Tuesday, 2nd October DAY 13
Last night was the coldest night of the trip and I sleep fitfully. Warming quickly in the rising sun, we break camp and leave Tantebane at 7.30am.
We thread our way through a quiet Francistown and then take the road southward towards Gaberone. We travel through many police roadblocks with no interference at all this time. The road has many cattle and donkey corpses lying on the verge – no doubt the result of late night collisions. At Malapye we fill the tanks to the brim which represents a substantial saving of nearly R6/lt. Then with takeaway sandwiches we turn east and travel towards the border post of Parr’s Halt.
We try valiantly to find some shade to stop under for lunch but eventually find a little. Next we come across a Botswanan motorist stranded in his old Audi next to the road. He requests “being jumped” which Chris is quick to infer means jumper leads for his weak battery so after a while his car screams to life with Chris at his wheel, accelerator pressed to the floor. Many smiles and thanks and we are on our way.
Botswanans have a healthy disregard for the rules of the road. They speed continually and barrier lines are there to be crossed. On the gravel road towards Parr’s Halt a car approaches on the wrong side of the road. We are now on a collision course but he keeps resolutely on, straight for us. Eventually Dudley swerves onto the right hand side of the road and our Botswanan speeds by cheerily waving as if nothing is wrong. Africa is not for the fainthearted and there is never a dull moment.
At the border we sail through with no problem and my full passport is no issue at all. The SA side is immaculate with everything spotless and the staff pleasant and efficient. We press on through Lephelala and Vaalwater and eventually arrive at Dave McGaw’s home at 4pm. Dudley has driven wonderfully well on this trip.
We insist on taking Dave out to supper so at 7pm we arrive at a restaurant which is sited in a converted old house which once served as a santatorium for the inmates of one of the English’s infamous concentration camps during the Boer War. 26,000 women and children died in these camps with scarcely a murmur from the world outside. The service at the restaurant is appalling and we have to ask to be served. The simple meal eventually arrives at 8.30 but only after some encouragement from us. But the food is good after which we return to Dave’s resort. We are leaving at 4am in the morning so as to avoid the Pretoria/Jo’burg traffic so we bid our farewells to the ever kind Dave.