(Day 6) 5 April 2011 (Rundu to Katimo Mulilo)
Distance for the day – 531 km Odometer – 3 224 km
Hours on the Bike – 05:26
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R46 627
We were woken this morning by the sounds of Richard talking in his sleep. He claims that it must be the Malaria tablets he is using, because he had a difficult night with bad dreams. It was quite a process to get the gear packed back on to the Motorbikes – to fit the way they did before.
Travelling by motorbike teaches you certain things about organization. It is so easy to put your gloves or balaclava down while filling up at a fuel station and then leave without it. Norman has mastered the trick and seems to loose a glove a day. He lost his balaclava today and again bounced his helmet on the ground.
The road from Rundu to Katimo was uneventful and we reached our destination just after 15:00. We planned to have brunch at Popa Falls, but settled for a take away at the fuel station, because the restaurant at the falls was closed. The Okavango River was in flood, so it was impossible to get close enough to see it. This was a big disappointment and we had to turn back. The River at the bridge crossing must most probably be 200 m wide, flowing quite fast and is very clean.
The scenery was similar to the previous days, with more pedestrians and animals next to the road. The vegetation included more big trees with tall grass . We saw a lot of elephant droppings on the road but unfortunately no elephants.
Norman and Stelios claim they saw Elephant, but Richard is convinced it was an illusion caused by smoke inhalation and definately not from the smoke of their KLR’s. Stelios and Rufus both had to quickly visit the bush at some stage, when nature called. Rufus later said that it must have been quite a sight to see them multitasking – doing their business while trying to have a 360° view for Elephant and swatting flies and mosquito at the same time.
We stopped at our camp site at the Zambezi Lodge and what a gem. The river literally runs a few metres from our tents; the beers were ice cold and the showers clean and hot. There was enough time to set up camp without a rush and we enjoyed a lovely dinner at the restaurant. The day was not so long but the heat was uncomfortable, with the high reaching 41°C. Everybody seems a bit tired and even Normans bike went to sleep – fell over once again, while he was in the shower!
Everybody in the group had their own views of the country and all agreed that the roads were great, with very little traffic, and animals, the country side was lush and beautiful and it was very evident that they had a lot of rain the last three months. Richard said that his Thorn tree invasion on his farm was nothing compared to what we saw in some areas. Norman, you could see would have loved to bring some of his cows up to get fat on all the grass around, Rufus could not stop talking about all the water flowing down the big rivers, with no green Dairy Farms to be seen and Stelios was commenting on what he thought business was like in the towns. It was also noticeable how sparsely populated the county is with only 2.1 million people over an 824 290 km² area. Tomorrow we cross the boarder to Zambia and we will head for Victoria Falls.