16 July 2009

Truck off

We've decided to end our journey with the overland truck in Livingstone and cut short our stay in Africa. We're going to stay in Livingstone until the 21st July and then catch a flight down to Cape Town in South Africa. We'll probably stay there for a week to 10 days before heading back over to Asia.

The overland truck has been a great way to travel through Africa and is certainly a lot better than traveling independently. It's probably the best way to travel here unless you have your own vehicle. It allows you to get to all the main tourist sites without having to spend days on the dirty, dangerous and overcrowded local transport. Best of all, by camping, you avoid the filthy, grubby and overpriced budget accommodation that's usually stuck in some dangerous part of town. We were also incredibly lucky to have such a great bunch of people to share the overland truck experience with.

So why are we leaving if it's such a great way to travel? The main reason is cost, Africa is just too dam expensive! Traveling on the overland truck is cheaper than when we were going under our own steam but we're still spending over twice our daily budget. To stay in Africa for another couple of months will wipe out our money. The only solution is to escape back to Asia where the costs of being a tourist are significantly less.

Another deciding factor is the weather. Joining the overland truck has meant that we were heading South through Africa earlier than we originally expected. This means that we're here smack bang in the middle of winter rather than the spring time. The daytime temperatures have been fine but once the sun sets it can get really cold, and it will get worse as we head further South. Gav, our driver, used the word "brutal" to describe how the weather will be when we get to Namibia. Camping in the cold isn't particularly fun, especially when you don't really have cold weather winter gear with you.

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