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Unread 10 Nov 19, 05:56 PM  
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Deserts and daisies day 7

Deserts and daisies day 7

Early start today as we have a long drive out of the park and on to Upington. So , showered, breakfasted, packed and permit collected by 8.15. We leave camp for the last time and head south, stopping for a spotted eagle owl who refuses to open his eyes for the camera, even when I squeak like a mouse At Dikbaardskolk picnic site we have a mid morning snack and say goodbye to the jackal. Leaving the picnic site we are now in new territory , we haven't driven this section of the Nossob river road.

At a waterhole we are watching oryx sparring while another vehicle is parked up further down the road. As we pass they point out a male lion eating lunch up on the dune, but he is lying in long grass so we can only just see the top of his head. We wait a while to see if he is going to take an after dinner stroll, but no luck.

The scenery changes the further south we go. I love all the colours, the different shades of orange and red of the dunes, the landscape is more open, the road is gravel rather than sand and we are driving in the riverbed rather than beside it . Every 100 metres or so there are concrete blocks stood marking the border between Botswana and South Africa, at one point the blocks were on our right , so were we in Botswana for a few minutes ?

Lots of ostriches and cute ground squirrels here ,and as we get closer to Twee Rivieren we see a few safari vehicles out on their afternoon drive. They stir up clouds of dust and I quickly learn not to follow too closely. We haven't been bothered by dust on the sandy northern roads.

We arrive at Twee Rivieren at 2pm. As this camp is on the park border, this is where we will top up the petrol, put air back in the tyres ( on entering the park we reduced the tyre pressure to cope with the sand )and check out of the park. We eat our packed lunch, buy a few souvenirs and snacks from the shop and are on our way to Upington by 2.45pm, a little later than I intended, especially as we have to stop at the airport to collect our suitcase.
We get to the airport just after 5pm. The information and check in desks are all deserted , I find someone in the cargo office, who seems rather alarmed to have a member of the public knocking on his door, he tracks down the South African airways clerk who knows nothing about any suitcase. There have been 4 flights from Johannesburg since yesterday, but my suitcase was not on them. The clerk phones Johannesburg but can't get any answers and time is getting on so , despondent, we continue on into Upington . It's beginning to get dark and Upington is really busy ( last Friday of the month, pay day and everyone is out on the town). Detouring to the airport means we are coming in on the wrong road and I don't notice the charger has come adrift on my phone until the battery gives up on the outskirts leaving us without Google maps. We drive in circles scanning the street signs and dodging pedestrians in party mood getting increasingly frustrated until , by luck , we find the road our b&b is on.

Our accommodation is lovely. The b&b is on the banks of the Orange river and our rooms look out on the water, which is very low , due to drought, but still host to many birds. When I booked the accommodation I'd imagined I'd be sitting by the river relaxing with a glass of wine after our long day's driving. My reality was sitting inside on the phone to Air France AGAIN. The guy in missing luggage is going to find out what's happening and will DEFINITELY phone me back.

Dinner is at a restaurant 10 minutes walk away, it's very busy but we are given the choice of seats inside or outside in the pleasant courtyard area, we choose outside but are shivering by dessert and now there is no room to move inside. Walking back to our b&b I manage to step in what was probably the only mud puddle in Upington, so now my only pair of shoes are stained and wet as well as smelly .

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