February 18. Hitching it off.

Charles is driving a big truck all the way down to Gaborone. The Chinese-built road cuts sharply through the endless arid plains of Botswana. He spots some elephants trotting along the road with an intense crimson sunset in the background. He arrives in Gaborone ahead of schedule, as early as 3:50 in the morning. He has to refuel once near Francistown: 400 liters of diesel fuel and 400 milliliters of redbull. Charles likes his job, driving the endless roads without a boss looking over his shoulders, listening to his favorite music as the seat of his modern truck gently moves up and down. Today is a little different though. For the first time in six years he has picked up some hitchhikers, a harmless looking couple.

It is our lucky day. We start in the rain a few blocks away from our overpriced Victoria Falls lodge, and see cars passing. We want to catch a free ride, not because we want to be stingy but because we want to promote the concept. Our umbrella doesn’t keep us dry and we start singing as we hold on to our bags and slowly get soaked. A tall SUV finally pulls over and the driver introduces himself as a pastor, implying his willingness to help us. His assistant drives us to the border, where we have a déja vu on the main road that would takes us down to Gaborone. An adventurous cyclist greets us about half an hour before Charles picks us up. We greet him back when our truck overtakes him, and leave him alone with his courageous mission and the dim horizon.