(Note: I’ll be posting a few journals from my travels here and there. Technical difficulties, unfortunately, prevent me from posting photos.)
Current Song: Go Do — Jonsi
Seriously. I’m somewhere in the middle of the Namib Desert. That’s about all I know. 🙂 After two days in Windhoek, I’m now out here in the bush preparing for an excursion to Sossusvlei (a renowned spot for sand dunes).
…Recap on the past two days: The same waiter that was exceedingly friendly at breakfast after my nine-hour jaunt from Frankfurt also offered me a ride into the city. The airport is about 50km from Windhoek, so you can imagine that options are somewhat limited and expensive. I was later told the reason for such a distance was because they couldn’t find any other flat area around to put an international airport. Hmm.
I was dropped off near the spot where my host for the next few days was planning to meet me, and I discovered an evil, evil comfy couch in the lobby of the Kalahari Sands Hotel. I soon discovered that the security guards there aren’t too keen on people falling asleep in the middle of their hotel. However, I discovered a location that didn’t mind if I dozed off: the bar. I guess jetlag and mild drunkenness have the same symptoms, although the likelihood of the latter occurring at 9am on a Saturday are not too great. Rescue came in the form of my host, Liezl, a few hours later.
While I could comment on the awesome hospitality offered to me, I’d rather just summarize: a city truly is defined by its inhabitants, and the opportunity to hang out with the locals for a few days in Windhoek made it all the more enjoyable. While interacting with fellow hostelmates is always a fun time, you get a flavor for “the scene” in an even greater context when you’re paired with people that live and breathe the culture you’re only dipping your toes into.
The drive out to anti-civilization was a bit schizophrenic, which is exactly how I’d describe the Namibian landscape. One moment, you’re on a highway traveling to one of the very few towns of greater than 30,000 people, with trees and hills and vegatation all about. Thirty minutes later, you’re driving precariously on a bumpy gravel road with nothing but desert and your own thoughts to guide you. A six hour drive with no radio gives you plenty of time to talk to yourself, which in my case, always results in a vivid storyline.
From there, let’s go to the highlights of the day:
– Getting lost for a good couple hours enroute to Sossusvlei
– Ascending Spreetshoogle Pass and being greeted by a view of what was to come of Namibia’s absolutely diverse landscape
– Solitaire, Namibia, home of Moose McGregor, a proclaimed Minnesota Vikings fan, and the best apple pie I’ve ever tasted. Where they grow the apples is a total mystery to me.
– Pasing through herds of springbok and spotting multiple desert foxes and not being on a game drive to do it
– The night sky. It’s like someone spilled a bunch of sand on pitch black construction paper. Absolutely stunning.