Thursday, March 03, 2016

Out By the Old Bridge

A portion of the old bridge across the Thamalakane river.
At one end of the "Old Bridge" is the Old Bridge Backpackers. It is a bar with food, a campsite for those traveling cheaply, and it seems to organize trips as well. All open air with some tables attached to (no legs) living trees, it's a bar with a thatched roof playing 60's music. What a trip! We felt like we had transported back 50 years to the time of hippies and dropped out ourselves.

The river, as noted in earlier posts, is very low and what you see in the photo above is a pool of water on the bar side of the bridge. With trees that large growing from it, it must indeed be a very old bridge.

Open-Billed Stork having a mid afternoon rest.
Next to the bar area is a tree that is a favorite of the local Open Billed Storks. I was endlessly amazed by the one in the center. S/he is standing on a limb no bigger than my thumb, perfectly still, absolutely balanced, busy preening, and completely nonchalant. Notice that the knees are locked. Now that is confidence in the ability to balance!

Some flavor of ant or termite of a variety I do not know.
Under our feet were other residents. In addition to the usual African millipedes, we had several ant holes. They were busy pulling pieces of leaves and twigs into they underground abode.

A Pied Kingfisher looking for lunch.
Over by the waterway a Pied Kingfisher is watching the water for his next meal.

Crocodile lying in wait.
In the water below is the local crocodile, just keeping an eye on things to prevent the neighborhood from going down hill. You can never be too careful, you know.

The "Pull In" tuck shop seems to be closed at the moment.
On the way back from the Backpackers, we passed the "Pull In" tuck shop, a highly colored run-in that appeared to be closed just now. Check out the seats at the table on the right.

We passed many of the ubiquitous donkeys on the way back.

A tuck shop that is open for business out on the main road.
This place seems to be defunct, but I loved the faded design on the side of the building.

Notice that the Coke "swoosh" on the side of the building is not quite right. It is clearly a hand-painted copy of the official version. The pink is no doubt faded red from the glory days.

Firewood for sale by the road.
What appears to be many stands of mopane tree wood is sold along side the roads for fuel. It is hard, termite resistant, burns well for a braai, and is even being used now for making clarinets.

A street performer outside the Spar in downtown Maun.
Sign outside a clothing store in Maun.
Near the Spar is a clothing store with the curious and somewhat startling sign out front. I am at a loss so far to suss out the use for donkey skins in the clothing industry. Some articles I find suggest an illicit trade to supply China with them since they can no longer fill their needs domestically but this involves the whole animal, meat and all. I suspect that they are sued for leather since donkeys are everywhere and cheap to graze.