STRANDED in the middle of nowhere, Africa..

Day 121: Wednesday, September 20: Etosha

We awoke early this morning for another game drive without much avail.
After breakfast, it was relaxation time. A few games of frisbee and a
book at the watering hole proved to be a nice relaxing day. Also
jumped into the chilly swimming pool for a little while to cool down.
Back to the watering hole, at one point in time there were zebra,
gemsbok, impala, giraffe and who knows what else at the same time.
Amazing!

After dinner, it was back to the hole, for sunset photographs of some
elephants. A break in the action and then a line of elephants of all
different shapes and sizes, 40 of them in total, it was amazing. They
played for an hour, with black rhinos watching in the background.
After the elephants left, 8 black rhino came up to the water. I stayed
until midnight, just watching life go by.. it was amazing.

Day 122: Thursday, Sept 21: Etosha to Cheetah Park

Off early in the morning, we headed to Cheetah Park. Cheetah Park is
home to about 20 cheetahs that were caught in farm land, where they
would have been killed by farmers. 3 of them are tame, and we had the
chance to go in and visit them and take a few photos. We then headed
out to the “wild” cheetahs, where they were fed in front of us. I
admittedly didn’t really enjoy this, as I felt that there were just
too many cheetahs attacking meat in such a small area, but I guess if
you look at is as they would have been killed, maybe its okay.. I
dunno.

We had a lamb spit in the evening and then off to bed.

Day 123: Friday, Sept 22: Cheetah Park to the Side of the Road,
Somewhere in Namibia

We left the cheetah park to head towards the northern border of
Namibia. Here we visited a Himba tribe. The himba are what you
typically think of when someone says african tribe. The women are
topless and paint themselves with a red rock and milk fat combination
that keeps their skin safe from the sun and elements. They never
bathe, but don’t really smell. We stayed with the tribe for about an
hour, seeing how they live and interact.

From there, we were supposed to head south, to get to a stopover
campsite. 25 miles from our stopping point for the night, the clutch
gave out. We camped by the side of the road, our guide and one other
person hitchhiked to the nearest “town”. We had a good time by the
campfire and all in all was not a bad night.

Day 124: Saturday, Sept 23: Side of the Road to Middle of Nowhere German Fort

In the morning, our guide arrived back with 2 pickup trucks. We loaded
our tents, day bags, kitchen supplies and ourselves (18 of us in
total, piling into 2 pickups) and drove 25 miles to the nearest “town”
called Sesfontien. The town is basically a glorified village that used
to contain a German Fort. The Germans fled to Namibia back in WWI when
they were losing. Most of the town names (and now tourists) of Namibia
are German. The fort has been rebuilt into a Resort for German and
Dutch tour companies. It wasn’t a bad resort, just expensive for
African standards and absolutely nothing to do but a cold swimming
pool and fighting off bees.

Today we were supposed to drive down and do a petrified forest, rock
carvings and Namibia’s highest mountain, so its not the end of the
world that we missed these things.

We were given an update that a new truck would be here first thing
Sunday morning, so we only had to stay one night and we’d be back on
track. This evening we decided to try out a little local life at the
nightclub. I say nightclub, but I really mean the liquor store that
has a pool table and jukebox in it. It was actually a good time, we
mingled with the locals and played them some pool. So, again, not the
end of the world that we were here.

Day 125: Sunday, Sept 24: Still middle of nowhere German Fort

Sunday morning arrived and went, now the truck was going to be in by
the afternoon, so we were to wait by the pool (and killer bees).
Boredom, frustration and lack of cash set in.

Word now was the truck wouldn’t be here until the evening and we’d
leave first thing in the morning. Also the part for our truck was on
the way and they’d work on it overnight.

So we spent the rest of the day waiting.. We were now going to be a
day behind schedule, we were supposed to arrive in Swakopmund in the
afternoon.

Day 126: Monday, Sept 25: GOODBYE German Fort, Hello Swakopmund!!

Both trucks (the one coming to get us and our truck) arrived
overnight.. So we hoped onto our fixed truck and made our way down to
Swakopmund. We were following Pluto (the other truck that came to pick
us up) and almost rear ended them full speed when they stopped in the
road due to cow crossings. Once we all checked our pants, back on the
road. Some hose broke on our way down and we thought we’d be stranded
again.. Nothing a little duct tape can’t fixed and sent us along.

We arrived late and tired, but are now sleeping in regular beds.

Day 127: Tuesday, Sept 26: Swakopmund, Namibia

We awoke this morning to a little chill, but rather refreshing after
being in the desert for a couple of days.

We hoped into some vans that took us out to the sand dunes. We climbed
up a 300 ft tall sanddune, strapped on some snowboards and hit the
slopes. Unfortunately once you head down, you gotta climb back up.
After a second run, with a huge wipeout by me (don’t worry, its on
camera) we climbed up a third time to try out sandboarding by laying
down (think, sheet of plywood thats been waxed).. I got up to almost
50 mph on one run. Did one last snowboard, including a jump and headed
back into town for beers and lunch.

Tonight, we are headed to a pub to watch the video and celebrate a
birthday in the group. Tomorrow, we are headed out on ATV’s to enjoy
more of the dunes.

Until Then

~Dave

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