Sunday, 13 May 2007

BOTSWANA BUSH-BIKING




Awakening from a pleasant dream the other night, it took a while for me to orientate myself. Then I realised that I was in a tiny Botwana village, camping in someone's dusty backyard somewhere between the chicken run and the vegge patch (and I'm grateful to those people, also for giving me of their scarce water). The following day I had a head-on battle with a dust storm to reach Mahalapye, where I camped next to a "lodge". The big shots of Botswana Railways were having a dinner party at the lodge, and I thank them for providing me with a large plate of food (pap, meat, and salad), as well as a drink. Enquiring about camping at one lodge, I asked the receptionist if they had a spot where I could put my tent. She went off to find out from the manager, and when she returned she said I could just leave my tent in the reception office! Arriving in Palapye yesterday I was surprised to even see a sign indicating a camp site. I followed the sign expecting at best a fenced-off patch of baked red earth, perhaps sprouting some thorn trees. Great was my surprise when I arrived at Itumela Camp and found it to be a veritable oasis, also catering for the likes of overland adventure groups (I even watched the rugby on a big screen). So, I've decided to take a rest day here in Palapye today, doing my washing and the internet (courtesy of the management - in their home).

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