Kelbe Photography

Life In A Blink Of An Eye

How Not to Celebrate the Olympic Games

I have always loved Maun. It is so full of possibilities, the gateway to the swamps and with a fun vibe. It is a useful place to refuel and you know if anything is wrong with your vehicle the skills to fix it will be found in Maun. Friends of ours hired cars from Macs 4x4 previously and there is nothing Mac does not know about getting a car back on the road. He has the contract to rescue tourists from breakdown in the swamps and kalahari. Rumour has it he rescued one guy who refused to pay and so Mac took all his wheels. I don't think he has those debt collection problems anymore.

So we pulled into Maun for a few days washing, cleaning, fixing and repairing and found a lovely spot along the banks of the Thamalakane river at the Sedia Riverside Hotel. It is clear the water levels are down even here but at least it was flowing.


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The hotel attached to the camp is very quaint, African themed and cosy with a great bar showing the olympics. Much better than Crocodile and Audi camps. Well I think you may guess the rest, Olympic fever, cold beer, good company and a jolly night was had by all. Disaster struck at 1.00 am when I answered the call of nature still half asleep and fell out of the roof top tent. I heard the crack as my arm went down and Dudley sprang into action to splint my arm and find medical services. Surprisingly difficult in Maun which is still more village than town despite recent expansions. Eventually we drove into an old rather dreary complex reminiscent of our old state hospitals. I approached this with some trepidation but have to report, in the spirit of most travel experiences, that it exceeded all expectations. The A&E was scrupulously clean and spacious and the staff assisted us immediately even to the provision of analgesia. Ok it was Panado but it's the thought that counts. In our hospitals, even the private ones, (especially the private ones!) , we would still have been filling forms. An interesting cross section of Maun society joined us in the A&E. I was waiting for Dudley to offer to help! Anyway 2 hours later with x rays and a back slab the worst fears were confirmed and I had a broken arm in several places it seemed. Sadly that was as far as it went as no Orthopaedic expertise was available except as a monthly consult. Still I can definitely say that if you have to have a medical emergency in the night there are far worse places than Maun where the principals of medicine, caring and compassion still shine through. No charge was made for this service I may add, another astonishing but life affirming fact. They really were more interested in the source of our distress than the size of our wallets. So at 4.00 am back at the camp there was nothing to be done except climb back into the tent and sleep.


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So our journey is rudely interrupted but with the help of friends and family and a shortish flight home I was able to get fixed up and repaired less than 36 hours later courtesy of Eugene Viljoen, the best orthopod in the Southern Hemisphere. What a privilege. Now we wait and see when we can leave and continue the journey interruptus.