Day 271: African Massage

Sat. 11th May 2013

Springbok watching usAfter a plentiful breakfast at the hotel we load up into Janis, our now very familiar adventure vehicle, and head off on our long drive. Any drinks needed on the way are stored in a big army trunk kept cool with bags of ice. The only entertainment of the drive was the ever changing scenery and an odd glimpse of a springbok or baboon as we bounce along on the rough dirt roads.  This is our free African massage!

Typical roadThe roads we are on today are dirt roads and are not too bumpy, but  I find it impossible to read. It is also difficult to hold a conversation over the noise of the truck, especially with the language barrier as we are a group of five Germans, three Slovaks, two South African, one Australian and us two Brits. Dave must be catching up with his podcasts, the amount of listening he gets done. I just sit and watch the scenery or doze.

Beautiful scenery in the evening light evening lightNamibia is the world’s 34th biggest country (825 km2) with a population of only 2 million so there area lot of empty spacesThere is some infrastructure in Namibia with permanent roads through the dry landscape.They are quite wide, (but no markings!) and seem to have a rough row of stones by the side to mark them. Even when we get to the desert area it is not driving on sands like in the movies, but just more dirt roads.

Acacia tree dotted on the landscapeThe roads are mainly straight as far as the eye can see and the mountain ranges either side of the road come and go throughout the day. The landscape is all pastel colours with the odd Acacia tree dotted around  as they are able to grow in the dry conditions with their main root going down to about 80 metres until it finds water. The remaining plants are small and pale in colour dotted over the poor quality sandy soil.

All the services one could needThe only place we passed through all day was Bethanie for coffee and use of their clean toilets. Throughout the day there were plenty of nature stops to stretch our legs and use the natural facilities. Luckily there were usual thick bushes to hide behind to “water” the sand. Lunch was a quick affair of sandwiches and salad under a tree in the middle of nowhere. We are all now used to the routine of putting the chairs out and away, as well as helping with the washing up and packing away.

Daisy's friend, BlatterFinally we arrive at Hammerstein Lodge were we are staying. As we drove up there was a springbok grazing by the entrance and we made a mental note to go back and photograph. It turned out to be Daisy one of the three tame springboks living there who can be seen foraging around the hotel grounds. They are quite happy to pose for a photo but a bit too playful butting with their horns if you try and touch them.

Outdoor dining and keeping warmWe watched the sun go down and with it the temperature dropped significantly. Our supper was a very tasty lamb stew served outside and we were grateful for the open fire to keep warm by. We all needed a bit of a stretch after the long day travelling and had mixed views on the African massage we had received sat in Janis’s seats, being bounced around all day.


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