Saturday, July 07, 2007

......illegal entry

We reached the Zim/Botswana border at about 3 in the afternoon with the thoughts of getting through and getting down the road 100 k’s to Francistown for a bed but were we wrong and our biggest dilemma was about to begin.

On the Zimbabwe side we simply were stamped out and we road on to the Botswana border bidding a good farewell to Zim after a nice time there considering all we had heard before going there. As we approached the Botswana border post we could see lines of cars and people everywhere, queues, queues a mile long with no less than 200 people in them, we were in for a long wait. We lined up after parking our bikes and asked around how long the wait would be and it turned out to be a lot longer than daylight hours we had left and we did not want to be stuck riding in the dark. After awhile I came up with a plan to try and get through quicker, down the front of the line I went and spoke with the soldier controlling the line, gave him a story I was a very important person from the government and hey presto he said go through, great I thought. But this was the point that we would go no further!

The customs lady asked for our passports, looked at mine then Amy’s, the emergency passport, she raised an eyebrow, oh no what now. You have to remember in this part of the world blacks hate whites, not all of course but there is a lot of grudges held and when one is given certain powers they think they can dictate what ever they want. The customs lady said that we could not enter as it was an emergency passport and Amy needed a visa but I did not! We both thought this was rubbish and we did find out later it was. So I started out politely questioning her actions to why really we needed a visa and then kindly asked to speak with the officer in charge. The customs lady went to get the boss came back and said she will be with us shortly. We stood for about 30 minutes waiting, no boss arrived I asked the lady where she is and her simple reply was she has gone to lunch! Was getting well pissed off by now. I said lunch its almost 4 pm, the customs lady began with a lecture of well we need to eat you know just like ‘you people’ as they prefer to us, I started been not so nice realising that all hope of getting Amy’s passport stamped was fading and our option was to turn back to Zim and go to Harare, over a 1000 k’s back for a visa from the Botswana embassy, not an option I thought. So I argued the point some more that we needed to see someone important, then the reply came that the boss had one home, I lost it, saying how incompetent these people were and if this was a reflection on the people of Botswana I don’t want to enter their country anyway. Hmmm some how I think I was going down the wrong path. And then the boss appeared, I glared at the customs lady politely calling her a liar before chatting with the boss, nope her stance was the same and that was that.

We left the building dejected, it was late the sun almost set, a Friday afternoon so none of the Australian embassies could help, what to do, Amy got upset it was just to much for her. I was thinking of a plan, I had my passport stamped first but Amy did not but if we just could get passed the border man at the gate. We road up thinking the worst and prepared to turn around and go back, as it was a one way road we had to still ride around the border which involved entering Bots and then following the road back around into Zim. We road up to the border gate and I simply said to the man we need to go through and ride around to the Zim side please, he half looked at my passport and not Amy’s and waved us through, we road on nervously as I knew what I was thinking and hoped Amy the same, that was ‘lets keep going' I slowed so Amy was beside me as we approached the right turn to take the road back to Zim, took one look at her and yep she was thinking the same as me, we screwed the throttle into Botswana, I was fine but Amy was illegal, we cruised to Francistown in the dark, I now had to think of how to get her out of the country……