Day 30 – August 12
(CHRIS) Paul got up on time, but Sam kept hitting snooze, so we left a little after sunset, packing the tent away for the last time. Sniff. We had a few hours left in the park and Paul made a Namath-like prediction that we would see cats before we left.
Lo and behold, we saw cheetahs. 2 of ‘em under a tree and they moved to another tree just as we pulled up. We thought they were leopards at 1st. They were bigger than we imagined. Makes me think our 1st leopard in Moremi was a cheetah too. Other members of the cat-jam corrected us when we asked if it were a leopard.
Curios called us along the road to Jo’burg, but calling even louder was a clanging from below. Yes, we figured Godfree’s work had run its course. The UV joint was on its last legs. We stopped at a garage, but mechanic was out to lunch. Since we had to get to the airport pretty quick, we continued to Nelspruit, S.A. Paul got angry when I said right and Sam said left and we ended up in a miraculously GOOD PLACE.
We explained our problem to the mechanic in this large city and he hopped in his truck and led us to a place that specialized in UV joints. Cyril and co at this place so enjoyed our travel stories that they fixed it for free. They said it was merely a matter of replacing Godfree’s jerry-rigged bolt with the correct one. They said we would have lost it in 50 k’s more. Not only that, they recommended a good burger joint named Brewers. Sam said it was the best burger he ever had. Fries were good too.
We got to the airport at 8:05pm and Lynda was waiting. No major problems turning in the Rocsta, but we will probably lose the deposit. Turned out, tho, that our flight did not exist. I was able to reach Ethiopian Airlines N.Y. office (none of their workers were at the airport) and they said the flight had been moved 2 days later, also 11pm. I asked if they could therefore put us on a flight tonight with another carrier and she said no. So we got a room via a taxi at Road Inn. It cost only $25 for 3-person room. We had some vending machine food before bedding down.