Christmas is a time for giving…
So we're told.

I've been blessed to have put 70 Christmas's under my belt. Most of them surrounded by loved ones & an overabundance of gifts, food & booze.

I really didn't think of anyone else, except those around me…
My family.
As long as WE were alright, fully stocked,
nothing else mattered…
Quite arrogant actually.

Then things changed…
Aaah, be sure about it, things always do change.
I found myself alone…
Out of the mainstream of Christmas.
Well, Christmas as I'd become accustomed to celebrating it anyway.

Albert Einstein's credited with saying, "In the midst of disaster, lies opportunity".

Okay, so here was an opportunity to dip my toes into Christmas at the other end of the pool.

I arranged to spend the day as Santa at a home for orphans & abused children.
"Doing good work", I thought.

Well, guess what  ?
You don't miss what you've never had.
Unless it's one square meal a day.

I don't miss Ramadan or Yom Kippur.

Oh ja, the kids loved it…
Some old guy, wearing a red hat & coat, handing out presents…
They'd never seen anything like it.
Material gifts… Stuff… No love though.

"What're you bringing for us tomorrow, Oom" ?
"Fuck all kid, you're on your own 'till next year".

What the wonderful people who run these places NEED is a consistent supply of the BASICS to feed, clothe & educate their children… Every day…
Not a glut on one day a year…
Do Gooders (like me) massaging their egos.
We redistributed dozens of crates of perishable, exotic food to other shelters all over Durban that Christmas.

Nice… What about next week  ?

Eish… I'd missed the point again.

Luderitz's lucky to have Pastor Tony.

I was privileged to meet Tony, & he showed me some of the 67 orphans he & his wife work with in the location here.

His "Empowerment Centre for Vulnerable Children" cares for & feeds them… when they can… 3 or 4 times a week !!

He gets no help whatsoever from the location residents. ECVC's dependent on food donations from businesses in town.

Nyati caused quite a stir delivering the load of staple foodstuff we bought.
Rice, Pasta, Maize meal, Flower, Sugar, Cooking oil & Oros.

Yeah, it's not party time, but Tony was thrilled…
These "groceries" will help to fill some of those missing days until Luderitz's businesses open in the new year, & he can squeeze more donations.

This "Christmas gift" will help here, far more than any amount of flash masquerading in a sweaty old Santa suit, handing out cheap toys, ever could.

I don't know why, but it seems to be true that there's always going to be poor people.
Here, in Africa, many're beyond poor, they're starving Man.
In townships everywhere, it's the same old problem.
Nyati's food parcel only addresses the symptom, the cause lies elsewhere.

It's the people themselves, I think.

There're plenty of fancy cars driving around the townships, DSTV skottles, taverns, hair & beauty salons spilling out of containers, onto the roads.
But what I noticed mostly were all the pregnant Women carrying one on the back, with 2 or 3 or more straggling behind, playing in the filth & squalor.
Rubbish, open drains…
Raggedy, feral children running everywhere, like fleas on a dog's back…
Not lekker… Not lekker at all.

As a community, they seem unwilling to nurture their hoards of unwanted, children…
Even to take responsibility for them…
They don't try.

Why should they ?
It's just not part of their basic instincts.
They simply don't seem to care.

What're these little creatures learning  ?
What example are the adults setting ?

What the hell's going on  ?
Is it only a different culture  ?
Is it a different species ?
What  ?

I find no compassion in these people.

If Nyati's had a positive effect on anyone, anyone at all…
We'll never know…
It would be wonderful though.


At LAST… After travelling for all these months… There she was… Cindy.

She's perfect… Big & strong, beautiful light brown eyes… We looked at each other & both just KNEW.

Cindy's not embarrassed to show her true feelings either…
I love her for that.
When we kissed for the first time, she surprised me.. used her tongue…
No inhibitions whatsoever…
What a Girl.

