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19th Nov 12’ Rest Day. Etosha, Mokuti, Namibia

November 20, 2012

0 miles.

I lie in this morning and wake just in time for a breakfast of cereal, coffee and bread with jam. The choice is overwhelming compared to my usual porridge cooked on my gas stove.

Today, I had nothing planned so relax around the deserted pool and watch the wild water hog family strip the grass from the recently watered lawns. The two younger hogs play fight by violently colliding tusks. I sneak up quietly to take a photo, but the mother turns quickly and charges at me. I take a step back just missing the pools edge, I look around to make sure no one’s watching, there not, well I don’t think so.

I take Livingstone around the back of the lodges to the jeep washing station and hose the concrete looking mud from him, then give him a thorough clean. I check the oil, fluid levels and brakes, all are still fine. I just can’t believe how lucky I have been with Livingstone, no breakdowns at all, just a broken mud guard, not even a puncture. He’s done me proud and I praise any machine or person to get as far as we have in the rainy season through West Africa.

Once cleaned and maintained, we take a ride to the neighbouring lodge just 5 kilometres away to refuel and buy cigarettes. I take a chance (sorry Dad, I know I shouldn’t) by wearing just my shorts and T Shirt with no helmet. What better feeling than the wind through what little hair I have whilst gliding along the African plains knowing that I am surrounded by wild animals but still see nothing. I had a conversation with a ranger last night and we came to the conclusion that the noise from my motorcycle could be scaring the animals away, hence not seeing any along my route from England. This together with the road constructions throughout West and Central Africa and the fact the locals kill and eat anything that moves could be contributing factors. I explain to the Ranger that I cannot decide if the Chinese are helping Africa by constructing these roads. I tell her it’s great for the people and is well overdue, however, express my concerns the impact it has on the environment. It’s a real difficult call.

Back at the lodge, I parked Livingstone outside the reception in pride of view from his fellow German Safarians who agree what a lovely looking machine he is. To make up for my lack of wildlife experience, I book a five hour Safari across the Etosha game reserve for tomorrow at a reasonable cost of only 40 Euros.

This evening whilst I’m putting on my best shirt, the bongo drums sound telling the visitor’s dinner is served. I make my way over to the restaurant but it’s empty, then notice that tonight is BBQ night. I follow the beating drum to an area fenced off with bamboos. Inside, the chef cooks steak, chicken and beef across glowing red coals. In the centre is a fire and all around, lanterns glow gently. I’m shown to my table for one already prepared, all is quiet until a huge insect the size of my hand lands on my shoulder, I let out a scream and brush it off. It’s the biggest stick insect I have ever seen and is now staring at me from the top of the salt and pepper grinders. Whilst I eat my steak, the Alien looking insect with two large bulging eyes sits there the whole time with its front legs in the air looking as it will attack at any time which it did eventually, but not me, the table adjacent.

After dinner, I take an early night to recover from my sun burnt back and in preparation for tomorrow’s early game drive.

Kerry, I have sent my angel to look after you at hospital tomorrow. Fingers crossed the plaster comes off.