Francistown – our monthly

Francistown our closest city is some 230km away and Sue has to go through there once a month to pay over the employees taxes they deduct from their staff salaries to the government. The road is straight, long and with high temperatures the 460km round trip is not a day we look forward to.

The Department of Revenue generally has long queues and Sue has to go to two places, so we have now learnt that she sits in the one and I sit in the other which speeds up the process. The last time we went through the computer system was down – so we had just driven the 230km for nothing and tomorrow we have to go back again.

Apart from the tax there is always shopping to be done of things not obtainable here and we end up being there the whole day. We also always seem to go to Game (like a Walmart), even though we try and avoid it, as we know we will not walk out without having spent plenty.

After a day in the “big city” it is always great to head back to our peaceful little town, which is often a race against the sun as you don’t drive at night here. We pass though the last set of traffic light, knowing we won’t see another one for another month, and by then we would have probably forgotten what all those different coloured lights mean.

Heading out of town you pass the International Airport and a stadium, that was never opened as they found cracks in the structure, before turning left onto the long road home.

Often at this intersection is a police road block and at this time of year they make you get out of your car and go into a tent where they do a whole presentation on road safety and what to check on your car, etc. They also wait for enough people to be in the tent before starting the presentation.

The next land mark on the way home is the Sashe River, which only flows in the rainy season. This flows from here through the Tuli Block and into the Limpopo River. It is at this confluence that South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe meet.

You pass through a number of small villages, farmlands and cattle farms along the route. Even though the road has been cleared on either side the tell tale skid marks on the road reminds you to well cautious of the many donkeys. goats and cows to found crossing the road by their own rules.

On the side of the road you see piles of wood, which are for sale (something you can’t buy here in our desert), pulling of the road the area looks deserted, but soon as you stop a body will appear almost from nowhere.

There is also a charcoal “factory” and with cheap prices I once got a good stock, only to find I battled to get it hot and then the heat didn’t last long. I still have many bags lying around our house – which I am prepared to sell at a very good price if anybody is interested.

We have one veterinary post on the route, which controls the movement of meat from one area to another. We make friends with the policeman on duty on our way to there, then buy them some fruit, food, magazines etc in Francistown for them. With the gifts en-route home our cool boxes have never been searched.

From the Vet fence home is about 80km and is time to break into some of our supplies as it is exactly a two beer drive from there to home (Sue driving of course). One thing we always look out for is the quaint mud hut with a satellite TV system.

It is quiet a pleasure to come over a ridge, see the mine dumps and often the setting sun knowing knowing we are nearly home.


About PeteMorrie

Marketing Consultant
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2 Responses to Francistown – our monthly

  1. Rina says:

    You two are terribly spoilt and have developed very short memories. Francistown and the trip there and back is a picnic compared to a day in the life of Joburg traffic !
    You forgot to mention the stops at the little corrogated iron shops next to the road selling the coldest cold drinks. I admit the stretch of road is very straight and boring if you keep your eyes ONLY on the road – but there is always a hornbill or two, a donkey and its mate, gazzillion cows to dodge, eagles and a host of other creepy crawleys to make life interesting.
    If you were complaining – No one this side is listening !

  2. Suki Viljoen says:

    Loving the hut with the Sat dish!

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