OUTSIDE OF SOUTH AFRICA: Well we decided to spend a few days outside of South Africa and have escaped just over the border to Gabarone, the capital of Botswana. It has been a fairly uneventful last few days as we have been resting up in our chalet, catching up on our interneting, and planning out our future travels. Today we hiked up Kgale hill. It is only 4000 feet up but offers a great view of downtown Gabarone. We had to avoid several baboons though on the way which was scary. They are only the size of small children or teenagers but I am still not sure what to do if attacked by one.. kick them in the jaw? I really have no idea so I am glad we were not attacked. The pictures you will see are of the South African border across the lake.
THE BACKPACKERS LODGE is quite nice. It is sort of resort-y in a way. It has a nice kitchen building, a bathroom building, and a swimming pool. It is quite chilly in the night, perhaps in the upper 30s, but it is still swimming weather in the daytime. There are piglets and hens and
dogs, cats, roosters, and other animals all around. You can here the hyenas in the distance. Each night the grounds workers bring us a rubber water bottle type of thing filled with boiling hot water that you put at the end of your bed. It warms your toes in the night and also throws a bit of heat up the bed as well. Tomoro we loose our chalet and are moving to a tent. It is rather large and has even a power cord in it. We are just paying 12 dollars a night each to stay here so it is quite reasonable. Still I'm sad to go to the tent but happy that we had some time in the chalet, which was a gift from the groundsmaster here Henrick.
THE GROUNDSOWNER HENRICK: We had a nice chat today and I think he has some good points. He said we are too uptight about traveling. I quite like having a booking for each night or at least have an idea where I am going. A lot of people here just arrive to a town and find a place to stay later. I think flexibility is nice but my flexibility
is more like “what will I eat for breakfast today,” rather than lets take a bus northward and see where it goes. I've just never been that flexible. Still, I think after we go back to finish in Jo-burg on the 20th we will head over to Maputo but with no return booking.
MOKOLODI NATURE RESERVE: Tomoro we found work some volunteer work in the Mokolodi nature reserve so we will be doing some painting. I'm hoping we'll be able to get a visit or two to the pet the cheetahs. They also have giraffe, hippos, rhinos, and the other typical Southern African wildlife but I am interested in the cheetahs this time. Later on our trek we will be going to the Okavango Delta and seeing many of these same types of animals. On the 8th we celebrated Laura's birthday with White Russians and chips (fries for the Americans) in the Mokolodi Restaurant on the grounds. She has now in her 28th year and I in my 30th. Since the life expectancy in Botswana is just 33 we are already very wise people.
UPCOMING DAYS: Friday we plan to work at the nature reserve in the morning
and perhaps go into town to watch the first World Cup match (South Africa versus Mexico). It is just such a pain afterward since we are 13km outside of town and its too dangerous to walk that far. Plus is will be dark so we have to try and find a minibus or sympathetic person. We've mostly been hitching rides. The minibuses never go in the direction you want them to. You don't tell the minibus driver where YOU want to go, he tells you where HE is going. To find a minibus (like a taxi) that goes where you want is never fun and takes forever. Of course you could always hire a private taxi but then that would use our entire daily budget (42$) just in transport. Saturday we will likely head to town to watch the USA-England game (unless someone from work offers us to watch it with them) and Sunday will be our last day here.
So until we get to Johannesburg again a top of the morning to you!
Lastly, youll hear it on tv but the vuvuzelahs (trumpet like instruments) sound like bees buzzing. Here is a link we posted on youtube,
Around the world trip; April 1, 2010 to August 1, 2011 (apx return date).
It will look something like this!
April-May: Washington DC to Roanoke, VA to Buffalo, NY
June-July: Cape Verde, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique
August-September: Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya
October-November: Qatar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India
December: Dubai, Abu Dabai, Oman
January-May: China, North Korea, Mongolia
June-July: Japan, Austrailia, New Zealand, French Polynesia... full info
Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. Four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the mos...more info