September 22, 2005

Namibia FlagThere was no rush this morning, but the birds were calling very early. But even so we slept well. After breakfast our guide William came by to see us off and we gave him a tip (R50).

Once back on the truck, our first stop was the Noordoewer Bottle Depot to buy cold drinks, then on to the main highway to head north to Fish River Canyon. The desert through which this highway passed was not quite as barren as the area we had just come from; we stopped a couple of times for breaks, and at one of them we saw an armoured cricket that had moulted its shell.

After a while we turned west onto the dirt road towards the canyon. For a dirt road it was in excellent condition: no potholes, no washboard. However it had almost no traffic as well. We saw a couple of springbok near the road.

Our destination was the public campsite at Hobas. We arrived there about 1 pm, had lunch, and put up the tents. About 3:15 pm we all got into the truck and drove over to the canyon. It’s the deepest canyon in Africa, except perhaps the Blue Nile in Ethiopia has a deeper section. In any case it’s certainly the largest and most spectacular canyon in Africa, and it certainly looks like the oldest, with the grey, weathered rocks.

Leon dropped us off at the hikers’ viewpoint, then he drove the truck back up to the main viewpoint to set up dinner. We walked the 3 km back along the canyon edge, admiring the views along the way. The views into the canyon were quite spectacular, with the Fish River forming green pools in the bottom. We still had plenty of time before dinner, so we carried on walking up to a high point on the canyon rim. There were supposed to be Mountain Zebras in the area, but we didn’t see any.

Dinner was beef stroganoff and Greek salad, very good as usual, and the sunset at the canyon was pretty, with lovely rosy clouds. Before leaving the canyon at 7:30 pm we saw a Cape Gecko on the ground.

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