Saturday, March 12, 2016

On the Road to the Boteti River

Saturday, we packed a light lunch and took a drive to the east. We headed out of Maun on the A3 toward Francistown. Of course we never got anywhere near that far, but we wanted to see how the scenery changed as we went away from the Okavango delta region. As you can see, the potholes are a constant of life on the road here.

The scenery along the drive was greatly enhanced by the clouds and the rain squalls moving around us. Above is a roadside scene that is fairly typical of how things look are as you drive along.

The next part of the adventure along the road was the stop at the checkpoint for hoof and mouth disease. We were apprehensive at first but the officer was quite friendly and soon put us at ease. Once we stopped to talk to the officer, we were asked to get of the car and walk to a small, flat, wet square placed on the side of the road and stand in it to disinfect our shoes. Then we got back in the car and drove the car through a pool to disinfect it. A bit more intrusive than the experience we had driving from Guatemala to Belize, but far less scary. (In Guatemala, we had to pay for the privilege of being in our car when it was sprayed with who know what kind of carcinogen. What a smell!)

We reached the Boleti river in Motopi, just at the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. This river, like the Thamalakane rive that flows through Maun, more nearly resembles a collection of small lakes or ponds this time of year. There were a few birds about, but mostly cattle grazing in the area.

On the way home, a rain squall crossed the road ahead of us and make for a nice picture. Even in a flat land, the trees, the weather, and the insects you cannot see in the image make even the mundane dramatic.

I noted especially the other day about driving a few miles home in the complete darkness after the movie. Consider living in this part of the country with no city or village for miles in either direction. When the sun sets you are really on your on,

The view change some as we drove. After the check-point the roadsides were filled with tall grass, unlike the earlier scenes. From what I can tell from Google street-view, the trees really begin to disappear not far after Motopi. We are considering doing this drive again with a much earlier start so we can drive further and see what a little of the pans and the edge of the Khalari are like.