Sunday, November 23, 2008

5 September 2008

Safari chalet at Kalahari Trails, just outside Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

After breakfast at Libby's Lodge this morning, we went to Elron Motors and met up with Neil Nel to take possession  of our 4x4. Niel was a bit of a chatterer, so it took a while, and my credit card was declined because it looked like "fraudulent activity"--had to call USBank and have them remove the block. Then, off to the airport to drop off our trusty VW Polo. After that, a ~R400 shopping trip at Pick 'n' Pay, followed by a cinnamon-sugar pancake (crepe) in aid of a laĆ«rskool [primary school] (R4 each). YUMMY! Wish we'd bought a few more! Then, off on our big adventure to the real Kalahari. 

Imagine our horror wen we'd used up a half tank of petrol in about 1.5 hours! At 80 l (tank size) and ~R10/l, that adds up. We already miss having a small car! We filled up with petrol at Ashkam, a teeny town along a dust road. A police truck filled up with petrol ahead of us (one working pump) and spent R1060 on petrol! We saw ~20 people total in the town and the only one working was the petrol attendant (the two police were sitting in the shade drinking water).

Our receipt for petrol in Ashkam. Sweet, hey?

Then, we arrived at Kalahari Trails and were almost immediately led on a ~10 minute drive to our tent. A British couple (Karen (?) and Richard) followed behind us and have the tent next to ours. We all sat in the shade of our respective tent porches for the next two hours, seeing a few Springbok venture to the water source [we saw a herd of wildebeest there on our way in, and had also seen a jackal... Kalahari Trails is a privately owned piece of land with some animals (no big cats)]. We then invited the Brits to come join us for supper, since they were going to have pasta and the same brand of cheese sauce as us, and had no way of cooking without heading back to the "lodge" kitchen. I made us a big pot of pasta with the two cheese sauces, and added in a can of mushrooms and a can of baby corn (their contribution) and a fresh tomato and grated cheese (our contribution). They washed the dishes and then we sat around watching the stars and chatting. Now, am lying on a very droopy mattress [on a camp cot] and am about to go to sleep.
The view from our safari tent.

Some critter trail in the sand dune behind our chalet.

PS. Spoke to mom last night and Roger [my grandfather who lives in New Orleans] is safely back in his house post Hurrican Gustav and the only damage is the loss of his pecan crop for the year.

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