Saturday, August 25, 2012

Drive to South Africa

Last weekend we went to visit friends in Pretoria, the capital of South Africa.

It was a lot of fun getting together. They are pre-FS friends who have now joined and are in their first tour. That brings the count to 3 of families that we were friends with before this overseas journey began who have now joined too! I'd like to take credit ;)

The drive to Pretoria from Gaborone, including the border crossing (getting out of the car and going through customs and immigration) takes about 5 1/2 hours. Some people I work with say it takes them 3 hours. They are lying.

I am not a fan of long road trips, and I consider 5 1/2 hrs. quite long. Of course, other people I know go on multi-day road trips throughout the region. Road conditions in this part of the world are not great and much of the roads are through desolate areas, which scare me, so it's not particularly my cup of tea.

But anyway we made the trip last weekend and here is some photo documentation of the drive down:

A lot of the way looks like this.

And this.
Yes, we drive on the "wrong" side of the road here. And yes, it's mostly 2-lane roads, so passing can be difficult. It is also dangerous to drive too fast, especially at night, because donkeys, goats, cattle, not to mention wildlife, or even people, can come out in the road at any time and cause an accident.

Most of the drive, Nile looked like this.

And I tried to look like this.

Zeerust is the first town after the border, about 30 mi. (no, I don't do kilometers) into South Africa, and it looks like this.
People sell crafts outside the shopping center

Rustenburg is the next notable town, about an hour and a half outside of Pretoria, and a good place to stop and eat because .... do you see what I see??


Yes, Rustenberg is best known by folks here in Botswana because it has a McDonald's!!!! Don't judge, you'd be amazed how much you miss and crave it when you live in a country that does not have McDonald's, or any other type of American fast food (OK, there is KFC, with the only drive-through of any kind in Botswana) and the local fare is otherwise unremarkable.

They had just reopened this location after extensive renovations, there was a radio station broadcasting from the restaurant and a whole van of school kids with their teachers.

Cute little South African schoolboys.

There was an atmosphere of excitement, balloons, and an appearance by Ronald McDonald himself!


I seriously love this picture. I don't know what Neil was doing behind the camera. Or why he chanced it with only one shot, that turned out like this. Really, this one is so universally bad, it needs to be framed.


Nomads By Nature said...

That keepsake photo with Mr. Mc -- I'm loving it!

modestmuse said...

Hahaha, very clever! :)

Anne said...

I think if there was a McDonalds within driving distance to us (even 5 1/2 hours), you better believe we'd be going every other week!