Yesterday was a 3am start, and an evening concert finishing at 10pm in Gaberone, Botswana. Having slept badly, and with a heat wave crossing Botswana, heat exhaustion was a really big problem for most people on the trucks. The journey was slow, long and painful, as the sun beat down on the flat, dry landscape. All the rivers we passed were dry – 5 or 6 large ones, marked with ironic blue water/wave signs at each bridge.
We were received at the Three Dikgosi Monument (the 3 who pushed for Botswana independence). We welcomed by a large crowd of enthusiastic young people, whose energy levels we couldn’t have matched!
I stayed in the bus during speeches, totally exhausted by the heat and long drive. We took a quick lunch and then headed on to the campsite, which was much more basic than previous ones. The Botswana cycling team (who had escorted us around Gaberone) enjoyed a spot of frivolity in the dilapidated playground at the camp… There was one swing, and one broken one, a half-finished toilet block, and some shower tents, freestanding canvas cubicles with buckets for hot water, hanging above.
We returned into Gaberone for the evening concert, which went on til 10, but was a great evening for the carvan team to relax and have bit of a dance and chat with the locals, in the now-traditional way.
We left at 10pm, and were in bed by about 11pm, constituting a 20 hour day, since 3am! Shattered, we were more than ready for a a good night’s sleep, only for the familiar caravan routine to recommence in the morning…