Got up way to early to watch the sunrise. A basic sunrise, not too much color, and the sun seemed to leap above the horizon. But as usual the magic of the desert going from grays and silvers to full color was spectacular. After some repair work on the fuel pump (a hose clamp failed) we were off by the record time of eight. Stopped at the same tree we robbed yesterday and collected even more wood (my axwork even earned me a blister!)
Stopped in a small town outside of the Kalahari park to fill up with gas. We also managed to track down and buy the last (only) bottle of Amarula. Of course then we had to go on a quest for ice which strangely enough was successful - although we had to buy from the hospital.
We got to the gate of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve early in the afternoon. Originally we had been planning on driving to Gabrone, seeking permits and reservations then driving back to the park. Given the distance we would have had to go out of the way, the fact that it's approaching Easter weekend, so it probably would have involved waiting many days, and that many people had told us it was unnecessary - we went straight to the park... and got denied. After a good half hour of discussion with the ranger we arranged to camp at the gate tonight and first thing in the morning head in to the park so that we could make it all the way through to the West in one day - thus avoiding having to camp (which he wouldn't let us do). We spent the afternoon hanging out and recovering from the rather rough drive. Had a very early diner, watched the [giant] moon rise, had a huge fire (had to use all the wood - we are allowed to sit on the roof here), and (as usual) finished off the evening with a bottle of Amarula and classical music. Surprise of the evening: Dean, Joy, and I were sitting on the straw mat playing cards when Dean jumped up, quickly followed by the rest of us - a small snake was looking for cover and apparently our butts looked good! Eventually we shoed it off and sat back down - though everyone was a bit edgy.