A few people have asked me when I’ll be undertaking this journey. The answer is that I haven’t quite decided yet. It seems to make sense to do it when the weather is cool and before the rains gain momentum. I was thinking August or September. The former is drier, the latter warmer and also gets into anniversary territory. We entered Angola on the last day of August. Here’s what I wrote in my journal at the time:
“1 Sept 1987 First day of Spring
Angola – We’ve been in Angola since yesterday afternoon. We left Bittersoet* early yesterday to begin our 400km drive. Our route took us up the Caprivi Strip, following the Kavango River. We crossed the river just after the turnoff for Botswana and replenished at a place called Buffalo**. We then turned left and into Angola.”
This time I’ll be doing the journey in the reverse, coming down from the north. I really hope that I can, more or less, retrace my steps back to the border via Mavinga. It somehow feels like a good way to close the old circle.
I didn’t set out to have this journey coincide with the anniversary of my involvement in the war, but it does have a certain appeal. From experience I know that ghosts are closer to the surface around anniversary time so maybe they’ll be more easily laid to rest.
Practically speaking, I will have just over 7 months, post-festive season, to get in shape and to raise some money for charity.
*a temporary base near Rundu. Translates as Bittersweet, quite aptly I think!
**we must have been close to the 32 Battalion base