Day Two 20/03/2010 - Jo'burg - Upington - Twee Rivieren
Our morning started early, but bright and shiny and full of anticipation of what was about to come. Our B&B was only 10 minutes from the airport, the flight to UTN was scheduled for 9.20am and we got on our way at 7.45am. Well in time. We thought. First delay was caused by a traffic jam on the R21. We still managed to get to the airport in time. It was shortly after 8am. Task at hand: check the screens to find out where to go to check in for UTN. Then shock hit us: Upington closed it read on the monitor.
Right, don't panic, Lionspoon said to herself and went to find an SAA counter. Easier said than done, but with the help of some nice police officers we finally managed to get where we wanted. Before joining the queues for the check-in for nothing we thought it fit to find out, if the flight was still on at all. I didn't get a straigth yes, but at least something like: "Don't mind the screens, just go to check-in." We did. Only to find out after having had queued for a while, that UTN was done somewhere else.
Right, grabbing the bags again and hunting down the proper booth. The guy there told us unecessairly that each of us had 2.5 kg extra weight on the suitcase and made it clear he wanted us to pay for it. Cases were taken off the weighing conveyer again and heavy stuff was transferred to hand luggage which was almost empty anyway. In the meantime the check-in guy left and wasn't to be seen anymore.
After what appeared to be ages a friendly lady showed up and finally finished the check-in process. We made it to our plane just before boarding was over.
Arriving in Upington was like entering a whole new world. Boy, it was hot and it wasn't even noon yet. Our car rental process went smoothly and we set out to buy out the local supermarket. I can't remember ever having spent 1.5 hours on food shopping before. Around 1pm'ish we excitedly started our journey towards KTP. Holiday had arrived!
The ride to Twee Rivieren wasn't all too interesting and it seems to stretch for ages when you can't wait to lay your eyes on the magic park for the very first time.
Checking in at TR went smoothly with Annietjie being very friendly and helpful and I had all my unit allocation requests granted. Spots and I proceeded to the camp and headed straight for unit no. 4 only to find it occupied by other people.
Back to reception then and we were quickly put next doors into no. 5.
Of course, we didn't have much time to loose to get on our first drive. And we were captured by the beauty of the park instantly. And our first sighting was an oryx. YAY! The symbol of the Kalahari came to greet us in the very beginning of our adventure.
We took the way up to Houmoed, stopping by at Samevloeing. The latter being dead quiet, not even producing any birds. Oh well, there is always the way back to check it out again.
The oryx was quickly followed by a cute little steenbok
and an ostrich running for the red dunes.
The Aoub riverbed then finally produced our first springbok, the impala of the Kgalagadi, as we named them.
Our first wildebeest grazed at the other side of the riverbed
Our next sighting was a kind of a YR one. Well, another driver waived us down to because of our YR. It turned out to be Asterix and Obelix.
We had a nice chat before they continued their trip towards TR.
When we approached Houmoed the waterhole was deserted as well. We turned the car around and were about to settle in for the critters to show, when this - what we would later find out - reliable chap came for a drink.
The jackal took off and we stayed to look at the butterflies assembling in the mud
and a collared dove strutting around
After a while we started our journey back accompanied by a mind-boggling landscape
only to find Samevloeiing still not uttering anything. Except for some good winds blowing up the red sand.
5 minutes later it looked like this:
When we arrived at TR, we settled down with the obligatory frosty before getting the fire for the braai started. However, while we were sitting there the wind picked up again and it started to rain. But it didn't last any longer than an hour or so.
Before going to bed we checked the amazing star lit African sky and were really happy to escape the light pollution of the larger camp and get into the wilderness for a better view on the night sky.
We slept like logs that night, extremely happy and content to have arrived in that extraterrestial spot on earth...