Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Spitzkoppe: Revisited

One of my favorite places that I visited during my year in Namibia was Spitzkoppe. This rocky outcrop, formed by passing glaciers, is built for climbing and my jetty-loving soul was happy here.

Not to mention it's just absolutely, breathtakingly gorgeous. Anyway, when I saw that Abby and I would have a day in Windhoek to play around with, I instatnly googled to see how far of a drive Spitzkoppe would be. 3 hours = totally doable. Originally were were going to camp there overnight, but with the facts that Rachel wasn't feeling well (and wouldn't be coming with us), it is winter so the temperature at night gets pretty cold, and that Taylor would be coming early the next morning, we decided a day trip would be best. Also, our friend Freddy from the backpackers and another woman we met there, Alex, wanted to join us, so it all worked out pretty perfectly! On Tuesday morning, we piled into our rental car and took off for the drive west. It was great to catch up with Freddy some more, and to get to know Alex. She is a teacher from Germany who was volunteering for a year at a school in South Africa, so it was great getting to chat with her. After a fairly uneventful drive (and a bumpy reintroduction to gravel roads!) we spotted our destination.

Abby had not been before, and instantly realized why it was one of my favorite places. We grabbed and map and Freddy and I conferred about where to take them first. We didn't have time (or the skills/equiptment) to hike Grosse Spitzkoppe, the highest of the peaks, but we had a blast scrambling up the smaller (but still plenty high) outcrops. We went to the rock bridge and I even found the exact spot I had taken my favorite picture 3 years earlier (the one that currently serves as both my desktop and phone wallpapers). Having Freddy along meant that we also got to see some things that I hadn't seen the first time, including some acient rock paintings and a sort of cave formed by some of the rocks.

It is really impossible for me to describe just how amazing this place is, so I'm just going to let you look at pictures, although even they don't do it justice.

Rock paintings

Freddy for scale

About to enter the cave

A tree sprouting from the underside of the rock

Another breathtaking sunset

Basically, eveyone should just go and see it for themselves. I promise you won't be disappointed!

We drove back under a blanket of stars and I marveled how even 20 miles out of Windhoek, the sky was still so black that you could clearly see the Milky Way.

The next morning Abby, Rachel, and I met up with Taylor for breakfast. She had just come in from the north after visiting her host brother who is starting University soon. It was so surreal to all be hanging out in Windhoek again. We did some craft shopping and found some good bargins. Later we went for sunset drinks at the rooftop bar at the Hilton, which offers some amazing views of the city. Then we had dinner at a restaurant that is trying for an American steakhouse vibe. We walked in to country music blaring and a bar with a variety of beer on tap (a rarity in Namibia). We met up with some pilots that Rachel knew and spent the night laughing with good food, good beer, and new friends.

Up next: my return to the village.

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