I’m in Namibia! My friend Lauren was scheduled to pick me up on Tuesday morning at 4:30am. At 5am I woke up with her knocking and shouting at my front door. Our flight was taking off at 6:25am. I’d slept through my alarm. But we made it.
So after having a laserbeam shone at our necks to test our temperatures at the airport in Windhoek, we headed to the Hertz counter to get our car.
I was expecting something small and light like a VW polo (you can tell I’ve never been to Namibia), but we were allocated a big white Toyota Hilux, with automatic gears, rear-view reversing camera and 4 wheel drive. This was going to be fun.
From the airport we drove straight to Windhoek, which is definitely located inside a hole in time and space. Brown, orange and green buildings and spaceship-like architecture smack of the 70’s. We immediately re-dubbed it Vintagehoek.
I think that the 24 hours in transit from Athens coupled with exhaustion has taken it’s toll on me. I’ve got a really bad cold and all Tuesday night I had Ebola fever dreams. I dreamed I was diagnosed with the virus and my medical aid was refusing to pay for treatment. In my dream I was trying to re-trace my steps from Athens to Dubai, then Cape Town. Who had sneezed on me? Who had I touched? In the dream my family was refusing to come to see for fear of contacting the virus. It was horrible.
But I’m wandering from the point here. The point being that we are busy travelling through Namibia. Our first point of call was Erongo Lodge, where we had a quick bite to eat before setting off for White Lady Lodge. Erongo was like the desert oasis you imagine. Complete with luxurious safari tents and a sparkling blue pool in the middle of the red desert.
I feel awkward telling you that the name of our accommodation on the first night describes me, but it actually refers to the world famous rock art piece “White Lady”. Dating back over 2000 years, the picture was originally thought to be a white lady of Cretan descent. But was later identified as an African medicine man.
I have to say that my immediate thought, had I been an explorer and finder of ancient African rock art, would be that it’s a lot more likely to find a rock painting by ancient African tribesmen depicting a medicine man than a woman from the Mediterranean. I’d hate to be the guy who decided that in the first place.
Anyway, it’s been really nice seeing the bits and pieces of Namibia along the road. Desolation and mountain ranges. Small towns and burnt out cars. Villages and makeshift tyre repair stops. Donkeys and and springbokkies, giraffes and wild horses. Pink and purple sunsets. Rock formations and paintings. Bright yellow fields of grass and pale dirt roads stretching out forever.
It was a cool 42 degrees Celsius out here in the desert on Wednesday, resulting in Lauren and me spending as much time as we could in or around the swimming pool at White Lady Lodge.
On Thursday morning we headed off early in the direction of Twyfelfontein and the Damara Living Museum. This was an amazing experience and a really special place. I’ll talk more about it soon. It was fascinating getting to experience the way of life of the native Damara tribe- their all-natural pharmacy, home-brewed beer and tribal dramatic performance.
On Friday we are up early for a game drive at Palmwag Lodge, then off once again to Vingerklip Lodge for an evening game drive and an early night.
– Our trip has been arranged by Open Africa. Read more about it here.