Thank God, I'd started cooking the turkey early.
Like me, Cindy just LOVES turkey…
The perfect Christmas present.

When she walked up the steps into Nyati,  I got a good look at her long, muscular legs, perfect feet & nicely trimmed nails…

Ja… She's exotic, blacker than I'm normally attracted to, but it's been a hellofalong time since I had anything like Cindy in my life.
Cindy doesn't jabber on like so many do…
She's great, uses her eyes… Body language.
Turning & looking straight into my eyes, she made her intentions very clear.

It's been 77 years since we've had a full moon on Christmas night…
I KNOW the effect it always has on me…
So the thought of how CINDY'S going to react when we see it, excites me no end.

Cruisers in the mist

Shark Island's on the seaward end of Luderitz bay & gets ALL the weather.
Waking up this morning, something was different… 

Coming in over the Atlantic, from the North West…
The faintest sound of a warning bell on a bouy.
Temperatures dropping fast & a heavy sea mist rolling in, quickly hiding penguin island & the harbour approachs…

WOW … Everything's changed, trees're bending backwards.
All the boats at anchor're facing the wrong way.
Swells running IN now.
Even the seabirds're sheltered on the other side…

So misty, so cold, so lekker.

Aaah, I wish I could bottle this feeling…

During those years on board S.Y.Enigma, we used to feel, using a heightened sense of awareness, wind & rain squalls long before they reached us…
Subtle changes in the boats movement,  alerted us to the presence of distant landmases too.

Living on board Nyati, this close to nature…
Over an extended period of time…
Could that awareness re-awaken  ?

I'm ready… Wide open…
"Now God… bring it on".

The danger's in letting the imagination run wild.

This misty, chilly North West breeze's only a temporary reprieve from the daily blast coming out of the South, but, oh how it turns everything around.

The "buchters" (locals) love it too, but
they know the jerseys will be off & the mist blown away by lunchtime.

Precisely, as if to script, the Southerly picked up & there she was…
Big & bold, White & beautiful…
Hidden by the mist, another cruise liner, laying at anchor not more than 1/4mile off shore…

Maybe they knew Nyati could be seen here this Christmas, glowing under the full moon…

Look who’s arrived

Inevitable & foreseeable…

South Africa went on holiday last week, resulting in a mass migration of people & vehicles spilling over the borders in every direction.

Like lemmings… migrating wildebeest.

There's not a B&B, hotel, flop house, camp or caravan site that's not booked, in many instances, overbooked, anywhere of interest, anywhere South of the Sahara.

I've been fascinated at the amazing variety of equipment flooding into Shark Island this weekend.
Much of it obviously hired, so there's a lot of buggering about trying to figure out the intricacies of erecting roof-top tents, awnings & stuff like that for the first time. Of course, the howling wind adds an interesting element of difficulty to proceedings too.

Everywhere there's the sound of flapping canvas, mattresses being inflated, pegs being hammered into the rock, cursing, swearing, laughing & shouting.

Braais all day…Braais all night…
It's nice to have people around for a while. They're all in transit, I know, but it's great watching their antics.

They arrive late into the night too…
Headtorches everywhere, it makes the place look like a star wars film set…
Kids running wild…
It's terrific Man.

Nyati just stands here, like a holiday home amongst the chaos, all systems ticking over perfectly, providing complete protection from these aggressive elements.
Keeping me, perhaps even more comfortable, than some of these people are at home.

There's a a turkey in the freezer…
Pudding in the cupboard…
Champagne in the fridge…
Christmas will be spent at home this year…
Comfortable & safe… On board Nyati.

From Nyati, we wish EVERYONE a Merry Christmas & a Happy, Healthy & Safe New Year.


It's not REALLY OLD, this Luderitz, not old in the European context, but built to withstand 4 seasons every day.

Built right onto solid rock.

Buildings drawing a line in the desert sand, turning their backs on the daily gale blowing off the cold Ocean.

