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Bushman paintings (and more rocks)

Spitzkoppe and Omaruru

sunny 33 °C
View Trip of the Half Century on IronladyTravels's travel map.

September 1st, had us heading inland and to the northeast.The road to Spitzkoope was so bumpy that we worried the windows in the bus were going to fall out. There is a settlement of bushman as you approach Spitkoppe - with a school and medical clinic and shops. (the government person in me wondered how they deliver basic services to these communities. They aren’t that far from major centres but there is nothing in the middle.) The homes are tin shacks. Some only had tin roofs and tarp sides. The road was lined with little stands selliing precious stones (apparently there is a silver topaz) and other things designed to appeal to tourists. We didn’t stop as none of us were interested.

I avidly read my new geology hand book as we drove so I was able to point out that we were in the gravelly zone of the Namib dessert (the sand dunes are in the sand part, obviously). And that Switzkoppe was once buried below the earth but as erosion happened (or in the Ken Ham version, the floods wore away the ground), the granite crease emerged and it now looms 1,730 metres above sea level. You can see it from a long way away except there is so much fine gravel in the air that things look rather foggy.

Our first stop in the Spitzkoppe park area was at a pile of boulders called “the bridge” - more obviousness. It was a fun climb up - not that challenging although there was a ferocious wind blowing through the opening. The large streaks of white down the sides of the boulders marked the latrine area of the rock dassi (relative of the rodent like creature from the Penguin Colony south of Cape Town).


After clambering about, we drove around to wear the Bushman guides do the tour of rock art. We had seen the photos of the rock art in the SA museum so it was neat to see it up close and personal. Although I would obviously suck at deciphering drawings as I would never have been able to divine the stories the guide told. The bushman also taught us the 4 clicks that the local San people use and then tried to teach us some words. The sounds alone are relatively easy to make but putting them into a sentence with other words was a bit tricky.


We had lunch at an outdoor restaurant (which was also close to ablution stations - aka showers - for those people who want to camp near Spitkoppe). It again feels very much like Clint Eastwood could come strolling around the corner (but now I'm not sure - does Clint stroll? Perhaps he saunters.) The benches were made out of pallets (upcycling at its best). There were also a few cats wandering about including some kittens in a corner (see photo of boys intently staring into a corner watching the kittens practice catching a lizard that the mother cat had brought them.)

We headed still north to our evening destination of Omaruru. On the way - we saw our first giraffes. Unfortunately, we were hurtling down a hiway and so were unable to slow down or stop. Poor Ben was sleeping and so he missed the first sighting. However, the next morning, we saw quite a few munching away on tree tops.

We also saw Steenbok (“rock deer” - so called because they freeze when chased which means the predator loses sight of them. They also have huge big ears that proportionately are like hare ears.

For my farming readers, the fencing systems beside the road continue. We had a stop to look at a termite mound and I examined the fence. There is very high tensile wire running along (about 4 horizontal strands). About every 8th post goes into the ground and in between (suspended almost as spacers for the wires) are the 1.5” diameter posts. Inside the fence is about a 5 foot wide section of bare dirt (I guess to see footprints better?). I’m not sure what the purpose of the fence is as I’d think a determined cattle beast could take it out.

Slept overnight in Omaruru at a “Guest house” which in Canada would likely be a small inn. The rooms were pretty simple but certainly adequate and clean. My only complaint would be that the beds were verging on hard. And while I am getting used to the constant “double” bed simply being two twins pushed together (each with their own eiderdown - eliminates fighting for the covers), many of them don’t even bother to try to fill in the gap in the middle . I also wish there was also just a top sheet as it would be nice to have an option between nothing or eiderdown.

The pool was the usual glacial cold. The meal was decent but not amazing. I could get used to the lovely warm and BUG FREE evenings.

Posted by IronladyTravels 05:21 Archived in Namibia

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