Was pretty tired so fell asleep early last night so was up at the crack of dawn oh ok 6 oclock so started packing to leave. It was pretty reasonable had cooled down alot and when I thought where id ride to i thought if I get up to the pan handle of the delta to see that end of the Ochavango and the Poppa falls that would be cool, thats only 400 odd k's, so had a light breakfast then hit the road, if I get to where I planned I'll be there by lunch time and before it gets to hot, well that was the plan anyway.
Rode for about two hours and came across a servo so thought id stop for juice. Well that aint going to happen their computer system is down so no petrol. Fortunately the 10 litres i carry will get me to the next town but theres so many people turning up wanting petrol. I was just about to get on the bike and i say to the guy would you like me to have a look i know a bit about computers. So back into the shop check all the power and make sure everythings plugged in. Ok the button looks broken on the front that shouldnt be hard to fix so off with the side to get access and whoa this thing is so full of dust and cobwebs and i mean full. We get it cleaned by using compressed air but im pretty sure thats half there battle its an old pc and been sitting there for donkeys years by the look of it.
Cant get it going so i ask if they have another pc as we could transfer the hard drive with the program they need to run the pumps from the one with a fault. So we do that the guy loads it up, the programs loaded in so all looking good, I go to pack the bike back up and have a drink. I come back into the shop to see if its working and the chick cashier says the manager needs to put in his password in and he's having lunch in the office, I knocked on the door to no answer, it wasnt as if he was trying to not pay me or something cause i told him i dont want money id fix it just so the guys can get back to work and earn some tips. So when he wasnt coming out i just thought stuff this ive just spent an hour and a half fixing this guys system and he's to busy having lunch to come put his password in, we are on African time so no big deal so I think oh well it'll work sometime ive got enough fuel im out of here. so walk out the door and start getting organised to leave.
Met a few South African guys cruising around and they weren't going anywhere, they were almost out of fuel and the next nearest servo was far enough away that they were no chance of making it, im sure they weren't lone rangers out of all the cars sitting around waiting. Being somewhere by lunchtime and before it got to hot was gone, ok it wasnt that hot 39.5 so reasonable compared to the last few days. Only about 170k's to the Poppa falls and the pan handle ill get there and call it a day, that still included a border crossing as well. As i left one of the young guys came out with two bottles of frozen water oh cool straight into the front of my jacket they'll keep me cool, well cooler was very nice of them to give me them, it certainly makes a big difference having that icy cold water.
All the pump attendants were saying goodbye I had tipped them even though they only filled the bike up with my own fuel. I could probably be accused of being a tad generous with my tips while im travelling but if you take the time to see how badly they are all exploited a few sly bucks from some Aussie bum will help just a little. Makes a big difference being able to be generous with tips you instantly become their mate and they just want to help you in any way they can which is always nice. Like the other night I slipped the waitress 50 rand then went and slipped the chef who cooked my dinner a few bucks as well and the way they get paid over here ive probably just given them a few hours wages and with dinner drinks and tips it still works out about the same price as buying a dinner down the pub at home so im still walking out happy and so is everyone else. I know people say you shouldnt tip unless they deserve it but from what I can see they all deserve it for just being there smiling and getting paid what they do.
Back on the road I crossed the border from Botswana to Namibia no real dramas must admit was getting pretty tired by now it was still sitting just on 40c The Namibian customs guy says where you staying in Namibia i just say i dont know, where should i stay. He gives me a tip on a few lodges not far away and puts it in the paperwork and away i go. Go outside and have a chat to one of the local guys hanging around outside the office the people in Botswana are really pretty friendly. We stood around jibbering for 10 minutes and then I said goodbye and hit the road, standing around in 40 degree heat in motorcycle gear isnt conjusive to staying cool.
Rode off onto the Namibian dirt roads again and headed towards where the customs guy had told me the lodge was. Was a little bit further than he said but thats standard. Eventually I come to the turn off its only a few k's down to the camp but its deep soft sand, damn no way I think im riding 50 metres in this shit so turn around and hit the road again, the border cop did say there was 5 or 6 along here so it's no drama I'll find something, the next one sign had a hotel the road looked ok but the sign had no pool on it so I thought mmm maybe the next one, flying along oh shit there was another one and that had a pool on the sign oh well I've gone past it now ill get the next one, you guess it no pool on the sign, ok the next one, sandy crappy road ok the next one I'm going in whether there is a pool on the sign or the road is crappy I'm running out of options.