They built with style, those old Germans. Obviously knew precisely what they were doing too, because the legacy they left is standing up to this very aggressive environment superbly.

Oh sure, there's maintenance required everywhere you look, but this IS Africa.

Luderitz's not a tourist trap, it's a working town, harbour & community.

There's a waterfront with a few curio type shops, a restaurant too, but not much else seriously touristy.

The thing is the town's small.
Easily walked in an hour, & it's real, authentic, that's the attraction here.

Cruise liners visit often.
Big ones anchor off shore & ferry passengers too & fro, smaller ones come in to dock…

Short visits, but there's plenty to see.

Everyday the wind starts at about 10 in the morning, blowing off the Atlantic, out of the South, increasing to gale force by sunset.

I never notice when it stops, because, I get gently rocked to sleep every night.
Nyati's parked facing East, door & gas exhaust to leeward. So the wind cools & rocks the cradle continuously…
It's a little like sailing… I love it.

Metro boys

What the HELL is THAT  ?

Could it be a broken theodolite tripod  ?
A giraffe struggling at a water hole
One dislocated leg awkwardly slung out of position another bent backward, a foot in the basin.
Most unnatural
Painful looking.

Grunting in exertion, & that sickly smell…
Like cheap Chinese perfume, an abused air-freshener, mosquito repellent perhaps  ?

What's that cream, & why's it being pushed in there  ?

"Aaagh… I can't look".

I really didn't want to get close enough to be splashed…
As nasty as that.

Coming out of the shower my senses had been assaulted by the sight, sound & smell of this young German "Man's" grooming antics.

He's not alone…From what I've seen, there's been a complete turn around in the ablution routines followed by male & female tourists from Europe.

Most Euro-Girls're quick…
In & out, no time for buggering about, no shaving,  no hair drying… Nothing.
Sometimes they walk out, still brushing teeth.

Aaah, but the BOYS…
Now many of THEM wander in carrying bags brimming with lotions & potions. Depilatory creams, moisturisers & sunblocks…
Pre-wash, afterwash, body lotions, shampoo, conditioners & gels.
If they pick up a razor, they first prepare themselves with foul smelling lotions, slapping & splashing like we see at a birdbath.
Peering into the mirror, pulling faces, making little noises, pimping & preening…

Jesus,  they're embarrassing Man.

By the time his hair's been gelled, teeth flossed, nails polished & bag repacked,  the Girl's often got the hirecar parked outside, waiting…
Rooftop tent packed, ready to go.
He only has to carefully get into the passenger seat, sit still & keep quiet.

"Don't go in there Man… It smells like a whores handbag".


Chris Rea sang of "the road to hell"…
Could this be IT  ?
Easy to drive, it's not that.

I'm imagining what guts it must've taken to load up a donkey & step forward into this ancient desert…

Perhaps it was desperation.

"Aus was formally a German concentration camp…
Ironically, it was a worker laying the railroad from Luderitz to the prison camp that rolled over the first diamond that started it all".

Well, that's the story tour guides at the "ghost-town" of Kolmans are touting.

Haibo !!… These unlungus were bloody clever Man.

You've got to admire their indefatigable spirit, their energy & their ingenuity.
Clever, hard Men… Driven.
None of this would exist, without them having come here first.

Deep in the desert, they produced their own electricity, water, ice & telephones, built European style houses, engineered to maintain reasonablely civilised temperatures…Big buggers too…
Out here, in this utter desolation.

Everybody,  (who worked for De Beers, of course)  got free ice, water & food.
They were paid in the hardest currency of all…

Luderitz's only 10km away…

Diamonds & dealers, hookers & whores, sailors & soldiers…
It must've been a non-stop, free for all…
Passionate & politically very incorrect.
Diamond driven.

Oh YES, the "Seychelles effect" seems to be operating in full force…

Nyati's only done one slow pass through the town, stopping to grab a bag of grapefruit at the Spar, but I'm completely enchanted already.

