We didn’t have a very good start. At the border veterinary checkpoint all the fresh tomatoes and salad I’d bought at Katimo Mulilo were confiscated. Plus one elderly eggplant. I was prepared to sacrifice red meat and dairy products, but had no idea that fruit fly posed such a hazard in this sandy wasteland. We stuffed ourselves with naartjies, rather than abandon them too. (I managed one in the time my better half ate three. I suspect he ate them peel and all.)
While this was going on, a camper van came and went. Its occupants escaped without even opening their fridge for inspection. They seemed to be old friends of our inquisitor. At least, there was a great deal of laughter, and when she returned she was unsuccessfully trying to hide a large bag of sweets. Then just as we were leaving, she demanded matches. Instead of surrendering ours, we lit a fire for her in the heat of the day. Perhaps she planned to make ratatouille. She certainly had all the ingredients.
Rather than brave the sand ridge road through Chobe (we were very heavily laden), we decided to take the longer marsh road. The rainy season had not yet begun and we had four GPS’s between us. So much for satellites. The moment we hit the marsh road the pink trail vanished from the monitors, as did any sign of a road from the expansive dry pans. Round and round we went, searching for tyre tracks. But all we found were elephants, giraffe and some very lazy lions. Rather than the GPS telling us where to go, we had to find the way ourselves and then the GPS simply confirmed that we were going the right way – by showing that we were back in the pink. Who said maps were redundant? Don’t you believe it – sometimes even a compass still has its uses.