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And just like that the Ranger Odyssey ended…

On the day after I returned home from the Odyssey, I sent a note part of which went like this…

“… I woke up this morning & I wasn’t in a tent. There wasn’t an amazing view & there weren’t two dozen+ friends to share some banter with. No one asked me how I slept. But I found myself having coffee & rusks anyway…  

… Thank you doesn’t feel like nearly enough, it feels like quite a lame thing to say really, but I don’t know what else to say. Thank you, thank you, thank you!…”

I don’t quite know how to describe how I’ve been feeling in the almost 3 weeks that I’ve been back other than a tad depressed. And that’s new for me. Of course I always come back from vacation bummed that it’s over but this wasn’t just a vacation. If anything it was more like a working holiday. It was tough, really tough in parts. At 25 days in total it was the longest I’ve ever travelled consecutively. It was an experience that, even if I had the money to buy, I’d be unable to recreate. There just isn’t a travel agent in the world that could package the magic it was. And I want to go back! Now!

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Our route. I was there!!!!

In my last update, we had made our way as far as Zambia. In the second half of the Odyssey we slipped into Botswana by the skin on our teeth, dipped into SA for a long enough to have reception and call our loved ones and had a beach holiday of our lives in Mozambique before we headed back home through Nelspruit, one of the most beautiful & underrated parts of SA. I still find myself thinking back to my favourite moments. Heck I even recently dreamed that I was back on the Odyssey one night!

For day-by-day updates on the Odyssey, all 10 contestants did a short daily blog  post on the Ford Ranger Odyssey site over here. There are also a bunch of  cool videos so you can see more of what we got up to. You can win one of 3 African holidays of your own if you register & comment.

Enjoy these pics from the second half…

20130703_172714 Crossing the Zambezi River into Botswana from Zambia in a record 34 minutes. Mind the crocs…

 

20130704_070210 Imagine waking up to this view over the Chobe River. Botswana is such a special place….

 

20130704_094806 Dr Livingstone I presume? The Old Hunters’ Road forms the border between Zimbabwe & Botswana. This is where it all happened & we decided to stop for a coffee break…

 

20130704_175249 Nothing prepared me for the flatness & serenity of the Makgadikgadi pans (once a lake that evaporated thousands of years ago) in Botswana…

 

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 We dipped back into South Africa heading from Botswana to Mozambique for a day. I’d never seen a cotton farm before. What a magnificent sight…

20130709_134603 Paindane, a typical village in Mozambique. Notice that the huts are entirely made of palm frons… Kids, clearly used to tourists passing through would run alongside The Rangers for as long as they could, hands outstretched and shouting “sweets, sweets….”

20130710_160753 We delivered some farming supplies to the chief and he took it upon himself to show us his garden. He was so proud…

20130710_161503 The Paindane kids were as curious about us as we were about them…

20130711_064018 Nope this isn’t a postcard, this was our actual view one morning on our stoep in Inhambane, Mozambique…

20130713_114252 In a country where so much has been destroyed, I wondered into a beautiful building one day in search of a loo. Turns out it was Maputo’s City Hall built in 1945…

PS I may have failed to mention that the Odyssey is actually a competition – I had to remind myself of this often. As if the prize of the holiday in Africa isn’t enough, one of the 10 contestants will walk away with a fully accessorized Odyssey-edition Ford Ranger Double Cab 3.2 XLT 4×4 worth over R600k next week.  Eek!

I cannot wait to see everyone! The Odyssey girls are staying an extra night so we can partay! 🙂

Have a fab weekend…

W

xoxo

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