Luderitz's historic, old fashioned, quaint even.
New developments here too, a modern waterfront in the harbour bristling with restaurants all boasting Wi-Fi…

No diamonds or whores yet, but happy, welcoming smiles.

Shark Island's one of the local "hang-outs".
Surrounded by the Atlantic, only a kilometre from the town centre, a "first come first served", camping, picnic &  local leasure attraction…
Cool, windy &…  Empty.
Sweet tasting water, really good, clean ablutions, & plenty of them, power too.

I hunted down Johnny, Shark Islands manager… "It's safe here Man, we know everyone in Luderitz, no-one's stealing here, we know".

"Mmmmm", I said.
"Sounds too good", I thought.

Then, the clincher…

"How much, Johnny" ?
"N$137.00 a day"

But, was that a slight shift of balance, a shuffle of the feet  ?

"Jesus, Johnny… I'm a pensioner", I cried, pulling out a few grey chest hairs & throwing him a grin…

That always raises a smile… (A tear too)

"How much if I stay a week or two" ?
"Mmmmm"… Shuffle shuffle.
"Okay… N$102.00 a day".

Hey hey… I really connect with this place.
It felt good as we drove in, provided security's as it seems, Nyati's found a great "bolt-hole"…

I feel like settling here 'till after New Year, then a slow drive up towards Windhoek, arriving in February.
The worst of the heat's over then, maybe we'll be blessed with rain too.

We'll see.

Desert days

Dawn in the desert's equally as dramatic as dusk.
There's an expectancy.
That glow in the East quickly becomes a sunburst, then all bets are off, the early ambient temperature's nice, but within minutes anything exposed to the direct glare coming over the mountains, starts heating up… Quickly.
Very long, stark shadows, a photographer's dream, but not for long.

Nyati's parked under a huge camelthorn tree, deep in the desert, a few kilometres from Aus.
"Must be over an underground watercourse to support all this growth".

When we rolled out of the desert heat, into the shade, birds from a big old nesting colony did their best to chase Nyati away…

"Farting against thunder, guys", I thought, creeping in deeper.

Got the message though, & lit the mbaula well away… down wind.
We did each other no harm.
They actually warned of approaching baboons.

Desert days're long.
I've decided this is not my forte'.
It's hellova interesting, but not where I would choose to spend my last 12 or 15 years.
Give me sub-tropics, waterfalls, trees, navigable stretchs of water, preferably at sea-level with abundant, edible wildlife too please.

As a Christmas rush "bolt-hole" this deep desert's not going to work for me either…

Nyati's unaffected, except for the inverter, which doesn't like the high ambient temperatures, & keeps tripping out.
Designed to operate in an enviroment of between 0c & 40c, blistering hot 50c plus air straight off the desert sand, doesn't do it any good at all.

So I'm going to put the "Seychelles effect" into action, & follow my gut.

Years ago, S.Y. Enigma was about to leave Mother Africa & head East into the Indian Ocean.
We were undecided on which course to lay…
Straight out, due East… Seychelles.
Northeast, across the "Doldrums"… Maldives.

So many experienced sailors, especially from America & Australia, recommended we scrub around the Seychelles…

"Why" ?

"It's a crap place, a dictatorship"… "Definitely don't bother going there"…
"Totally authoritarian"…

So, we listened, evaluated, decided, & plotted our course…
1000miles, due East… Seychelles.

We were thrilled we did too.

Although we were intercepted & escorted onto our anchorage by a quite aggressive warship, bristling with deck guns, all trained on Enigma…

Mad Mike, & his "frothblowers" had recently caused a bit of a stir in Port Victoria, Mahe', & our South African flag was viewed with some suspicion…

The Seychelles turned out to be one of, if not, THE highlight of our entire voyage.

Hence… The "Seychelles effect".

Now Namibia's running with German overlanders…
Like fleas on a dog's back Man.

