Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Driving Namibia: Three women, two weeks, one country

Once again, I'm a few weeks late with the updates. Sorry. That being said, I have no idea what format this is going to come out in. Certainly it won't be a detailed, descriptive narrative. More likely a stream of consciousness, story-telling style. Let's see where this goes. Ready? Ok, deep breath:

Wake up super early on a Saturday, hike into Ondangwa. Find a taxi to Tsumeb, wait three hours for it to leave. Get to Tsumeb, Rachel is running late. Wait for her in a cafe, drink iced coffee (iced coffee here=coffee+ice cream+chocolate sauce). Meet Rachel, get car, drive, pick up hikers, drive, meet Jenn in Omaruru, drive. Night at Jenn's place in Omajete. Dinner and playlist making, sleep. Up early, drive. Brandberg-Namibia's highest mountain. Hike to the famous "White Lady" rock painting. Lunch at the base (apples/carrots/peanut butter/crackers/cheese: our staples for this trip, also known as "delectables"). Drive. Spitzkoppe for the night. Hot shower. Climbing on rocks, watching the sunset with a bottle of wine. Bed. Wind so strong it literally blows our tent away when we get out of it. Breakfast, more climbing. Pictures. Drive. Swakopmund. Water. In the air. (My hair was not happy). Mexican, Margaritas, and dark beer. (My tummy was very happy). Drive. Drive. Drive. Terrible, long, washboard-y gravel road. Cross the Tropic of Capricorn. Stop in Solitare for some pie at a bakery. Almost passed the campground (luckily the American flag alerted us!) Swim in the pool (cold). Simultaneous sunset/moon rise from the deck. Breathtaking. Dinner, shower, bed. Up early. Drive to Soussevlei. Climb some dunes. Take a million photos. Explore the vleis. Ice cream treat on the way back, more dark beer. Wake up, happy birthday to me. Drive. Breakfast pie at the bakery again (called Moose McGregors, very fitting). Drive. Drive. Drive. Lunch in Walvis Bay. Jelly fish the size of a hubcap. Flamingos. More coffee/desserts (we dubbed my birthday the "day of desserts", but it's ok, because we had real salads with lettuces for lunch, so clearly it balances out, right?). Walk back to the car. Dead battery. Lucky for us a Botswanan middle school cricket team was in the parking lot and gave us a push. Drive to Swakop. Rare sunset on the surreal road with ocean on side and dunes on the other. Food shop, get some treats (pesto, gnocchi, and chocolate covered almonds!) Also Amarula. And ice cream. Crash on our GIANT bed. Decide we're too tired to cook and fully embrace the day of desserts by eating ice cream with Amarula while snuggling in bed and watching Stardust. Birthday=success. Lazy next morning. Drive to Henties Bay for the fish festival, which in true Namibian fashion had more meat than fish. More iced coffee. Browsed the vendors. Bought hummus! And more pesto. Back to Swakop. Pizza and more dark beer. Early(ish) bed. Wake up at 3:30, drive. Drive. Drive. Oh, did I say drive? 12 hours to Luderitz. (Bravo, Rachel, bravo). Arrive at the same time as Mariella, Taylor, Kristin and Emily. Check into the hostel. Search for dinner. We heard Luderitz is dead after the sun goes down but we're determined to find a dance party. Dinner at a quiet cafe, then we search for the Yacht Club which we heard was a popular hangout for the "young folks". Can't find it. Wait, guys, might it be that building that's shaped like a boat and has a Heineken sign out front? Yup. Drinks, meet some really cool locals who invite us to a braai the next night. More drinks, random pizza, dancing (yes, we managed to find dancing. Only us). Bed. Kolmanskope Ghost Town, lots of sand. In the houses. Like filling the houses. So cool. Back to the hostel. Braai is starting now, so we still have a few hours to nap first. Braai with new friends, more drinks, more dancing. Good times. Learned the "Cups" thing. Out till wee hours. Sleep. Till 1. Yeah..."Breakfast" at a cafe, more iced coffee (So. Much. Iced Coffee. I'll seriously miss this.) Drive to Diaz Point, aka "Imperialist Point". Ocean, catch on the beach with a crazy dog and my tennis ball (and they laughed at me for bringing it...), exploring the awesome campsite, where you can actually sleep in an old boat (really, Lonely Planet, you're not going to include this?!). Snacks at the cafe. Amazing sunset (and the dubbing of me as the photomonger in addition to being the keymonger, and the gatemonger). Early bed. More driving. Drive to Windhoek. Meet up with Bret for Indian food. Crash on his floor. Jenn and I run errands in Windhoek while Rachel picks up her friend from the airport. Drama. Where's Hannah? We don't know. Cancelled flight. Will we miss Etosha? Finally get Hannah, decided to try to make it to the gate before sunset. Perfect timing, 30 mins to spare. Lady at Etosha remembers me. Gnocci and pesto for dinner.  Meet up with Abby and co. Wine and watering hole. Lions! And rhinos! Bed. Drive through Etosha. So many animals. WE SAW A LEOPARD! And an adorable elephant family. And got THIS close to a rhino One more night. Early bed. One more watering hole. Narrating the lives of some animals. Drive to 'Kati. Zebros for lunch (duh!) Urbock (rare winter-only beer). Up to Onamutai. Home at last, but this vaca isn't over yet! Homemade hummus and some Dr. Who. Crash for the night. Off the the trade fair with Kristy! Busy, but fun. Lots of things to buy, but I manage to exercise some serious self control (until December at least...). Back home, then out for the night to Paulson's. So. Many. Men. Paulson let us stay behind the bar. (Thanks, dude!) Home, bed. The trio leave early the next morning and I attempt to prepare for school the following day.

Phew. It was a crazy, adventure-filled two weeks that I will never forget. Thanks for a fabulous time L^3 feat. Hannah Montana =) 
Here, enjoy some pics! To see the the full facebook album (even if you don't have facebook), click here.

"White Lady" whose actually a man...

I swear I actually took this
Hanging out under the rock bridge.

An dessert oasis in the desert

Sunset on the deck.


Kolmanskope-- inside an abandoned house
Sunset over Diaz Point

We were THAT close! And this boy was huge!

So may squees.

Peace out

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