The hills have eyes...

Trip Start Mar 13, 2010
Trip End Feb 13, 2011

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Flag of Botswana  ,
Monday, June 7, 2010

Our next destination was Tsodilo Hills, an amazing natural rock formation that has always been a very spiritual place for the local people. It was a long drive from the Okavango camp site so we had spent the day sleeping/ reading/ listening to music in the back of the truck. Mark has begun a very competitive tournament of monopoly which he plays for hours on end in the truck with some of the other boys. Due to the long drive, by the time we arrived it was only a couple of hours before sunset so we rushed to put our tents up and then set off to stretch our legs and have a walk around the hills.

           A guide came with us and talked to us about the ancient beliefs surrounding the hills which in the late day sun were glowing a magnificent deep orange. Many of the rocks and caves had ancient bush paintings on them of people and animals and it was amazing how clear they still were. The Hills are said to be haunted by spirits and later that night as we were bush camping, we sat in the pitch dark with the milky way sprawled across the sky above us, blocked only by the silhouette of the Hills, people started to get a bit uneasy. There were some toilets about 400 meters away near the tourist's entrance to the hills and a lot of people were "hearing things" on the dark walk there- or in the toilets themselves (there was no power so it was dark inside). I personally didn’t hear anything but was just as scared because earlier on our walk our guide had boasted about the amazing black mamba population that lives around the hills!

            The next day was another long drive (more monopoly for Mark!). Life in the back of the truck on these long drive days is quite relaxed. We sit and chat or read, or argue over the type of music being played. My iPod playlists had become a thing of legend by this point- not entirely in a good way! Whenever we need to stop for a pee break we press a buzzer which sounds in the cab and our driver will pullover at the next convenient point. As most of the roads we were driving on were just straight for miles through bush this wasn’t normally a problem. We then pile out, girls on one side, boys on the other and just go on the side of the road. Then its back in the truck for more driving! More often than not the scenery we’re passing is more than entertainment in itself. We’ve seen giraffe, zebras and elephant from the side of the road on a few occasions, not to mention locals who shout and wave as we whiz past. Alternatively if we are on particularly bad roads (quite often) we take it in turns to “truck surf”- standing at the back where it’s most bumpy. Myself and a couple of the girls even had a “truck disco” session in the back dancing and bumping around to Dizzy Rascal whilst driving through the African bush!

            So after a long drive day we arrived at our next bush camp (and last camp in Botswana) next to a massive Baobab tree. We used our pent up energy to climb and walk around the enormous tree, which was strangely warm to touch as it had been basking in the sun all day. Then we set up camp and enjoyed a hot dinner and roasted marshmallows around the campfire. We saw so many shooting stars that night it was absolutely amazing.
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Julie on

Wow! Those trees are amazing! Please can you bring me one back? Or post it back if you can't fit it in your backpack. The postal services sound amazing! I love reading the blog, just catching up whilst I'm sat at work dreaming of the days I can go and see all these amazing sites for myself.... Next entry!

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