If you'll let them, like Americans, Germans LOVE to tell you what they think you should know about everything.

Luderitz's a port that's long fascinated me…
So isolated,  remote & inhospitable.
Stories of diamonds, & the tough guys that went out there hunting them, fire my imagination.

So, we, the Gypsy & I, reckon Luderitz's a "must see" for Nyati.

Many, probably the majority of Germans I speak to, hold Luderitz in very low esteem.
"Nothing to zee, only ze fizh factory to ztink ze whole place out".
"Krime iz high".
"Don't go… Iz zhit… Vindy und kold".

"Oh yeah… Here we go again".

Live From The Field

It wasn't more than 30 km along the Orange, into Namibia, before Nyati was driving through beautiful, irrigated, river side vineyards again…

Now THIS desert doesn't support ANY natural vegetation whatsoever. It really IS a lunar landscape…
Rocks, sand & dust with a "roller coaster"  road straight through the middle.

So this magnificent agricultural enterprise didn't just happen, it's the result of somebody putting their money where their mouth is… Very big-time.

How many thousands of farming enterprises are supported by this iconic river course  ?

Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people kept alive by this continuously exploited asset…
People toiling in a desert that doesn't want them, life on the very edge…

What the hell are we doing here Man ?
It's just not natural.

Surely it's not simply to prove that we're so clever, we can do it…
Look at us, we can make the desert bloom  !!

I continually hear the word… SUSTAINABILITY…
There's no solar technology being used.
Power's taken off the old grid, previously suppling the mines.
If they switch off the pumps, it'll all be gone before Winter…

It's very nice, but there's fuck all sustainable here.

Across the river… South Africa.
Massive mine dumps, from the river bank, back further than the eye can see…
That's all… Gravel & rock mine dumps shaped to look like small mountains.

Heavy machinery used to patch up nature…
Disguising what they've been doing.

Maybe it's all been done, someone rang a bell, & everyone's left, shayile manje…
Gone home.
They left some of the plant where it stopped that day…
As a memorial ?  Not likely.

The guys here, at this gigantic grape farm, tell me that all the land, all the now defunct mines across the river, belong to the Bin Laden family… Well, 7 of them anyway.

Is that what it's really about… Buckets of ancient diamonds  ?
All dug up now…

It was 49c today…
No animals live here…
This's for reptiles only…
So what the hell are we doing  ?

The "village" of Aussenkehr's a few kilometres down the road.
The local Spar's in the ONLY permanent, brick building for miles around…

Rudimentary "level" areas have been machined beside the road, with tiny sections marked out with stones.
This looks like an exercise in social engineering. Relocation of thousands of people into the dust.

EVERYTHING'S built out of reeds (from the Orange river, again)
The "village" of reed huts radiates out from the bottle store & Spar… That's it, there's nothing else.

Bottle store, Spar, reed huts, river, heat.

Somethings happening here, but I just don't know WHAT it is.

I feel like David Bowie's, Mr. Jones.

Nyati's going beautifully, running like a dream, purring along through this Namibian desert eating up the kilometres towards Ai-Ais & the Fish River Canyon.

There's absolutely no rush, we're looking for a spot to "hole-up"…
See out the Christmas rush, which I'm told, only really happens along the cool Atlantic coast…

Temperatures touching 50c don't encourage Ma, Pa, Boetie, Oupa, Ouma, Tannie & all the Niggies to visit here…

Nee, they choose "lekker by die see".

Eish, I hope so… Let them visit Durban.

Now the local chatter's all about the 14mm of rain that fell in Windhoek…
14mm… 1/2 an inch… WOW.
Anyway, "they" say it's a sign that the rain's imminent…

Ooooow, I would LOVE to be able to run wild in the desert, in the first heavy rain…
Maybe naked…
Oh no…not maybe.
Do my sailors hornpipe jig thing…
To watch this desolate landscape transform in days… Oh yeah.
I can't imagine it green.
Something to look forward to.
The locals dream of it… Pray for it.

