And on to Maun

August 12, 2016 - Maun, Botswana


Blog Day 9


August 12


The road from Xhumaga to Maun is long and straight.  The countryside is semi-desert, barren and sandy and yet there are dwellings.  Goodness know what people do here to survive.  There is also all sorts of livestock wandering around and one has to be on the lookout for goats, especially which seem to bolt across the road when you least expect it.  The cattle seem to have a bit more road sense and will watch until there is a gap in the traffic before they slowly trundle across the road.


As we neared Maun the traffic increased and there did seem to a bit more greenery around.  However, Maun is still a dusty frontier town filled with tourists heading off to the Okavango swamps and the Chobe and Moremi Game Reserves.  Lots of tourists kitted out in safari gear and backpackers carrying everything on their backs.


We arrived at Old Bridge Backpackers which was the sister camp to Maun rest Camp where we were booked to camp for the night.  We were hot and tired (we’re in the Tropics now) and so sat down in  a lovely restaurant area which overlooks the Motomi River – the river which meanders through Maun and heads south to where we had been staying the night before.  Coffee for me and beers for the other revived us and we had a look at what was on offer in the way of tourist activities.


Some of our party elected to go on a Mokoro trip tomorrow and Liz and I decided to take a 3-hour basket weaving course this afternoon.  Terry is going to town to try and get the viscous clutch for the fan.


We crossed the rive to our lovely campsite net to the river, and were told that we could walk across to Old Bridge to the bar and restaurant and they would bring us home.  So no worries about walking back across the rather rickety bridge or driving under the influence.


The others went off and found a plane to take them on a ‘flip’ over the Okavango Delta.  Came back really excited about its beauty and the number of wildlife they could see from the air.


Liz and I had a relaxing afternoon with Sonja, a delightful lady who is really a master weaver.  She has managed to get together a kind of women’s co-operative, teaching the skill of weaving and helping them to become financially independent.  She talks with missionary zeal about her work and has travelled all over the world displaying her work and meeting with other women’s co-operatives.  Anyhow, 3 hours later and all Liz and I had managed to make was a little coaster.  It made one realise how much time and effort goes into making one of the large baskets we see in curio shops around Cape Town.  And what a pittance we are paying for them.  A large basket can take anything up to a month to make.


Back at camp we had a shower and walked over the Old Bridge (a structure originally made of huge logs and then covered with cement, now only a foot path with some rather tricky parts to walk across).  The sun was setting and the air still.  Animals were wandering along the banks of the river and lights just coming up at the Pub and campsites along the river – Africa at its most beautiful.


We found a table in a pretty crowded restaurant – bar area and made the mistake of ordering drinks before we ordered our food.  The food order took about an hour and a half to appear and was excellent but by this time most of our party had had quite a lot to drink.  I had an excellent burger which I actually couldn’t finish – so much of their excellent beef.  Beef here is so inexpensive and very, very good.


So then into an open game viewing vehicle to drive us home.  By now it was pretty chilly and none of us had really prepared for a cold drive home.  It was hilarious but we were chilled to the bone before we got back and fell into bed.

1 Comment

August 18, 2016
The basket weaving sounds fun!
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