A road less travelled

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The last two days have been about covering distance…making my way back to Windoek, where I leave from on Monday. My last Internet connection was in Kasane, Botswana. I started the day on Friday morning early and headed through the top of Chobe game reserve to the border with Namibia. I planned to enter at a small border post and travel along the Caprivi strip,mthe narrow piece of land sandwiched between Botswana and Angola. It was sunny with little traffic when I hit a police road block. This seems to be common throughout my travels and usually is fairly quick, with the usual drivers license inspection and sometimes a look through the vehicle. Somewhere through the sand and water crossings I had lost my front license plate, which is an offense. I had to spend about 20 minutes filling out forms, and they wanted payment before I left the country. After some “negotiations” I paid 100 Pula, about 12 dollars…

The border crossing was easy, but I got nervous about not having a license plate. As most of the road blocks were ahead, I simply changed the back plate to the front..no problem so far.

The Caprivi strip is an interesting piece of real estate. It has been in the middle of several conflicts, most recently the Angolan civil war, when the Namibian government allowed Angolan military access through here to fight the rebels across the river. Even though the war ended about 10 years ago, hardly any tourists venture up here. It is a beautiful drive with the road hugging the river, and many small villages along the way. It seems really desolate, and there is hardly any traffic. I stayed in an interesting camping area, run by a south African couple. They have lived here for thirty years, and had some incredible stories to tell. They mainly get “birders” as guests, as this are is well known for many species and migrations. They said birders come, whether ther is war or not!!!!

Today I made the drive from Rundu back down towards the centre of the country. My first stop was for gas, but the power was out and they were not able to pump. It seems that the entire northern part of Namibia has no power, as apparently the main high voltage line had 6 of their steel towers “fall”over. It is a big deal, as they have to build a bypass, and need the materials from South Africa. There the truckers are on strike, so no one is sure what will happen. The next town I came to was entirely in the dark, with only a few places open with portable generators.

THIS IS AFRICA!!!!!!

I am planning to be back in Windhoeck tomorrow, where sadly the journey will end..

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