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May '10

Day 234: Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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My updated itinerary for Namibia and Botswana, to the end of the tour.

The PROPOSAL TO THE PRESIDENT for your perusal.

To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
GRIP (Mpumalanga)
StepThru (Gauteng)

So after somewhat of a restless night following the news of Buster, my Boer Bull ‘Lion’ dog having passed away yesterday, and after a couple of pain killers for a nasty headache, I eventually got at least a couple of hours reasonable sleep, I thanked Suranda for her very kind support in the form of accommodation at her lovely ‘Courtyard Guesthouse’, and don’t forget, if you are intending to visit Grootfontein you must stay at this magic place and their contact details again are, E-mail: platinum@iway.nam and telephone and fax: Namibia – 067-240027, believe me you will not regret it.

It was only when I was about 30 kilometres out of Grootfontein on the road to Rundu, that it suddenly dawned on me that I had not taken a photo of Suranda outside her lovely guesthouse, but at least I did put a photo of the lovely court yard outside my room on my blog for the weekend on day 232, so Suranda I am terribly sorry, but unfortunately my mind was else where for the last few hours and so I apologise.

As I have already said over the last couple of weeks, unfortunately my intended internet access did not materialise, and so I have been forced to rely on the help of Good Samaritans along the way in computer shops to help me send my blog’s which I do in e-mail form and down-load onto my flash disc/memory USB thingy-mabob and e-mail them to Gail in Jo’burg so that she can post them onto my website. And so after having said all of that, the kind lady who helped me send my blog, on my arrival in Grootfontein yesterday, is Heleen Rossouw who is at the Shop Manager of Mendacom Computers & Stationery suppliers in Grootfontein. And prior to my leaving this morning I popped back into the shop and she once again helped me by sending off yesterdays blog, so Heleen thank you very much for your kind assistance, it’s truly appreciated.

The drive to Rundu was a quiet one with, as usual lots of dense bush, and a road that could have been built by someone
having shot an arrow. With the exception of a bend in the road about 10 kilometres before Rundu, I don’t think I had to turn Buddy’s steering wheel once, nor did I have to change gears apart from when I stopped to cool him and myself down a bit.

<i>A long road to go, not only to Rundu, but to Poppa falls and Katima Mulilo as well</i>

A long road to go, not only to Rundu, but to Poppa falls and Katima Mulilo as well

<i>Pretty much the typical countryside of the entire trip</i>

Pretty much the typical countryside of the entire trip

After passing the ‘Animal disease check point’ gate at Kururani, which is almost the exact half way point between Grootfontein and Rundu, being a 130 kilometres from Rundu, within a couple of hundred metres from the gate the small villages start and the roadside is populated with people from the local communities and villages, although there are still long distances of uninhabited areas between the villages.

<i>A typical village on the roadside after Kururani</i>

A typical village on the roadside after Kururani

The people in this area, unlike all the other areas I have travelled through in Namibia, are very artistic and display their crafts on the roadside, although when I stopped and asked how much a small pot was, one such as in this picture, I was told 120 Namibian Dollars (R120-00), and nearly fell on my back, when I took a picture instead I thought the guy was going to chop my head off and insisted I paid him 50 Namibian Dollars for the photo, I don’t think Buddy has ever made such a hasty pull off in all his born days.

<i>The pot I was quoted on was half the size of these</i>

The pot I was quoted on was half the size of these

<i>The owner of this lovely selection of artistic beauty was only too happy to let me take a picture of her wears</i>

The owner of this lovely selection of artistic beauty was only too happy to let me take a picture of her wears

And then finally 5 hours and 15 minutes later ‘Buddy and Me’ arrived in Rundu having driven 260 kilometres.

<i>Welcome to Rundu</i>

Welcome to Rundu

When I had woken up this morning, I had no idea as to where I was going to be staying in Rundu for my three nights intended stay in the town. (Three nights because not having fished for so long I am starting to suffer with withdrawal symptoms and desperately want to catch a Tiger Fish and so decided to take a day off and hunt down that elusive monster Tiger Fish) I had asked Sylvia Horn, the Beares store manager to make enquiries and see if a kind owner of a camping park/lodge could sponsor me camping facilities for three nights, but because the number of lodges in the area has been dramatically reduced due to recent flooding of the Kavango River, the possibility was slim and she reported back to me that she could not find anyone who could help me.

At breakfast this morning, Surunda (Courtyard Guesthouse) asked where I would be staying in Rundu and after telling her the sad storey she said “No problem, leave it to me” and disappeared. A short while later she reappeared and said “Sorted, arrangements have been made for sponsored camping facilities for you to camp for three days at ‘The Ngandu Safari Lodge’ courtesy of the owner Oswald Theart.

On arriving in Rundu, I first stopped off at the Beares store to see if they could give me directions to the ‘Ngandu Safari Lodge’ and before I could extricate myself from Buddy Sylvia appeared next to me and very excitedly told me that she had secured sponsored camping facilities for me for three days at Camp Hogo camping parkcourtesy of Sarel van der Merwe (Mmm I wonder if he is the famous rally driver) which is about 12 kilometres on a gravel/bush road outside of town and situated right on the rivers edge so I that could catch that elusive Tiger Fish. So now I gad two places to choose from.

I decided that because I was going to be working in town for two days, and didn’t want to subject Buddy to excessive abuse by driving him back and forwards to town on the gravel/bush road, I would first camp at Ngandu for the first two nights, and then move over to Camp Hogo for the next two nights before heading north to Katima Mulilo. So with this in mind I set up camp at the Ngandu Safari Lodge, and what a lovely campsite and lodge this turned out to be. Each campsite has its own gazebo and the ablutions are always clean and even have hot water, wow bonus!

My campsite at Ngandu Safari Lodge

<i>Just across the river is the Angolan village of Calai</i>

Just across the river is the Angolan village of Calai

The Ngandu Safari Lodge also has lovely accommodation in the form of chalets with a full restaurant, swimming pool and one of the most beautiful pubs I have seen with magnificent carvings of Bushmen done in the wood panelling. There is also a model of a Tiger Fish which weighed 16.something, caught by a lady on Kariba Dam and was a world record.

So that’s all for now, I don’t know when I am going to get an opportunity to send this off to Gail so she can post it on my blog, but hopefully it will be soon. So until next time, when hopefully I will have had the opportunity to speak to some of the authorities in the area and obtain more info on what is happening in Namibia as far a the rape and sexual abuse of children is concerned, keep well, keep safe and above all keep all children safe.

Caring regards from
‘Buddy and Me’ (Steve Heath)
Comments and opinions to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

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