As I left Botswana’s Khama Rhino Sanctuary I spoke to a German couple who said they were going to exit Botswana at Gaberone “cos they want to drive longer in Bots – they like it here.” So I changed plan and did the same. Instead of heading east to Martin’s Drift / Groblersbrug border post, I meandered south to the Tlokweng / Kopfontein crossing.
As afternoon approached the old familiar Where To Stay dilemma started – not my favourite part of my meandering life. For a change I decided to ask someone, as Groot Marico turned out to be a surprisingly not-groot dorpie. The Wag n Biekie Pub looked enticing, set in a shady garden.
Three manne looked comfortable at the pub. One my age was nursing a brandy n coke; one who said he was the youngest oke left in the Groot Marico at 36, nursing a brandy n coke; and Brian, nut farmer. ‘No not macadamias, the climate is wrong. Pecans,’ nursing a brandy n coke. Once Brian and his gabbas had sussed me out – What you doin’? Where you goin’? How old are you? Where do you hail from? – he hopped onto the phone to sort out a place for me to spend the night: Hello Liddy my darling. Listen, Wild Bill Hickok has come to town and is needing a bed, can you help him sweetheart?
Liddy could, so Brian drew what he assured me was a very accurate map to get to Evergreen farm I couldn’t miss it. Luckily I listened carefully as he scribbled.
I bought a round then, as when they heard it was my first visit they winked at the barmaid and she brought me a glass of amarula liquer. ‘Watch out, don’t choke hey! There’s something in it,’ I was warned. I thought maybe a chilli but turned out to be a cherry, which I slukked.
While the kind ladies in the pub kitchen made me a supper to take home we all had another dop, then I departed with thanks for the lekker hospitality.
Evergreen farm’s chalet was great and the monster burger I had for supper was delish.
The next day I discovered the Groot Marico river runs gin-clear as it’s source is an ‘oog’ – a large dolomitic hole in the ground, a spectacular scuba diving spot.
It flows northwards; for a stretch it is named Madikwene River, then reverts to the name Marico, bends northeastwards and forms the border between South Africa and Botswana. Further downstream the Crocodile River joins the Marico from the right and the name of the stream after the confluence becomes the famous Limpopo River.
dorpie – hamlet; village
not-groot – tiny; no metropolis
Wag n Biekie – linger a while
gabbas – mates; chinas
chinas – mates
slukked – swallowed; like swallowing a slug