Day 146: South Africa - 18th country!

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Thu 31 Mar 2011 06:58
Day 146: Wednesday 30 March 2011. Augrabies Rest Camp, Augrabies Falls, S Africa. S28 35.616 E020 20.340. Distance driven 501 km.  Total distance 24,218 km
We drove the 50 km to Noordover and the border, had milk shakes at the Wimpy there, and crossed over into South Africa.  It was one of the easiest and best organised of all our border crossings. From there we drove to Steinkop, said goodbye to Garth and family, and on to Springbok and the N14.
The N14 is almost dead straight and runs through flat, arid land for hundreds of kilometers. It was like driving in a furnace, hot and very dry.  We took it in turns and set our objective at the Augrabies Falls, mainly because there wasn't anywhere else to stay!
At the Augrabies Falls to Orange River runs thorough a very narrow gorge and the falls are spectacular.  There are many places to stay in the area but the land adjacent to the river is all South African National Parks (SANPARKS - slogan "this is your Heritage") , another Government monopoly.  Who but a Government Monopoly would be so arrogant as to have a Check-Out time of 0900?
We were both still fighting the chest infection, coughing all day and had aching ribs and backs as a result.  We were both very tired and seriously dehydrated in spite of drinking water almost continuously all day.  So, we opted to take an air-conditioned cottage for a bit of luxury and have a restaurant meal.  The cottage was nice but the meal was a disaster, yesterday's kudu pie re-heated in the microwave to such an extent that the pastry was like rubber and the pie was dried up and frizzled around the edges. The duty manageress was just not interested in our complaint. 
We are now within two days of home and a long hot bath beckons!