A Travellerspoint blog

Travelling inland

swapping damp for heat

sunny 30 °C
View Trip of the Half Century on IronladyTravels's travel map.

We were up early on Sunday for breakfast and an early start with our driver Winston. Breakfasts are starting to look the same. There is some dry breakfast cereal (perhaps a nod to the north american tourists which we have seen very few of), a variety of bread (generally VERY dense), a variety of luncheon meats and cheese (none that I would typically eat as I like harder cheeses). There is always yogurt and apples and bananas.

I managed to do a total boneheaded move at breakfast. I was trying to get cheerios and the dispenser wasn’t working so I tried to pick it up. Mistake as it wasn’t a canister but a cylinder so I managed to dump cheerios EVERYWHERE which earned me the dismissive wrath of the staff.

Winston was the driver who brought us to Agama Lodge which is located about equidistant between Solitaire and Sussvlei (if you are following us on google maps). He was a taciturn fellow - only talked when talked to. But we had almost 4 hours to probe and ask questions. He had come in from Windhoek the night before and was heading back after dropping us out.

The first 90 minutes was straight east through the desert. Not much to see both because it was just desert and also it was foggy. The road started out paved but then as it went past the uranium mine and the tire factory, the chinese need for the road ceased to exist so, even though this is THE road connecting the capital with the coast, it became a sandy/gravel road. Then we started winding our way through foot hills which then turned into small mountains with savanna between them. The grass was all brilliant yellow. It was also obvious where rivers ran - either under ground or seasonally because there would be a row of acacia trees following a lei line. It was all monochromatic but quite beautiful in a stark way. We saw ostriches and oryx and three wildebeest - the latter I was not expecting to see so that was fantastic.

We stopped several times for photos (at places that every other tourist vehicle travelling the high way stopped - honestly, sometimes it feels like I’m just walking a pathway in the zoo between exhibits). We also crossed the Tropic of Capricorn and some enterprising soul put a sign out in the middle of now where for people to stop and take pictures beside. Although wonders of wonders, there was no one charging a fee or expecting a tip.

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We had our lunch break (eating our “lunch pack” from the hotel which consisted of two sandwiches of luncheon meat, 2 hard boiled eggs, an apple and a juice box) at Solitaire which is at an intersection and is infamous for the rusted wrecks of vehicles scattered about. It looks like something from the movie “Cars” - a deserted western town where perhaps you’ll see Clint Eastwood and Kevin Costner striding through swinging saloon doors. (and white toyota pickups are EVERYWHERE).

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We got to our camp just before lunch. They weren’t expecting us but one “unit” was ready. I walked through the patio doors at the back of reception and saw a gorgeous pool area with lounge chairs and the Namib Nauflaut mountains in the background. Once again, it was a matter of dropping our stuff (barely registered our palatial unit) and heading for the pool. The water is FREEZING. They must refrigerate it because hours and hours of 36 degree temperature SHOULD warm it up. We all were very lazy all afternoon. I slept and read an entire book on my kindle. It was glorious.
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At some point in time, other travelers returned from their outings and joined us at the pool. I realized I shouldn’t have worried about packing a slightly larger bikini as, well, I’m surrounded by European tourists. There was a gaggle of spanish women with a variety of body sizes including some store bought body parts.

Mid-afternoon, I had a moment. I realized the sun was moving from right to left for the first time in my 50 years. It was both discombobulating AND that is when it registered for me that I am on the other side of the earth. (Although what I still haven’t adjusted to is needing to look right then left when crossing the road).

Just before supper, we realized it was feeding time for the local family of warthogs. There was at least four adults, several juveniles and a few smaller hogs. They were semi-tame - they crunched away happily on the food spread on the ground and were more focussed on chasing each other away from the food than of charging humans - presuming you didn’t get too close or get in the middle of them. What I obviously missed in animal documentaries is that warthogs kneel to eat.

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We met the rest of our tour group in the evening. We were originally told that there was another couple - mid-60s couple from England. Also joining us is a family from Australia - parents who are close to 80, middle aged daughter and husband, aunt (dad’s sister) and her husband. I suspect they are all worrying about what it will be like to have teenagers traveling along. Unlike the Aussie’s who we met in Cape Town, these folks are from Perth. But all of them have traveled a LOT and regularly. They are all very jolly and friendly. A Zimbabwean named Norberte is our guide (he’s channeling his inner Bob Marley most of the time) and a local Namibian who we call Mr T is the driver of the mini-bus.

A description about the camp - it is actually quite large - almost 40 little units that consist of a large bedroom, and bathroom with a private patio and a roof top patio with a bed. The 40 units are clustered around the central lodge which has reception, a lovely patio, the inifiinty swimming pool and a restaurant and a fire pit area. Our unit was enormous and had a second room with a small bathroom. Our shower alone is the size of some Toronto condo units.

The sunset is spectacular. My camera captures a fraction of the colours.
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Posted by IronladyTravels 06:04 Archived in Namibia

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