It was an interactive presentation, educational and fun. They have a great sense of humor. We went on a “bush walk” and there were stations set up along the trail. We tried to figure out what animal made a certain track it was an Eland - Alisa answered that one. At the next stop, we were all given gum seeds and told to put them under our tongue at the same time. They popped — think pop rockets candy — I screamed when it popped. The bushman laughed out loud. Next we were introduced to the Sully bush. The leaves of this bush are boiled, and the tea is used for coughs, and stomach issues. I’m guessing constipation because apparently you will be going to the bathroom a lot. Next up was the burn bush — a powder is made from the root and used for cuts —it burns but the next day the cut is better. My favorite was the snake head bulb and the woman who told us about it. Again, a powder is made. It is put in the water where animals drink. They develop an immunity to it, so when they eat the flower of the Snake Head, they will not be poisoned. Seems vaccines have been around along time.
Then we had photo ops. Fun — of course 9R jumped right into the fray — as soon as she sat down, a small boy jumped into her lap and held on tight. I watched them laugh together and saw as 9R started to feel the magic that is Africa. Honored to be able to see.
The San were the tribes people that the British forcibly put into the Gold mines. They are a small people. Once in, they never saw the light of day. When they died, another group was rounded up. ( Michener’s “ The Covenant”). It is rumored that as late as the 1950’s, The San were hunted here.
Riding into Zelda yesterday aft., those of us who ride adv. bikes stood up on our pegs - the road was sand and gravel. Once we were parked, one of the women asked why. Alisa explained and this morning when we rode out, everyone at least tried to stand. Pretty cool.
So our guide Rob speeds up, I stay with him, and the someone comes speeding by us, I laugh into my helmet — 9R — she was flying. Rob took off after her —- they were gone.
Still smiling, I pull up behind Rob to wait for the others, he is a little upset with himself because his competitive self got the best of him — but he loved every min. 9R has to put $2 into the bag of shame for passing the leader. As far as she is concerned, it was worth it. Fun stuff.
The bag of shame. It is a bag where money is put when anyone of us screws up. Forget to drop off our room key, drop our gear, pass the leader, ask asinine questions, forget to have our passport with us at a border crossing, etc. etc. Leaders are included. It is a tribe decision. The money collected goes to a local charity for women and children.
Today when we left Zelda, it was warmer and by the time we arrived at the Kalahari Lodge in Maud, Botswana, it was 30 degrees Celsius.
Today was about border crossings. Leaving Namibia was fairly straight forward. Stop, go in, fill out a form, get our passport stamped, and off we go. Maybe half a mile later, we stop again to enter Botswana. This also ended up being fairly straight forward as there were no tour buses there when we arrived. I attribute this to Tommy and to asking 9R to not even think about it, as we did not want the Niner curse ( long lines). Still, we had to wait for the bike paperwork, which took about an hour and a half. Interesting posters in the Namibia post. ( Trans Kalahari Border Post). One was a graphic image of a beaten woman’s face. The text read “ STOP TORTURE”. Another was about stopping elephant poaching. Entering the border area for Botswana, there was a huge billboard that read ZERO Tolerance for Corruption.
Waiting for paperwork distractions —-
Barb goes to the toilet and forgets her TP, there is what she thinks is a box of wet wipes on the toilet —- condoms. We were all hysterical, and of course 9R and I went back in to take a pic of the box. The funniest part was Barb’s comment about not being sure what they were because she didn’t have any experience with them. BTW — all photos that go with this post will be uploaded to FB.
Talking to other people while waiting. Daniela is Namibian and is on holiday with her family. ( photo above). She wants a motorcycle.
We also met a mature woman with her husband. Barb lives in Botswana, was born in Zimbabwe. She was full of joy and jealously when she found out all these bikes were being ridden ( except 1) by women. We took a photo of her on Colette’s bike before we knew her name. She sent it to her son.
Riding today, there were lots of cattle, donkeys, horses, and dogs in and alongside the road. The horses looked great, the dogs not so much. The coolest thing for me was having an ostrich run along side of us as we traveled down the road at 120 km an hour. Art in action.
One advantage of group riding is watching the dance of the group. The passing of trucks, the dodging of live animals, and of dead ones. Today, I felt a part of something greater - felt part of the rhythm of one. Not only with the group but with this place.