Date : 10th March, 2014
Time : 56’39” (First run of two in the day)
Total Distance Run to date : 190 km
Number of Runners (total to date) : 1 (82)
Run map and details : http://connect.garmin.com/activity/460278996
Finally, I’m on the mighty Zambezi. Not as any sensible person would be – white water rafting below the Falls or on a sunset cruise above the Falls. But on a pontoon at the Kazungula – Kasane crossing between Zambia and Botswana.
If you ever come this way, don’t do it by truck. There are kilometres of them parked up waiting their turn on the pontoon. Or for the new bridge to be built. Whichever comes first. (Apparently it can take a week to get across.)
As luck would have it, I later meet someone who works at the Japanese aid agency that’s part-financing the bridge. He tells me that work is due to commence on the bridge this year and be completed in 4 years. For the sake of the poor sods spending the week sleeping in their trucks, and for the future of international trade in southern Africa, I hope he’s right.
Enough about infrastructure projects, I hear you cry. What about the run? Saidi – pictured above crossing the Zambezi – had picked me up at 6.30 so despite a drive, being stopped by the police, 2 sets of border controls, one pontoon crossing and a taxi into the centre of Kasane, it’s not too late when I start my run.
Which is important because it means it’s not too hot. Which is the key to the run being just about manageable. Which, in turn, is the key to my later fateful decision to extend the day.
Kasane is near the Chobe National Park which is, by all accounts, a pretty fabulous place to see wildlife and I pass a lot of jeeps / vans / buses returning from their early morning game drive. Which gives me the idea that I’d like to see some wildlife myself so I follow signs for Chobe.
The obvious flaw in the plan – that if I can see the animals then they can see – and eat – me – doesn’t occur to me till later. But have no fear, reader, I don’t see anything.
The run itself is fairly uneventful and it’s now time for the big decision of the day. The original plan was to do Botswana one day and Namibia the next. However, we’d cut out about 2 hours of duplicated travel if I did both runs in one day.
Given how tiring I find one run, this wasn’t an easy decision. However, perhaps fortified by the knowledge that ‘Ass Pie’ was available in the local shops (pic below), I decided to go for it.
And, as you’ll see when you read my Namibian blog, it was to turn into a long day.