Ride in and by this time im so rooted my back is killing me and im struggling to stand up straight, its so friggin ordinary. It certainly is a pain in the ass to have to push yourself so hard all the time but the alternative of just sitting on my ass and doing nothing and still being sore all the time isnt really all that appealing. I asked the girl if theres any vacancies which she says yes then i ask how much, WTF HOW MUCH ahahahah oh well stuff it im not in much of a state to go look anywhere else im already struggling badly. Put it this way any guys camping aren't going to stay here there a few weeks camping fees in one night. Im so lucky to just be able to walk up to any place of any standard and just go yep im in, certainly takes a lot of pressure off me, id certainly have to reevaluate how far I travelled in a day if I had to stuff around looking for something cheaper especially in this heat.
So grab a key to the room start walking to it and its down this big hill a few hundred metres from the reception and carrying all my gear to it isnt really an option in the state im in so I drop what i have in my hands and walk back to get the bike and ride all my gear down to the room. Walked in, its really nice 5 star stuff so lie down in a lounge and put the air con on and take a few minutes to let the pain die down a bit. I was only out on the road for 7 hours including that effort to fix those pc's but thats enough when you feel like I do and its 40 odd Celsius. Take all my gear off which takes 2 minutes and the phone rings and the girl says you cant take the bike down there and are you coming back up to pay, I felt like saying go F$&k yourself but just said I had to get all my gear to my room and ill be up in a minute.
So I ride the bike back up to the car park and walk over to the office and pay, order a couple of cokes and ice and go and jump in the swimming pool. Ahh now thats better. While I was relaxing in the pool I noticed a few oldies starting to hang around the office so I asked the girl what are they up to and she tells me that they are going on a cruise on the river, cool book me on too so off I go to get my camera and head on over to the boat cruise. I was still pretty tired but im only here the night and i really did want to go for a cruise on this end of the Ochavango Delta. Obviously being the kind of place it was the boat was pretty nice so that made for a very relaxing enjoyable cruise to see hippos, crocodiles, the Poppa Falls and all the locals that live and use the river for their every day life from fishing bathing and just staying cool.
The other tourist's that I was on the boat with were probably in their late 60's to 70's and some of them looked absolutely exhausted must be hard to travel in one of those big bus trucks they use with activity after activity trying to fit everything into a few weeks. I did have some sympathy for the old dude sitting next to me he looked so stuffed he certainly looked like he'd had enough for the day, he was probably looking at me thinking this young whipper snapper looks like death warmed up or whatever they say in German.
Got back from the cruise feeling alot better after relaxing for a few hours on the beautiful delta and headed back to my room for awhile. In the room there was a big bath and I thought why not so turned the taps on and went and relaxed waiting for it to fill. Jumped in and it was actually so relaxing soaking in a hot tub spent over an hour in there then a nice shower got changed and headed up to the four course meal that was part of the price. I must admit the dinner was absolutely beautiful starter was some tuna shit but bloody nice then the brought out another pasta mornay dish of some type, he asked if im enjoying i said yes you keep bringing this food and ill keep eating it, its beautiful. Had rump steak for main again then a chocalate putting with custard. "Ohhhh yes rather nice" hahaha im saying that in a snobbish tone if you cant hear it.
Finished dinner had a quick chat to the South Africa guy that was the tour leader of the other group that I had met on the river cruise and he gave me some good tips on the Vic falls and Kasane on the border and that I should spend a bit of time there as the animal life is amazing, ill work that out as I go and get closer. All in all a pretty exhausting day but finished off brilliantly. Ill head off tomorrow and head across the Caprivi strip and get to Katimo Mulilo or over that way somewhere. Wherever I end up I wont be far from the Vic Falls. What a day, had it all again, very exhausting, lots of pain, lots of relaxing, lots of beautiful scenary and more importantly great memories.
You just have to put up with some accomadation dont you
Guess where the lonely guy is sitting for dinner, bloody beautiful 4 course meal though.
Poppa Fall Botswana