Bag of bones and all, Nick, Hamish and I were now sitting on a pile of our gear, over 100kg of it. Believe it or not, we were 500km from where we have to be to begin the paddle. No money, 100 Dollars, 40 Euros, 5 pounds and a few Rands, a credit card that I can’t draw cash on. But we had managed to draw quite a crowd of locals who were really interested to see what our next move was as it would be dark soon and we were just chilling on our pile of gear, trying to strategise.
Our plan was to try and get a local bus at 5 the next morning as that was the cheapest option, but probably the worst as the say “Money talks, Bullshit walks”, we seemed to fall in the latter.
Eventually some of the local entrepreneurs in the transport industry could not hold out and the haggle began. I placed the contents of my wallet on the sidewalk; cash cards even my medical aid and voyager card, whatever might work. The best deal was 8000 local currency, about R 3500 or 300 USD. From group to group I went and bartered and begged. At times it got quite heated as I was told in no uncertain terms that I was mad. Things then took a turn for the good when Hamish managed to find an ATM under a tree that his card worked on. In a behind the scenes undercover move we managed to get some local currency and now re-entered the bargaining arena with an upper hand and finally clinched a deal.
An old Toyota twin cab, broken windshield, a driver, 3 seat belts, aircon and a guard on the back for our gear, plus a 40 minute detour for a spare wheel we finally hit the road. 7 hours of hell lay ahead.