Tosca’s epic Kalaroo Adventure… kaalgat in the Kalahari!
I woke up at 5 feeling very off. You might wonder why I start this piece off with something you really couldn’t care less about. But this will become clear a little later on.
Anywho, woke up, read a little, figured out that the thingymabob that comes out of the camera actually has a little hole on the laptop that was made for it (like the spiders and their mating). Had about 10 cups of coffee and generally made out as though I was on holiday.
This killed the time until 7am, when I could start packing my car. Now after the big scare from yesterday, what with my car growling at me, and sounding like a V8 stock car, I was a bit nervous about the day. So I ignored little injured blue bullet, and presented myself for breakfast.
Two hours later, Linda, the owner of the guesthouse, and myself finally concluded our chat and plans for the town, and how we can incorporate the local artists into our tour, etc ad finitum! O, and also why we really don’t need a man in our lives, unless you are short like me, and need somebody to assist in changing lightbulbs. It was great to meet somebody who actually cares about her community, and wants to see some kind of improvement in the unemployment rate, and sees having some self respect, and off course something to do with your hands, as the way out. And for those who did not know, they have some awesome Bushman paintings right outside Kenhard. And, when we designed this tour, we really wanted to actually spend some time on a working farm in the area, and guess what, Linda owns a farm, right next to verneuk pan.
So out came the photos. One can actually still see the tracks from 1938, when that Malcolm bloke drove across there. Linda says, they actually swept the track he used with a broom. 17km long! I wonder who had that little gem of a task?
So, finally by 9h30, I had to take my leave. Bullet was quiet, the road uneventful, with no Kamikaze wildlife present. I even stopped for some nice photos of nothing.
Made Upington, and felt a little worse than this morning. Again with the feeling sick bit, but wait, it is coming…
So, bought some meat, met a very nice lady at the meat market, decided against buying the 300kg bag of Ice (Upington I think is a little like Texas), and on my way out, realized that in Upington it is not the size of the house that counts, it’s if you have a lawn or not that separates the Joe soaps from the Joe Soap Opera. The uppity ones, all with lawns! So basically, if you had a one room bathroom set up, and some green spray paint, chances are, you would be invited to all the cool parties there.
So, now the sick thing. About 30km outside Lawn capital, I really really didn’t feel well, and decided to have a strong pain killer (not the rum type). Thinking it should sort out any headache, flu type thing brewing. 40 min later, I could barely keep my eyes open! It was horrific! The road does not even have a hint of a curve, to break the monotony, no Kamikaze wildlife to keep me on my toes (and awake). About 100km before Kgalagadi, I really couldn’t take it any more, and pulled of. Now, the last time I did a bush toilet break was in 2004, behind a small mountain. Please do take note, the Kalahari is flat. NO mountains! And a swarm of Tsetse flies, cross bred with boeing 747 on steroids attacked me! I NEVER pulled pants up that fast in my life (except for the time when my pants actually fell into the long drop in East Africa, but that story for another time)! With the pants still dangling behind, and the shoe getting stuck in every little bush, it was a spectacular run for my car! And, needless to say I was awake.
The best part of the day, after a semi uneventful and shorter drive, of course, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. It is a place of such contrasts, and always invokes such massive emotions when I see it, that I am never sure if I should cry or laugh, or just shut up and go and look for Animals! So I did the last bit. The other thing about this red sand dune playground is that one does not trip over animals. So this is where one actually starts sweating the small stuff! Look for the little things, and that in turn leads to some very rare and exiting sightings! But because it is so beautiful, just looking at the passing dunes with its clumps of yellow grass and the very blue sky above (yes, the three primary colours all together in one shot), is more than enough!
But still, I saw some stuff!!
Mongoose, Suricate (scratching for food, too cute), Rock agama (very colourful indeed), Springbok, Gemsbok (high up on a dune, lovely contrasts there), Ostrich, Ground Squirrels, Forktailed Drongo, Crimson Breasted Shrike, Starlings, Korhaan, Cori Bustard (heaviest flying bird).
The winner was definitely a Martial Eagle, not 2 meters away! I got one spectacular shot of it, after 300 attempts. But what a beauty! As always, one big thing a day. That is what makes the Kgalagadi so special.
Meanwhile, I have a barking Gecko in my roof ( Thatch roof, so yes, In) spitting at me at present, and a family of bats outside, having fun next to my front door.
It is 5am now, and I am off on another adventure in the park! Coffee flask done, left over braai wrapped, cool drink and water in the cooler box, and Camera on standby!
I can’t wait!