Day 279: Meteorite Fragments

Sun. 19th May 2013

What no animals?The alarm is set for 5:30am, half an hour earlier than necessary, to see the sunrise and take a peep at the waterhole before breakfast. However the animals have decided to have a lie in and the water hole was deserted. Straight after breakfast it is time to head out of the park and on to Windhoek. As it is a fair drive we are told we will only stop on our way out of the park if we see a pink elephant! We see nothing new so do not linger at the Ombika Waterhole on the way out.

More interesting than a craft marketAfter two amazing days today is a quiet day. En route from the park we stop in a small town and have time to wander around the craft market whilst lunch is being prepared. As the rule of “anything we buy we have to carry” still holds we give it a miss as we usually find the stall holders are  very insistent making it difficult to refuse. Apparently the shops are not allowed to sell beer on a Sunday – we did not even realise it was Sunday!

Christus KircheAfter yet another tasty snack prepared by Thembi we hit the road and received the good news that we were only an hour from Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. Even better we find that the road was dual carriageway most of the route. This gave us plenty of time to look around the capital city, after a drive around to orientate ourselves. The place was like a ghost town with the majority of the shops shut, being Sunday.

German MemorialJanis left us by the Christus Kirche church and Parliament buildings which are quite architecturally different buildings from different eras. The Christus Kirche is the oldest Evangelical Lutheran church in Namibia sanctified in 1910. Photos taken we started exploring the town by heading to a statue of a man on a horse. It was of course a German war memorial, being still in an area which was settled in by Germans.

Olly and a piece of meteoriteThe other must see sight in Windhoek is the Gibeon Meteorites, thirty stones mounted on stands in the middle of a walking precinct. Apparently 600 million years ago, (give or take!) one of the world’s heaviest downpours of meteorites, amounting to 17 tonnes before breaking up in the atmosphere occurred some 300 km south of here. Sorry for sounding like QI but I had to ask the question “Why”.

Local ParkThere really was not much to see, so we headed for a café to have a cup of tea. We did find the locals who were enjoying the sunshine and sat out in the park. Our accommodation was a few kilometres from town at Arebbusch Travel Lodge with our rooms dotted around a park area in blocks of four, each with a terrace to sit out. I quickly spotted a tree suitable for my very handy washing line and soon had the next load of laundry washed and drying. One of the advantage of the dry atmosphere is that clothes dry very quickly and it was all sorted by bedtime.

Our Group minus ChandaTonight is the last evening for four of our group who only signed up for the Namibian section of this trip and it is a free evening. Dave and I opt to stay at the lodge and make the most of the internet before we head even more off the beaten track and into Botswana. This turned out to be the wrong decision as our food was mediocre and the service slow, whereas those who went into town had an excellent time with good food and were not late back. We had time to sit and have one last chat in the bar. The highlight of the day is the meteorite stones and the mystery of why they are here, which is quite a contrast to Etosha.

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