Cruising through Kruger.
Trip Start May 05, 2010
52Trip End Jul 20, 2011
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Where I stayed
Pilgrims Rest Camping Ground
What I did
Following our noses - and the GPS's thin blue line - we successfully managed to find our way down Botswana’s eastern border. We entered South Africa through the border post at a place called Martins Drift. I believe the term drift refers to the sand bars that when formed across the Limpopo River in 'the old days’ provided a point of crossing for the Boers and their drays. It was at this border crossing that we met Constable Knob Head of the South African goon squad. I decided that I had acquired a potentially fatal dose of malaria if not treated appropriately. As is typical for me, I reacted badly both to Constable Knob Head and the self- diagnosis of my impending demise.
Constable Knob Head (hence to be known as Knob Head) directed me out of the line of traffic in the customs area, indicated that I should stop and then proceeded with an elaborate charade of hand gestures to which I was supposed to respond appropriately. Clearly I had upset Knob Head in some way!
It transpired that I had failed to indicate whilst changing lanes in my blind panic not to displease the law. The charade of hand signals was to provide proof that I was a total bloody drongo and confirm it was not the fault of the Landrovers lighting system that my left indicator failed to flash. I initially, and quite wrongly, had assumed that the vehicle was undergoing a safety inspection and when I failed to understand Knob Heads garbled explanation I was asked very slowly ‘DO YOU UNDER STAND ENGLISH ’. This man was a real prick!
The fine for failing to indicate in the car park was to be US$140. I was at fault and I was prepared to pay the fine, but not before I told him that his attitude to tourists who had only in the country for a nano second was appalling. At this point he told Gael to put away her money (I could tell Gael was on the point of offering a bribe, so his final gesture came at the right time to not get us any further cell time) and he told us to move on. This guy’s use of the power he had by way of his police uniform was really scary. And this is supposed to be the civilized part of Africa!
As for my impending and painful demise by way of Malaria. The Doctor back in Australia said that if ever you feel unwell, like you have a bad case of the flue coming on, take the Malarone tables. So I did for the three days it took us to make our way to a clinic that Gael had sourced! Only to be told by the Doctor that no, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be done.
Apparently I have successfully (if I have it) masked the virus. So now they can’t test me for it until I get sick again (if I get sick again) and boy was I sick. This unwelcome event could happen anywhere from three to twenty one days. In the meantime the virus could be lunching on my liver. Pleasant thought!
Aside from all the trials of traveling in the Third World we are enjoying Kruger National Park and its surrounds.