Makgadikgadi – No-go.

Still more rain.

We met up with Ben, a German chap who’s been across India, Nepal, Tibet and into China on his trusty old KTM.

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He came in via Libya (somehow got a ‘Business Visa’ and crossed into western Egypt and has travelled down from Northern Africa for the last 4 months.

We picked up some good tips from him about some of the countries further north and talked about whether or not it was safe to head out into the Makgadikgadi – the general consensus was no.

Good call. Ben left the next morning – he’d had enough when he woke up and found his shoes floating past his tent.

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We hung around for the next 24 hours at Planet Baobab, dodging the spiders…

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…and the snakes. We’d seen very few snakes (two or three) over the previous months but then in the space of six hours (despite a bad back) Helene made me jump out of my chair when she spotted a Boomslang come out from under it…

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…another one that climbed up into the roof while we were having dinner, and then a Puff-adder that wandered past the foot of the tent ladder just before we went to bed.

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Ok. I’ve had enough spiders…

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…snakes and giant moths…

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…for now. Time to move on.

Much as we liked Planet Baobab, let’s just pay the bill and go (assuming the Credit Card isn’t declined again).

It was.

Never mind, I’ve got another one hidden in the car, and if that fails, I’ve got some US$ stashed.

That was the plan anyway.

Over the next hour we discovered that the Visa Card was declined because we don’t have any money (despite me shouting at the bank on a hugely expensive phone call, it seems that that’s my problem not theirs).

The spare credit cards were no good – because they were wrapped up in a waterproof bag – with a pint of water in it.

The US Dollars were sodden.

As were the spare passports – which are ruined. My picture makes me look more like Mr Blobby than when I sat for it!

We finally managed to transfer some money electronically, pay the bill and hit the road.

In another storm.

Along a road littered with potholes you could bath in, that bisects the Makgadikgadi Desert and Naxi Pan.

Things were looking up though. Arriving at Maun (250km west, on the fringe of the Okovango Delta), we found some rubber hose that I could use to repair the diesel-fountain under the bonnet and, when we arrived at The Old Bridge Backpackers there was a lovely sunset…

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…and a friendly (cheap) bar.

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Camping 160 Pula per night (about $15). Beer P20 ($2) a pint. Gin & Tonic P22 ($2.2).

That’ll do for a day or two of R&R.