Saturday, 24 December 2016

Day 109-110: Victoria Falls to Elephant Sands, Botswana. 355km 23.5-35.5°, to Mokopane South Africa 29.9-37.5° 705km

Farewell Victoria Falls
Farewell Zimbabwe 
Hello Botswana

Elephants crossing the road

Traffic officers, diligent traffic officers,
Two speeding tickets 
one for each day on the roads in Botswana

Road safety education stops for all motorists...
We are instructed about 
Safe bicycling
Choosing tyres
Choosing and using child restraints.

At one stop we were  advised to ride 1.5m inside the centre line.
All this advice at no charge...

We arrive at the Elephant Sands entry road.
Orlanda takes a tumble, 
I lift the bike so Dick can get his leg out from under a pannier,
Where did I get the strength?
I know from whence my help comes.

Elephant Sands is a sanctuary for elephants.
Usually up to fifty elephants come in the evening.
None tonight.
The recent rains have formed fresh water ponds elsewhere that have lured them away.

Botswana has 40% of all Africa's elephants, 
...one hundred and forty thousand elephants.
Botswana is an open sanctuary for all wild animals.

At road side lay byes the signs say There are wild animals in this area. You stop at your own risk.

Next morning we ride south,

Across the border from Botswana to South Africa.
An efficient border crossing from Botswana.
Then we headed to the bridge which crosses
... the  banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, precisely as Kolokolo Bird had said...
...  to the  South African border post
A warm welcome...
37.5°C in the shade.

In South Africa the roads are long and straight.
A giraffe peers over the fence.
The sun is above and then beside us.

At some point we cross the Tropic of Capricorn.
The sun will be on our back from now on.
As she moves on her northward journey.

Today is the summer solstice.
 

 

 
Prolaser speed cameras, recently calibrated, he said... ninety one km per hour in an eighty km area. Three hundred and twenty pula please. About thirty US dollars.

Foot and mouth disease prevention.
Boots, too please. 
 
 

 
Stud covered fellow.
 
Bus shelters in national flag colours.
Fiftieth anniversary of Botswana independence.
 Where were the traffic officers when we needed them?
 
Christmas mayhem at the shopping mall.
 

 
Goodbye Botswana.

 
Across the Limpopo River bridge.
The great, grey, greasy Limpopo river is the border between Botswana and South Africa.
We feel very greasy ourselves...
It is thirty 37.5 °Celsius.

 

 
We are in South Africa. 
Well ahead of 16 January when kiwis will need visas.
The easiest crossings.
Five minutes at Botswana and twenty minutes at South African border posts.
 
Pivot irrigation in the distance.
 
120 km per hour speed limit on the open road.
We go further than planned.

 
Happy to be in South Africa.


 


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