11.06.2010 - 12.06.2010
Because of my change of plans and 3 week later arrival, all my plans were up in the air. Some things i'd had to cancel, some rearrange. Something that I hadn't been able to change except to delay it was an appointment in Gaborone. The problem was that I needed to be in Johannesburg on Saturday night and it was now Wednesday evening. So it was that I picked up a hire-car as early as possible on Thursday morning, and set off immediately. 1007km (generally very pretty, if empty km, which I would love to have more time enjoy properly) later, I stopped for the night. A 6am departure followed by another 800km followed, and I made it to my appointment in Gabs with 30mins to spare.
It was my first time in Botswana, but I barely saw anything and am not counting it as somewhere I have been. Originally I was going to have a couple of weeks to enjoy it. Instead, it was barely 30hours, and most of that work-related. I had also only expected to be needed Friday afternoon, not most of Saturday as well. Thus, by the time I was able to leave, it was gone 4pm on Saturday, the sun was going (and chilly – it had got down to -3 the previous night, and had been raining in the morning. Yup, it's definitely winter), I had no where to stay – my original plan depended on arriving much earlier - and I still had close to 500km to drive. In addition, the World Cup was well underway, and I had only managed to catch one full game in the first 2 days.
There was a slight problem crossing the border which delayed me further – the only time in my entire life I haven't instantly checked my passport after it had been stamped, and then discovered they had put the wrong stamp on. By the time I was in South Africa, it was dark. I decided to avoid the main N2, both because of the numerous tolls, and the fact it goes past Rustenberg where USA and England were due to kick off in a few hours, and instead cut through. The folly of that was only discovered much later when I spent over an hour sat waiting for traffic lights at major roadworks.
With other options expired, I had managed to convince a friend of a friend to let me crash in Joburg, and somehow managed to find his house without a map or too much problem. At least my worries about driving around Jo'burg alone, at night, and lost, had come to nothing. But it was gone 22:30 by the time I got to Glen's, after basically driving 2300km in 2.5days. But i'd made it. The England game had even finished, though, sadly, despite Robert Green's best efforts, without England loosing. Damned it!