Boabab Inn to Royal Kruger Lodge
Left the Boabab inn about 10 and headed up to the Swaziland border which was about 60k's up the road. I got there wondering ok here we go with my first border crossing in Africa lets see how i go with this, it was always going to be the one thing that worried the most paperwork and organizing things.
Got directed into the carpark by the guys and got off the bike and headed into the South African part of it and ok they just stamped my passport and got my bike registration, no need to worry about the carnet as its an internal border, so they say, I was a little apprhensive about that but ill go off what they say. 5 minutes later my passport and everything is ok and im off to the gate and straight through into the Swaziland gate, its surprising the difference a 100 metres makes, straight into a run down building and have my passport stamped and give them the card and im through.
Walked back over to my bike and had a chat with the crew at the gate to Swaziland, they were all so friendly, had a ciggie break with them for 15 minutes talking about the bike where im going etc standard stuff. The young guy at the gate asked if I have an old bike and asked if I can give it to him, I said id post it to him which we all laughed at.
Drove straight through Swaziland which is only a about a 2 hour ride, stopped off at a little town for petrol all very friendly people as has everywhere Ive been so far. I've come across alot of servos out of petrol already in South Africa, the 10 litre jerry can I got is going to come in handy even before I get out of the main stream towns.
Got to the north border of Swaziland, had my passport stamped again only 5 minutes and headed to the South African side of it. So far no dramas being the internal border, im sure that will change as I go to cross an internatioanl border but its a good learning curve being so easy but gives me some idea how it all works crossing over land.
Rode up to the girl at the gate of South Africa and I hadn't declared my computer and camera gear which supposedly your meant to do but no one till her had said anything so after a brief chat she said next time declare it, ok no probs.
I had heard that you had too but as no one asked about it so I thought bugger it. All you need to do is keep the serial numbers of your computer camera etc and the make all pretty basic really, I wonder if it will be any different when I cross international lines ill have to make sure to ask just to save any hassles.
Drove the rest of the way to where Vern had told me on the map then realised I had one small detail missing that of the where I was going, he had given me the area but not the name of the lodge and with there being lodges everywhere I though I better ring and see actually find out.
He probably had given me the name but maybe it was me overlooking the fact, something Ive got to be alot more careful about. I learnt that lesson in Thailand taking off not remembering the name of where I was staying riding 20 k's away and then going hang on a second where the f&^k am I staying, I am sure I'm not the first person to have done that.
Luckily I had a few bucks credit left in my phone it costs heaps to ring on the SA numbers so went through my credits quicker than expected. Had the Lodge number so thought id try them and got no answer and as I had stuff all credits thought id hang up and just ring Vern. Got onto Vern and as I got him the phone rang and it was Arianna the girl who runs the lodge with Gavin replying to my call so I quickly hung up and took the call and they gave me the name and final directions to where they were. After they gave it to me I put it in the gps and there it was so no dramas at all. I had used the paper maps Vern had given me all the way so far with only looking at the Gps to see when the turn offs where coming up so the paper maps defiantly come in handy still.
Arrived At around 3:30 so had a good 5 or so hours on the bike was a little tired chuck in the unstressful border crossings which seem to take a little of my energy, but thats just me most people would cruise through with no dramas.
Seems to effect me physically still a little having to use my brain even for a little while wears me out probably a bit more than id like to admit, (harden up princess) got to keep telling myself that all the time.
Got a really friendly welcome Gavin and Arianna, they are so nice been absolutely blessed to meet some extrodinarily nice people so far on my adventure.
There was another couple from the UK Peter and Jenny that had arrived today too so after they had been given the tour of the place we sat down and had a chat then headed over to the area where they have and open fire and sat around it for dinner, very very nice it was too, four courses which included a beautiful rump steak, they love there meat over here in South Africa which suits me just fine.
Was pretty stuffed and we have decided to do a half day game drive in the Kruger in the morning so have to be up at 4:30am to get organised and hit the gate of the park at 6 to get the best of it, so adios amigos sleep time at 9:30pm pfft early for me but ill need it my back and neck is pretty sore today after the 5 hours in the saddle.
rideforsmiles screwed with this post 12-17-2013 at 02:03 PM