Thursday, 3 January 2008

Moremi - Day 7

Last night we had great luck with the hyena – we set up the camera and video and waited in the roof tent with the flashlight.  And sure enough, he was there – probably it had something to do with the bones from the t-bones we had.  He was a little bit shy with the light and took off a couple of times but kept coming back, so got some nice shots.

This morning was packing up time – even though we keep most of the stuff in the car, it still takes a while – about 2 hours in the end.  Did start us off with a good cooked breakfast of bacon, eggs and grillers to give us energy…

Getting used to the packing up, so things went pretty smoothly, except for jumping when we saw these really creepy looking centipedes under the ground tent ;)

Also found a frog on our tent – quite an amazing looking one – he was white with red feet and underside – we figure that if he’s brightly coloured, he must be poisonous, but gonna have to look him up when we get back.

Done with the packing and went to have a quick shower at the ablutions, where the water is cold and there are bats hanging from the ceiling… Also saw the 2 local people who are the helpers for the campers next door, busy washing their clothes.  We had seen them 2 days previously in the river at our campsite, and had figured that they were from the nearest village taking a wash in the river, but they were actually with the camp next door.

Some of the campsites are very scenic, one in particular looks out over the river, but there is very little privacy.  It’s still an option to consider, though I think it’s a prime spot that gets taken very quickly.  The couple originally camping next to us had spotted it and attached their toilet seat to the campsite tree with their snatch strap to claim it while they went to get the rest of their stuff! What is this???
Campsite with a view of the river at 3rd bridge
Showers done and now it’s time to tackle the road back… Originally the plan was to go up and out at North Gate, but that would have meant going through the road with all the deep water holes near Hippo Pools and after the rain of the previous day, we decided to stick to what we knew and come back the way we had come in… just hope that the road hasn’t gotten too much worse in the last 4 days…
Lunch at South Gate

We made it back – Hoorah! We were both really nervous coming back this way because of the rain that had happened in between.  We got to 2nd Bridge and the water hole was a lot deeper and longer than 2 days ago.  But water wasn’t really our problem on the way out, it was the mud.

The problem with the mud is that people start taking alternative routes around the main track, so when you come to a muddy section, there are so many options and they all look nasty. The main track almost always looks the worst, but the secondary tracks are almost always a lot boggier than the main well-compacted track despite its higher water levels. “When in doubt stick to the main track’” is what we did on the way back, and it worked – got to South Gate without getting stuck despite some hairy moments.  There were some deep water holes as well, but none as deep as the Hippo Pools ones.  Now if the water only makes it to the bonnet, it’s a non-event ;)
Having lunch at South Gate
Bit of a worry that the car has started making a metallic-sounding noise, but don’t have much choice but to carry on.  At least we’re at South Gate now and not still in the park, but know that the road ahead, even if it is graded, is still going to be a bitch.  So for now, we’re relaxing under the trees at the South Gate campsite with biltong in pasta and hoping we’ll make it to Maun without too much drama.

Later on…
Hoorah! Made it to Maun!  The road wasn’t too bad, except for a couple of waterholes in the road – one in particular nearly saw us in the middle of it…

The noise on the car started getting worse, so decided that we should take it into Riley’s.  We only got to Maun after 5, so they were closed, but the foreman told us we can bring it in first thing tomorrow morning.  Now we’re checking on a place to stay for the nigh – looks like they have camping spots at the Sedia Hotel – the name amuses me, but they’re the closest to town.

Got a place at Sedia – it’s a nice camping area overlooking the river.  Only problem is thieving apparently.  One of the guys working here said that guys jump over the fence so we should be careful, so we’ve decided to move a little away from the river, closer to the other campers.  Strange, all we’ve had to look out for at night has been a hungry hyena and noisy baboons, but have just been reminded that we have returned to the concrete jungle.

We had dinner at the Sedia Hotel.  Despite our misgivings, it was good.  My half chicken and chips and Dru’s burger with everything was tasty.  They could even organise us a plastic cup of ice, which we thought was definitely not going to happen without a lot of hand gesturing and “Hakitse”ing ;)

Got back to the tent for the evening with our Nachtmusik on ice.  Luckily the campers next door had shut off their music for the night, but the old guy was still walking around watching us…

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