evidently rarely used. There were some animals, and a couple of snakes (black mambas we think), but the bush is fascinating wherever you go.
It was not until we came to the actual village some 70 kms away that we saw any signs of people or vehicles. It doesn’t sound far until you take actual speed into account. 20 km/hr (12m/hr) if you are lucky! But the relief to be back on the black stuff is huge!
As an aside, for the last 6 months, I had been suffering from sciatica. It wasn’t going to stop the trip, but it was a bit concerning. Yet after the first weeks of the trip, it was apparent that getting jolted around in the car had cured the problem. Thank you, Lord!
The information we had was that there was no fuel or formal campsite for many hundreds of miles. But thankfully it was way out of date. At Ghanzi, we saw billboards for a number of camps, and we elected to try the Palme Atlantique. Great choice! We were shown a beautiful campsite, right next to some individual lodge rooms. Temptation won, and we took a room for the night.
The big surprise here was the sight of three vintage Bentleys from the UK. We got chatting with the owners, who are on a world tour! More surprising still was that one owner lives only a few miles from us in the UK, and our children were at school together.
More good news came with the sight of a new Shell petrol station! The old adage of fill up whenever you can applies in this part of the world.
Maun was reached after an easy (after all that sand!) drive, and we settled in to the camp we have used before. The reception told us we could go to a film that night on the other side of the road. It was ‘Operation Mincemeat’ with Colin Firth in the lead, the true story of wartime deception. The venue was a semi-open air bohemian building with a café, clothes boutique, etc. As the film credits rolled at the end, there was a loud gasp, and exclamation “The Queen has died”.
A very sad end to the day, and indeed to an era that had lasted all our lives.