16/11/89

After a reasonably early breakfast, we left the frontier with only the most rudimentary look-over by the customs officials. By now, they were so used to us hanging around that they knew us by name!

Linda, Mike and Bron checked in at the Police Station to get their passports stamped then we drove out of town, stopping for water at a gas station on the outskirts.

The road was sealed but pretty rough with a lot of wash-outs from the recent rain and it wound through rugged hills of twisted and folded stone, brown and grey under the turquoise sky. A cold wind was blowing and with the sides rolled up it was pretty cold.

Alongside the road, shepherds moved with their flocks of sheep and goats amongst the rocks and small stream-beds where bits of grass and scrub for them to eat grew.

We made leisurely time all day, stopping at a small town at the foot of some rugged hills for cafe-au-lait and a sandwich then continued on across the plain.

Mid-afternoon, we stopped out in the middle of a wide, wind-swept basin surrounded by rugged hills and criss-crossed with little stream-beds, some of which were flowing. It was uncannily like the Mackenzie Basin [where I had worked as a shepherd back in New Zealand] on a winter’s day. We cut down some some old telephone pole stumps (the poles themselves had long since been pinched by the locals!) to use as firewood.

About 4:30 we stopped in another small town for coffees then camped the night about a mile off the road a bit further on.

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