It had been a rather chilly and sleepless night in the tent. It wasn’t just the lack of our beloved air mattress but also the tent seemed more suitable for summer. We missed Amy’s amazing tent we had used in the USA, the Cadillac of tents as far as we’re concerned. Over at my parent’s cabin we had a much needed coffee and some breakfast, before packing everything in the car and hitting the road again.
It was time to say goodbye to South Africa and (this time) legally cross the border to Namibia. At the border crossing things got a tad heated again… My father, assuming charge as per usual, summoned our passports and took them to the wrong place (the Customs Desk). We waited rather arrogantly at the place we thought to take the passports (Passport Control Desk) until he returned and informed us that actually where we standing was indeed the place to hand the passport.
“No shit, Sherlock!” kinda came to mind.
It’s a difficult one – my mom is partly deaf so my father assumes these roles of being in charge, whereas Triin and I usually talk to each other and figure stuff out together. Plus, we have numerous border crossings under our belt so we kinda know the drill by now.
After managing not to kill each other whilst crossing the border we made our way to the second most visited site in Namibia – Fish River Canyon, which was breathtaking and reminded us of the beloved Grand Canyon, just a tad smaller. It was intensely hot (Namibia had been experiencing three years of draught) and after the argument at the border and a hour car ride in silence, Triin and I ended up going for a long walk by ourselves along the canyon rim. I know – so far not good.
The landscape had drastically changed once we crossed to Namibia. It was all vast empty spaces, huge sky and lots of dry, dusty rocks and hills. It looked so inhospitable but yet there was lots of life present: animals, birds, humans – I’ve no idea what they eat or drink.
We headed back to the car after a long photo session and had a very enjoyable lunch. We drove the 4 hours to our Airbnb in Helmeringshausen, on the way stopping a few times to admire the landscape and get some supplies for dinner. We did have a bit of a fright a few hours in as we were running low on petrol and couldn’t find a place to fill up. Gals, guys, gays – seriously – Namibia is basically a vast hot dusty rocky chunk of land. If you get stuck there you will die. We hardly saw other cars for hours on end on these gravel roads. Running out of gas was not an attractive option. Luckily, we found a teeny tiny village and that’s why we’re here, telling the tale. And strangely, that village had a book swap cafe and Triin managed to find a gorgeously written ‘Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow’ by Peter Høeg, a Danish author. What a contrast – a book about snow in the desert.
Our first night in Namibia was at an Airbnb which ended up being on a farm in the middle of nowhere. There aren’t many options on AirBnB to start with, I’ll tell you that 😀 We just knew that the view of the stars that night would be epic which made us feel so happy and relaxed. They had built small en-suite rooms with a fireplace outside to heat the water. The farmer, Lesley, lived there by himself was extremely friendly and super chatty; probably a result of living in the middle of nowhere. After he showed us everything, he invited us to braai at the main house.
My mom was very tired and at that point wanted my dad to talk less and just braai the meat so she could shower and go to bed. Lesley was super interesting though so we ended up having a very long conversation until my parents decided to go to bed. We lingered a tad longer, reluctantly finishing our drinks but eventually we stumbled towards our house. The stars were absolutely amazing, as expected. Lesley had told us that for a few months a year some scientists from China come and stay at his farm to study the stars. We could understand why – there’s no light pollution at all! It was one of those places that I wish we weren’t limited by time because it was so quiet and serene that I just wanted to stay for a couple of days.
After an amazing sleep and our cold night in the tent forgotten we went to the house for breakfast. The previous night we had spoken about books and ended up trading Paolo Coelho’s ‘Alchemist’ for the ‘Power of One’ by Bryce Courtenay. New book in hand it was time to hit the road again.