Just Turbulence? We’re Gonna Crash!
WELCOME TO BOTSWANA
When we crossed over into Botswana, we took a four-wheel drive vehicle. However, there was a catch. Because years earlier cattle were infected with foot and mouth disease, we needed to take some precautions. When the the disease is found, the government will ban the slaughter and sell of the meat. Needless to say, this affects the bottom line of locals. What we needed to do was walk on this mat soaked in some kind of solution which would help prevent us from carrying any nasty germs in on our boots. Even our vehicle had to run through a puddle, making sure the tires were treated.
Our next stop was a little airfield outside Maun. My first impression was this would be a perfect den of spies, CIA connections, drug deals and of course, a romantic comedy with me and Mark Wahlberg. Sigh. Give me a second….
Okay. I’m good. Here we boarded a plane that was about the size of your dining room table. As my mother would say, “Not enough room to cuss a cat.” My hubby sat in the front with the pilot and I was in the back with our friends, the Lanes. Remember it was winter so the area was dry and hot. Although it is cool in the morning, by the time we took off in the early afternoon the heat began to rise from the savanna floor. You could see waves of heat coming off the one and only runway.
Soon we were in the air. Thankfully, I had done my homework. I’m a research maniac. I knew when the plane began to bounce and dip like we were going to drop out of the sky, I could take some comfort knowing the heat caused the turbulence. Who am I kidding? I wanted to start screaming, “I’m gonna die! My babies are going to be orphans!”
About that time Leann’s husband chimed in to say, “Look!” He nudged me. “See the elephants?”
Well I didn’t give a rip at that point. I was so air sick I expected to hurl into the collar of the pilot sitting in front of me. I recreate this scene in my new book Black Mamba. This was real folks! I wasn’t just writing from my imagination. Soon a strip of land appeared in the Okavango Delta where we would be beginning yet another adventure. I’m happy to report the pilot did not have to clean himself up from my upset stomach. When my husband helped me step onto solid ground, the first thing I said was, “I don’t know how we’re getting out of here, but I’m not getting back on that plane!”
We moved through the bush toward our new digs. Talk about romantic. And yes, just like the book, I was pretty excited about seeing real elephant poop. Everyone else, not so much. I staggered into camp and requested something cold to drink—you know like an ice-cold Coke full of crushed ice, to settle my stomach. The camp director was so sweet and handed me a Coke straight away. Warm to the touch and in the can. Another shock. No ice in the bush? No McDs in sight! What? I was soon on the mend and ready for adventure.
In a few hours we went on a walking safari. Just us, a guide, a boat and a camera. Side note here: NO WEAPON TO PROTECT ME FROM HUNGRY LIONS! Just walking around with our bare faces hanging out like we had good sense. I didn’t know whether to be looking down for black mambas or keep an eye out for what was rattling behind the bushes. No snakes as it turned out and it was only a herd of lovely impalas, more afraid of us than we were of them.
Enough for today! Botswana was definitely the highlight of our trip. I’ll be sure to fill in all the details next time. While you’re here you might as well pre-order Black Mamba for .99. It is for a limited time only. Release day is November 13th. https://amzn.to/2PjbZuo
Here is a little more info about that deadly disease I told you about at the top.
Foot-and-mouth disease is a severe, highly contagious viral disease. The virus causes illness in cows, pigs, sheep, goats, deer, and other animals with divided hooves. Horses and domestic pets aren’t affected. It is not considered a public health threat.