What a privilege it would be to witness the breaking of a 5 year drought… 5 dry years !!

It's not happening yet though.

The only game I've seen around here's been a lone springbok & an ostrich,  both looking straggly.
I drove on past, felt bad doing it…

Nyati's now carrying full tanks, 650lts of clean water, probably enough to last them the rest of their natural lives.

Years ago, Helen had a company called "3rd Rock tours", & she arranged many a wonderful school tour, locally & internationally.
One of them was a rugby road tour through Namibia… Most successful it was too.

Finally, to the point.

We stopped at the hot springs at Ai-Ais, just as Nyati was doing now.

I didn't really want to come here this time.
I KNEW I would be running comparisons.

How can you fuck up an ancient, geo-thermal phenomenon ?
It's simply grubby…
Broken infrastructure…
A German guy I spoke to said he'd been here 5years ago, & that pile of broken bricks & pipes was right there, in that same place, under the trees, where he wanted to camp, then too.

Stainless steel railings, missing now, replaced with chicken wire.
Eish… Milk the cow… Don't think of feeding it…

Shouldn't have come.

The night sky's the same of course… SPECTACULAR in the extreme.
Always worth the effort.

There's a great place near the canyon called the "Canyon Roadhouse".
It has chalets & campsites recently built into the desert, alongside a dry river bed.
It's been built by an "Old car buff", who has an awesome collection of vehicles & machinery from a bygone age.
The museum's also the reception, dining hall, bar & retail outlet.
Yup, it's unashamedly a tourist trap, but it's also of serious historical relevance.
Good food, great atmosphere, terrific. You're transported back in time…
Back to South West Africa, & before.
Prospecting days.

Nyati's idling became erratic at the sight of this graveyard.
Of all those trucks only slightly older, some now standing out in the desert, tyres flat, bodies rusting, in their final resting places.

I spent a long time giving reassurances that we would leave in the morning…

Ag, shame… Nyati wasn't convinced, we had a tense night.


So, after 3 days of lazing in the river, drinking beer & snoozing in the hammock under the trees, I was primed, psyched & ready to go.

The English couple, Jackie & Vince,  were on their way into SA after driving most of the way from Europe.  The trip had taken them 8 months so far…

It was dejavu, but in reverse.
I remembered the family we met in Madagascar…
They had sailed from Durban a week or so earlier.
It was their maiden voyage.
This was the first time they'd dropped anchor, anywhere, it was all new to them, & it showed.
They were full of self doubts…
Still dropping things overboard, banging heads on bulkheads, stubbing toes on deck cleats… Stuff like that.
Anxious…Asking themselves… Why, why, why  ?

We were on the last leg of our voyage, & were reasonablely comfortable by then.
I remember reassuring them, especially the father.

That responsibility, skippering a yacht at sea, with your family on board, weighs very heavily.

Now here I am, not quite as "green" as those guys in Madagascar, but meeting experienced overlanders, face to face at last.
It's great.
We were able to exchange hard, real time information on our respective routes ahead…
So reassuring.

Then, there's another mad Aussie basterd, Nigle, who's BICYCLED, solo, down from Egypt…
Egypt THIS time.
Too many stories to tell…
I couldn't keep up…
"Oh yeah, ah Jesus, mate, I been dooin this fer 4, nah, neely 5 bloody years  mate".

They've one experience in common.
Mechanical hitches, but no problems with the people… Good to hear.

The group of "river trailers" arrived late, the sun's last rays were glinting off my bare butt as they gathered along the river bank to get their first sight of the mighty Orange & caught me sneaking back to my towel.

A lively, mixed bunch of Girls, fresh out from Germany, their biggest fear was that they were going to spend this first night sleeping in the open.
They thought they saw scorpions, centipedes & adders everywhere.

"Yup, but they only sting if you stand or roll on one"…
Said in my best Crocodile Dundee voice.
Nigle could do it better of course,  but he also slept out there.

