Wednesday, September 21, 2011

08 August: Gweta to Maun to Okavango Delta

I think without a doubt this was the Longest Day of our trip, although not necessarily literally. We skipped breakfast at Planet Baobab (A) and headed out early for Maun (B) because The Trucker had noticed yesterday that there was something funny happening when he put the Pajero into 4x4 mode. So before we headed off into Okavango country, we needed to get this checked out and fixed. The Bush Mechanic that had taken a look yesterday at Planet Baobab thought it sounded simple and told us exactly where to go in Maun.

Unfortunately, things are never that simple :( After stopping at the place we were told and informed they didn't have the part but to try elsewhere, we ended up at Trans Motor World in Maun-dustria with Philemon shaking his head at us. No, no, they don't have Pajero parts.

But we hoisted her up and took off a wheel and the diff-lock (I was just nodding and smiling by this point without a clue in the world) and he checked it out. They couldn't find anything wrong and things did nothing but slow down after the thrill of the chase was over. So with nothing fixed and no ideas on what was broken we headed out to rent a 4x4.

Sigh, and eventually we headed out of Maun. It had not been a great day so far but we decided that to cheer ourselves up we wouldn't just grab a take-out and get on the road to our next destination but we'd stop and have lunch somewhere nice. My Aging Aunt had suggested The Old Bridge Backpackers, which was exactly the gorgeous setting we needed. It was beautiful, right on the river with yummy food. I definitely recommend it :)

And then we were off again. We went up around Moremi and ended up going thru a bit of Chobe to get to Sango Safari Camp (C). But not without some more trouble along the way. The drive was going well enough, we saw a few elephant. And then we came to the river crossings. It's hard to believe the river crossings will be un-crossable when for the most part you spend your time driving thru such dry sand. We'd never have made it across on our own and we were stuck without any cell-signal when a Sango vehicle came past us, en route to transfer some other guests. We attached a tow-rope and floated thru the worst parts of the river, grateful.

Needless to say that by the time we arrived, moods were a little frayed. We spent our evening at our gorgeous luxury tent and watched the sun set while listening to a hippo not far away. Sadly we didn't get to see him :(

We had a communal dinner in the main area and then headed back to bed to enjoy their gorgeous plush beds and listen to the sounds of wildlife around us. I will say it's really tricky to tell how close the animals are when it's so quiet at nighttime ... but it was easy to believe that the elephants we heard were pushing over trees really nearby. The hippo's also continued to call. Apparently there were also lions after I'd fallen asleep (The Trucker did not sleep well, listening to the cacophony surrounding our mere tent)

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