After our extraordinary experience at ‘Hotel Paradiso’
John and I left the town without a backwards glance,
(I didn’t dare to have a last look, who knows what other
scary sights we might have overlooked!)
Which window would you choose?
We were headed for the cleanest and most simplistic
accommodation I have ever enjoyed before, red sand,
a tree or maybe two, a circle of stones to build our own cooking
and safety facilities, no fences, no defenses.
Our very own Paradiso, Botswana Wild Style.
But let me not get ahead of myself!
We drove to Kuruman, a small town in the Northern Cape
where we were meeting up with Reggie, the most fearless person
I have ever spent any time with.
I discovered at this point that we were traveling in the worlds
largest sand mass, and the vegetation and colours supported
this fully. Reds, Oranges, Golds…such beauty.
Camping for the first night of our trip
was a totally fabulous experience at ‘Red Sands’,
a reserve run by very ordered and solid Germans.
Clean took on a new meaning
and suddenly the adventure became do-able…
until at team talk-time (The team ‘Simba” T shirts
were handed out and do’s and don’ts discussed.)
Reggie was in charge as this was his 7th trip into the wilderness
and therefore knew what to expect…possibly.
But when we were told that the time had come
to collect small round pebbles and were
handed our ‘security system,’
a catapult and and a cloth bank bag for the pebbles,
The penny dropped.
Wild, very wild camping.
We entered Botswana through a little know and seldom used border post,
McCarthy’s rest a new and lonely sentry post with a great welcoming team,
(I almost mention the Gupta wedding guests but think I’d better not!)
and began the most extraordinary drive, on a road which is referred to as
‘a cutting’, a huge swathe of sand with many vehicle tracks
but not another traveller in sight. 50 kms of thick sand…in 90 minutes,
a baptism by sand!
Fortunately Reggie likes to drive fast, as we were traveling behind him
and we squeaked into the camp gates 5 minutes before the gates closed.
Rushing to set up camp in Mabuasahube before sunset, we passed a
Leopard, a leopard! It was just sitting chilling, my first ever sighting
but no time to stay..
Setting up camp in the dark is the first don’t on the list.
And so it is in the natural world, you never know what might happen, or who might come to visit?
Our new neighbours,
a ground squirrel, a jackal and a brown hyena, not to mention a cheeky hornbill!
With the anticipation of a 2 night stop after 3 full days on the
road and with our camp fire blazing, we settled down
with a Kgalagadi sunset and a glass of good red.
To life! To a new day and to another adventure filled day.