"Thank God, for Nyati… It's like sleeping in a motel"…
Hee Hee. "Should I add, Berlin motel "? "Nope, that'll do it".

Like a shiny spoon cast into a school of hungry shad… Two of them went for it.

I discounted the young skinny one.
She'd been walking in only up to her ankles… Skittish… Menstrual.

The bigger, older one, had been happily cavorting in the shallows like a voluptuous, naked, milk bottle, not a care in the world… All teeth & tits… Perfect.

"Somethings going to BITE that one.
If it's not me tonight, it'll be the sun tomorrow".

It didn't sound as if they'd been together long enough to synchronise.

"We don't need any, nasty little surprises", I thought.

They were all so excited about the 4 day
canoe trip they were embarking on, I didn't have the heart to tell them of our Zambezi river trip.

Of Georgina & I being charged, & chased right out of the water, into Zambia, by an enraged hippo.
Of the hippos jumping off the river bank directly above us, landing not more than 3 meters away.
Of arriving at the island/sandbank we wanted to camp on, only to find a herd of elephant had beaten us to it.
Of the 3 to 4 meter crocs sliding into the water ahead of our canoes.
Or of the lions roaring at night… So damn close.
Not to mention the elephant dung getting into the tent  ! !

Oh Man, what a wonderful holiday, all arranged in such detail by the late Jill Howe.
I imagine her looking down now, & smiling that knowing smile of hers.

Straight out from Europe, this Orange river trail will be a GREAT & memorable adventure for this, Generation X , group…

Some of them even got to see inside Nyati.


Without knowing why,
Anxiety levels were high.

The feeling of trepidation that had been gnawing at my gut, grew, as I drove Nyati towards the Namibian border crossing at Noordoewer.

I'd spent yesterday fretting, getting medical travel insurance in place, drawing cash, making copies of the logbook & vehicle insurance…
All paperwork was in perfect order.
Organised… in a file…

And yet…
And yet…

I KNEW Nyati was overweight.
Somehow, I didn't think it was that.
I don't like that there's no plan…
No route…
No idea of where to overnight…
Was there even anywhere secure to stop within a hundred kilometres of the border  ? 

Do I even want to go at all  ?

"Jesus, it's hot too… 45c in the shade".

I badly wanted to discuss options, exchange ideas, hear an opinion, develop a plan of action with someone, but it would have to be done alone again…

One step at a time.

Roll onto the weighbridge…10,180kg.
Shit, 680kg overweight…
No reaction… All eyes on Nyati's horns.
Roll across, off…
Immigration… 3months, perfect…
Road tax…R 572.00… No problem.
Hey hey, they take visa too…
Police roadblock…a young one, he wants my licence… try one of the photo shop specials, it might not come back…
Where's my PDP ?…

Oops, I don't have one… Old Man smile.

"Eish, I don't even know what that is", offering a Peter Styvesant…

Shrugging, rolling eyes, maybe even thinking, "There's no fool like an old fool", he takes another…for later, I suppose.

Hell, it could've come down to a bloody PDP… But didn't.
Bless the tobacco industries' nicotine stained hearts.

No firearm declaration either.

Okay, now to find somewhere to crash.
Unfortunate choice of word, but Nyati understands '60's speak…
Nyati's Mojo's working…
Nyati's feeling groovy.

The place was perfect…
On the banks of the Orange again.
The best so far.
Cool under the trees, watered, spacious & very well maintained…
"Amanzi trails"… Owned & run by Johan & his wife, looks wonderful.
Just what's needed.

Sunset put a magical, golden glow on the river…
I wondered how many diamonds had washed past this exact spot, even now, en-route to the Atlantic.

I'll stay awhile.
Establish a plan.
Laze in the river.
Climb out of this mental "tar pit".
Maybe find some company… Get laid.

We parked near an overlander from England, so at least Nyati's got a friend.