October 9, 2005

South Africa FlagZimbabwe FlagFor some reason, everyone except Åsmund and Filip (as usual) was up early. Departure time was scheduled for 8 am and we actually left on time for a change. The route through Zimbabwe was very straightforward, dead-looking trees and rolling hills. Just before the South Africa border we stopped for lunch (rice salad made from yesterday’s left-over rice and canned vegetables) under a very large baobab tree, which turned out to be just one of many in the area.

After about 20 km we arrived at the border. Here there were dozens of transport trucks waiting to cross the border. The Beitbridge border crossing is Zimbabwe’s only access point to South Africa, and every truck must be scanned to ensure it is not carrying illegal immigrants. Our truck weaved its way through the untidy line of transports and parked outside the immigration office. Leon had said that the process might take as long as an hour and half, but they had run out of exit forms so all they did was to stamp our passports. Leon also got his business done quickly, so he was back in only half an hour.

We piled back onto the truck and drove across the bridge over the Limpopo River (“the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees”) to South Africa. First we had to walk through a tray of disinfectant to prevent foot-and-mouth disease, and then into the immigration office to get our passports stamped.

Just south of the border was Musina, our stop for stocking up on cold drinks. But as it was Sunday nothing much was open. We found a small bakery and bought soft drinks there. Then we wandered outside and noticed the KFC next door. They sold soft ice-cream cones! What a treat they were! We took the cones back to the bakery and immediately the others stood up and went directly to KFC.

By now Leon had found a Spar that was open, so we went there to buy a few more things. Our campsite was less than an hour away, once again in a nice setting amidst rocks. We set up the tent for the last time, then went on a walk to see Bushman cave paintings. The area is on the edge of Mapungubwe National Park, a World Heritage site.

Diane and André cooked dinner tonight, spaghetti with meat sauce. There was also a salad, but it was covered in salad dressing from a bottle that had foamed over when it was opened, so most people decided not to eat it.

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