Today we sleeeeeeep in and it is glorious. Ahhh that is nice. No real agenda today until the sunset flight over the Okavango Delta and man is it nice to get a solid rest in. I hit the Old Bridge showers. They’re all outdoor, open air showers but with decent pressure and warmth. Only weird thing about it is that there’s a mirror in the corner set up in a way that angles right out the entry door. So you’re naked shower is on full view of anyone who happens through the door. Midway through the shower I notice a cleaning person come in, freak, and immediately turn and bolt. Ahh ok, I’ll just take a break here and move that into a less revealing angle. There we go. Finish up with no more awkward, ‘Hi, I’m naked’ moments.
We grab a great Full English Breakfast from the bar and have a seat by the river. Nice and hearty w lots of sauces. This is honestly the best.
“Beans are cold here too”, “Cool beans?”, “C-c-cooool b-b-beans”, “Coo-oool b-b-beaaaans!”, “Cool BEANS!” They have their own hot sauce here and it is legit. Tangy and quite the zing, a real nose runner. But I can’t help it, it’s so good. Eyes watering and still dumping it on. So good.
(Continuing Priscilla’s upside phone trick shot)
Only downside to breakfast is the coffee which is instant. Makes sense at a hostel with insatiable, hungover guests. You just keep the hot water coming. It’s actually the best instant coffee I’ve had. Still shit, but the best of the worst.
Mark says he heard people having sex in the bathrooms last night. “Did you watch from the door through the mirror?”, “Yeah, what was with that?”, “Your shower too?”, “So weird. Aims right out the door.”
The front desk people tell us that there is a sunset boat tour tonight. “Could we do the flight and get back in time for that”, “Oh no, probably not. No.” and they won’t let us book it. They say it’s impossible to get back in time but I’m not convinced it is. Well shit. It was only 10 bucks, probably shouldn’t have told them about the flight and just went for it.
After breakfast we take Belinda for a tour around Maun to stock up on things. Our first stop is a hole in the wall place called Vicky’s liquor where we re-up on the Ad-eyes staples of beer, gin, whiskey, mix and negroni fixings.
We’ve basically got all day to work with and it looks like the Moremi Game Reserve is in striking distance. Let’s make it happen!
I’ll make a long, uneventful story short. We basically take a few hours to bomb up and back a terrible road with nothing to look at in the slightest. It’s all deep sand, like when we were in Sossusvlei, and the fun part was all mine because I was driving. Mostly washerboard rattle-shake bullshit, so I tried to keep to the dune drifting and ice skating. Fun for me, terrifying for everyone else. Literally no scenery except brush by the road and one village of a few huts with signs for baskets and crafts and then a foot and mouth check point where we received a salute from a distinguished looking one-eyed man.
We stop in at a cultural village but you need reservations to check it out. They sell firewood and there’s a bar but we’re kind of over the whole trip and just make a U-y. I super-drift the way back in half the time and double the terror, get to blast through a tiny dust devil tornado, and almost get blindsided by a donkey running out of the brush who I swerve-dodge and just sandblast the poor fellas face. Other than these few highlights, no animals or scene to speak of.
Back in Maun, we stop in at a spot called Crocodile Camp. It’s a tad on the swanky side, possibly a better set up than ours even (although, I’m not knocking the Old Bridge at all, that place is bomb).
We make our way to the riverside bar and fetch a round of Triple Three citrus infused gin and dry lemon drinks from a girl named Mash who has cool gray braids in her hair.
Real laid-back vibe here by the trickling river with the occasional boat passing by. Can’t explain how nice a day of nothing actually feels. We’ll get to the awesome thing later, for now this is chill perfection.
Get another round from Mash and ask her how her day is going. She says she doesn’t like getting up at 7 for the day shift but sure likes having the nights off. “Are there any crocodiles or hippos in here?”, “Last giant crocodile was 2 months ago. Hippos show up occasionally. There’s an African fish eagle on the bank there”, “Oh yeah! Good eye.”
Another girl comes to the bar and waves at us. “Are you talking the night shift?”, “No, I’m just taking my lunch hour. Where are you from?”, “Canada, but we live in California”, “Ahhhhhh nice. I want to go”, “Come visit. You can stay in the guest bedroom”, her eyes go wide for a second like it can’t be true, “For real. Any time”, “Oh free accommodation. That is the way”, and she starts fidgeting with something behind the bar slightly embarrassed. We just leave it there.
This Crocodile Camp is a nice spot. Would be worth a stay on a return trip to Maun for sure. We have another mid-day round and talk to Mash and her lunch friend some more before making off and wishing them well.
We get back into town and stop at a tight collection of buildings with a grocery store and a badass looking spot called the Kalahari Butcher Shop. We don’t really have time to do a shopping montage right now though so we just get a grab and go lunch of steak and kidney pie pastry and something called a Russian Chilly which just ends up being a hotdog. Gotta get back here at some point and stock up on meats from that butcher shop though, it looks amazing. Good Scouting.
We’ve effectively relaxed the day away, now it’s magic time. Bust it to the runway and catch a prop plane over the Okavango Delta.