Day 24 –
L: Morning came after a fairly comfortable night with a few lumps in the old mattress, but everything was clean so we slept alright, but I had another dream about being in a spider’s web and woke up to realise that our mosquito-net was over my face, ugh.
We just don’t seem to come right as far as bathrooms go…………
The water had now been off for a full 12 hours so we had used our tank water to wash ourselves, our dishes as well as fill the cistern every time to flush the toilet.
S: I left Lesley and went back to the other accommodation place where the office is to ask about the water. They said that all their rooms were full there so there was nowhere for us to shower and that they could maybe organise a discount…….very vague with the language barrier too.
We made do with what we had and washed and dressed ready for the day and then went back again to the main residence for our promised breakfast. They obviously didn’t have a water problem. Breakfast was not ready at 8 even though they knew we were coming then and when it came, it was all instant. Instant coffee, powered milk, a breakfast plate consisting of a very flat fried egg, 2 slices of bread and a grilled Vienna sausage and……get this, wrapped up in cling-film. No, you cannot have jam and there were no condiments on the table either.
L: After breakfast I asked the lady serving us if she could please fill our flask with boiling water as we had no water in our room. She did and then asked one of the guests for the key to his room so that we could shower. We decided to forgo the shower as we were all washed, dressed and ready to move on.
Another day of Police Check-Points, one even asking us for our passports. We stopped later for a warm drink and when I had everything out of the car and ready to pour I realised that the water that waitress had put in the flask was ice-cold, grrrrrr. Oros coldrink was the substitute then.
I was a bit confused by something I kept seeing through the windscreen and Steve tried to convince me that it was just a dirty mark on the window. We eventually stopped and tried to take a pic, it was a huge flock of birds circling endlessly near the Okavango River. While we were there Steve went to photograph one of the locals with the big fish he had caught. The Tiger fish had another fish in its mouth when it was caught, that one was only half a fish. The Tiger fish had only got to eat half his dinner when he became dinner himself, ouch!
After driving for nearly 300kms we came to Haksembe River Lodge and camping and booked for a night or two. It is 10 kms before the town of Rundu.
Steve immediately set to servicing the bakkie and changing the oil etc. Things went quite smoothly until he discovered that the front CV joint’s rubber boot was broken with grease all over the place. After putting everything back together, we drove to town to look for the part. We passed an armed security guard riding up and down just before the town…………
S: After a few attempts, I managed to have Cymot say that they would order two of the parts that I need (one for each side while I am at it) from their branch in Windhoek and that it would arrive by noon tomorrow. Here’s hoping as we don’t want to delay too much.
Back to the campsite to watch the birds and sunset and wonder about the hippos that we think we heard in the river. This is a lovely spot with our own HOT shower, toilet and kitchen area, newly built. There are only 4 sites, but there are camping sites available further along the river.
L: We had a good braai, blogged and climbed up to bed. Night Peeps?
Day 25 –
L: We hit a cold patch again and woke up to pull on another blanket. We always take all the bedding into the rooftop tent so that we don’t have to go down to the car to fetch anything.
Steve was busy fixing the roof rack this morning as it had shifted about a centimeter on its bolts with the force of gravity as we came down Van Zyl’s Pass as it had all the extra fuel, extra water, another wheel, tool box etc which must have weighed about 150kgs maybe more.
So now that done, we could go into town in the hope of getting the parts Steve had ordered for the CV joints and a tool to repair them.
I need to find a new pair of aqua-shoes as I use them when we swim in rivers, cross rivers, fish and in the communal showers at all the camping places. We had seen a Tekkie Town, but when I eventually found the shop tucked away at the back of the centre it was like “stepping” (pardon the pun) back in time…….They have never heard of aqua-shoes and come to think of it, I did not see any Hi-Tec shoes either. I could not even find a cheap pair of tennis shoes for a substitute.
Steve then went in to Cymot to get the parts that he needed. He left the keys in the ignition so that I had the fan on and I had opened my window a crack and leaned over to press the central-locking button. Suddenly there was a man grabbing my door handle, I shouted at him and he said that someone was trying to steal from the back. I called Steve urgently through the walkie-talkie (two-way radio) and he came, but the man had run away. I realised that I had been watching the back via the reverse-camera so there was no-one else except the man who had tried to open my door. I think he probably got more of a fright than I did. Or I hope so!
The manager of Cymot came to see how I was doing, after Steve had told him about the incident, by then I was standing at the back of the locked and alarmed car with my pepper-spray in my hand. He said that Rundu is worse than Oshakati for crime as the criminals are coming over the border from Angola etc. we were very lucky and our policy of one staying in the car while the other shops, paid off. (They do have security, but he was walking around on the other side at the time).
S: After that I had to leave Lesley again, in commando mode, and managed to chat to the same manager who suggested that I buy a universal boot kit for the car (the spares had not arrived from Windhoek) and having fixed many rally cars suggested that I use 2 hammers simultaneously to knock off the tie-rod irons.
I struggled for an hour and as Lesley came to offer support and suggestions, the whole assembly dropped off perfectly. Using a rope to support the drive shaft from any further damage I was able to get the job done, cutting the boot to the right size. Oh, and since I have everything taken apart I have decided to replace the front shocks too.
L: We met, Brian, our neighbouring camper when he walked past and we apologised for any noise. He has been here for 7 months while working on the upgrade at the lodge. They are building a very impressive restaurant cum bar etc overlooking the river with a long, winding platform and balcony. It will be great when completed. We noticed last night that there is at least one house-boat too. A lady on the house-boat was dipping her feet in the water, not sure if anyone warned her of the crocs and hippos………
There are many different species of birds and this afternoon alone I have seen a Black Eagle, African Openbills and two Pied Kingfishers and heard an African Fish Eagle and many other chattering Weavers etc.
It is lovely here, but we are keen to get going as soon as we can…….
S: After 5 hours of agonising work on the car, Lesley insisted on dragging me off, after a shower, to see the sunset. It was well worth the effort and I enjoyed a nice-cold beer while Lesley nursed a fairly decent cappuccino. We took a lot of sunset shots and chatted to Brian again.
L: Two-minute noodles and left over braai-meat for dinner instead of the buffet offered at the lodge at N$200 per person. Some of the menu needed a proof-reader urgently because they were having – Roasted veg with seta cheese and drilled olive oil and roily poly pudding…….the rest of the menu sounded good with oryx steak or fried chicken. LOL.