Bus Trip from Francistown, Botswana to Maun, Botswana
This morning we woke up at 4:30 a.m. it was cold and dark, wintertime in Africa. We hurried to get ready and pack the last of our belongings and then Bro. Charles Matambo came and picked us up.
We went to the Francistown Bus Station and there were several big luxurious looking coaches that gave us hope of a cushy ride, but alas, they were all going to Gaberone. We found out ours was the not so luxurious big bus that said Marco Polo and had Maun posted up in the windscreen. We got on board and sat towards the back on hard narrow plastic seats, so we could keep an eye out for our luggage whenever they picked up more passengers and opened up the outside compartment. Our luggage kept going out on the sandy ground and then back in again so they could put more behind it.
The passengers were really varied, but we stood out as the only white passengers. The first two young ladies were very pretty and they were carrying lots of cut flowers, and one was carrying a big hat so we asked them if they were going to a wedding, but found out they were going to a funeral. The funeral flowers were a bit wilted when they disembarked six hours later but their smiles were still lovely. We picked up people from all walks of life, some with buckets of tomatoes to sell, one was carrying what appeared to be a gas can (hope that isn’t what it was as it went in the luggage compartment; there were mamas with babies on their backs, old ladies that could hardly walk, and businessmen and teachers with lots of folders with printed materials that they kept reading. All were wrapped up for winter, and even when the Kalahari sun got very hot they resisted the fact that we kept opening the window.
We saw lots of sights; once the bus almost stopped as about 20 ostriches crossed the road, amidst the honking by our bus driver. One donkey was blocking one lane of the highway, as it stood sideways and never moved, even an ear. We saw a field of Zebras on the side of the road, and did brake for cows in the road numerous times as we sailed pass many “cattle posts” along the way. The scenery stayed a lot the same for the six-hour journey, with big empty blue sky, sandy flat terrain, short trees with the leaves turning to autumn. We could see a sparse population of round mud huts and small square houses; with some women walking along the road, wearing blankets to keep warm. CLASSIC AFRICA.
We stopped at a checkpoint and everyone got off, while security guards went through all the luggage. Ron asked one guard, “What are you looking for”? He smiled and said “’Dagga’ and weapons, and lots of stuff.”