Back to Maun
Stage 67 (49): bush camp to Maun
A half hour delayed start this morning; no point getting into Maun too early. I was up a few times during the night for the usual reasons (which happens when one deliberately tries to drink as much water as one can to stay well-hydrated); the sky had cleared, the moon was up but at less than a quarter and the stars were brilliant with no urban light out here on the edge of the Kalahari to interfere.
Actually almost chilly this morning; was thinking perhaps it was a mistake to have packed my rain jacket along with all else in the duffel. But once we started moving, I soon warmed up; David and I, this morning. We started out a little faster than usual probably because of the coolness but then settled back into a groove which carried us through the morning at a good clip. Once again, almost no traffic at all, and very good tarmac.
The land very familiar to me from my previous years in Botswana; I tried to count in my head how many times I’d driven this section of road but soon gave it up as a lost cause. I did recall that the first time I came this way, it was calcrete all the way from Nata to Maun; the paving must have happened after ‘92 or ‘93. Somewhat unremarkable landscape, the very occasional small pan appearing but otherwise mixed acacia and scrub bush. The road is not perfectly straight, it does have gentle curves here and there, and almost imperceptible rises and declines so that one can always look forward to what might be around the next bend.
No wildlife spotted other than lots of birds; also birdsong very audible over the sounds of my own breathing. Most obvious are the pigeons and doves, but I hear francolin for sure early on, and later we see a white pelican, and the usual drongos, rollers, also a harrier-hawk. I see many others for which I should know the name but most (almost all!) I’ve forgotten.
We get to ‘lunch’ far too early. That doesn’t stop me from loading up a plate, though, and cleaning it off in double-time.
We arrive into the outskirts of Maun very soon after lunch break; new buildings and roads everywhere. Even traffic lights, now. I find the old power station (which now houses various offices) and drop off the room key to planet baobab which we’d omitted to turn in on Tuesday morning; then we seek and find the Orange mobile shop so David can top up his data plan. After that, it’s a quick run out to the Sedia Hotel, which is the camp location for the next two nights. Tomorrow is another rest day; we’ve elected to take a room for the two nights. We don’t particularly need a rest day, but Maun is right on the edge of the Okavango Delta and many will want to at least see the delta via an overflight of some kind, or by a day ‘makoro’ (dugout canoe) boat trip.
Even with our stops, we’re early enough that we have to wait an hour or two before getting into our room. Some drying of tents, a restorative ale, a small snooze carries us to almost dinner time. Then it’s a short walk to the Okavango Craft Brewery for dinner and of course, product research into their line up.
2 for 1 hamburger night, too!