Out of the Okavango Delta

We made it through Zimbabwe to Victoria Falls just fine on the bus and the train and then stayed at a pleasant backpackers in Victoria Falls. We caught up with the Kumaka truck and have now just come out of the delta. I was put with the computer in the cafe with a plastic rubber keyboard, making it extemely hard to type, but we will be back in Joburg in 2 days and start to post photos and all of each day’s exploits. The next two days are just long travel days so we will have lots of time to type.

Write more later.

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Our Day in the Okavango Delta

14 July

Everyone on the trip had expected another early morning rise (about 5AM), but Julius informed us last night that waking up at 6:50 would be fine. Breakfast would be at 7 and the makoros would be departing for our walk at 7:30. I thought this was a bit strange considering typically the best viewing of animals is early morning when they are out and about scrounging for food, but who am I to argue with the guys who spend their days in the delta.

By 7AM almost everyone had emerged from their tents and were hovering around the camp fire, trying to wait patiently for a taste of Jay’s famous french toast. The group that had traveled with Jay and Sarah from Nairobi constantly talked about how the one thing Jay cooked really well was french toast, so when he offered to make us some for breakfast last night everyone thought it was a splendid idea. Continue reading

Journey into the Okavango Delta

July 13

I woke early again to shower, which was one of the worst decisions I have made in a long time. The air could not have been even at 0 degrees, and though I jaunted over to the shower rooms, and threw on the scalding water, I shivered and shivered throughout the entire time, getting even colder once I turned off the water and stood wet in the still freezing conditions. Alisa also slept poorly, so we weren’t in the best of moods this morning, but there was no time to commiserate as we had to take down our tents and get ready to pack the truck that was coming. As soon as it pulled on the sand in the lodge, I realized my luck was not getting any better as it was an open air truck with two long back to back benches running the length of the middle of the truck We pack all of our supplies, and help move all the food and kitchen equipment that is also going into the Delta underneath the seats, and then Alisa puts her big wool blanket on her lap and I break out my sleeping bag in order to give us some protection on this bitter morning. The trek out to the main road along the sand tracks wasn’t terrible, but once on the main road and cruising at 80km the wind and the cold were biting. The fact that this was a 90+ minute ride added no comfort and so I tried to sleep the ride away with Alisa and I bundled closely together. No one spoke the whole way, though the wind would have made that difficult, but it was obvious that everyone was trying to solider through. We stopped on the side of the road by a bakery for Jay to run in and get fresh loafs for our two days, and we drew the most peculiar looks from passersby. At first I thought this odd as this was the ‘Gateway to the Delta’ and locals must be used to seeing tourists and Westerners, but then I realized that we all probably looked a bit disheveled and perhaps a little migrant looking with all the blankets and apparel that we had put on to protect us from the cold. What a sight we must have been! Continue reading

The Road to Maun on Kumuka

July 12

Up at 5 am this morning in order to do the 600 kms to Maun, it was our first day of rising early after a night in the cold and getting straight to work of packing the truck and then tent. The tent was fairly easy to pack. Jay, our thin but build English truck driver, had given John and Christine and Alisa and I a good demo of how to set up and take down the tent. The hard part was getting the clips that held the tent to the frame when they were already tight to begin with, but with my hands already growing numb, I had to don gloves in order to not damage my fingers too badly. I had made the decision to shower that morning, but that proved inadvisable as Alisa was left to disassemble the tent herself, and we were the last packed and on board the bus. Continue reading