September 28, 2005

Namibia FlagToday we had to get up fairly early, because we had a lot of driving to do. (Again!) 7 am was our scheduled departure time, but we didn’t actually leave until about 7:20 am. Spitzkoppe in the morning was red with the sunrise, and we drove north on yet another dirt road. (Namibia may not be a rich country but one thing it does have is roads.)

After a couple of hours we had a shopping stop in a town called Uis. It used to have a tin mine, but that closed down several years ago. So now it has men who gather mineral crystals and try to sell them to tourists. Some of their sales strategies were quite innovative: one of them addressed Rosemary by name, telling here that the lady in the green pants and top had bought two rocks and that Rosemary owed him N$10! It turned out that Anja had told the man Rosemary’s name so she could get rid of him.

Back on the truck, we continued on to Twyfelfontein for lunch (a good salad made from last night’s leftover rice and corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers) and a guided walk to see Bushman rock carvings. Twyfelfontein is operated by the Namibian government as a tourist destination, so we had a uniformed guide, a Damara woman named Bernadette (actually Bernadette is her stage name because her real name has a click sound in it). The tour lasted about 1½ hours, and she gave a very good explanation of the area, its history, and the carvings.

Back on the truck, again, we headed to our night’s camp at Palmwag. This was a resort, with an attached camping area, in an oasis with palm trees. We put up our tents, so that if the local desert elephants passed through the campsite at night, they wouldn’t step on us. Most people went to the swimming pool, but we had a drink at the bar and then decided to take a shower. But Christian was talking to some Germans in the campsite, and they told him where we could find the elephants. So we collected the camera and went looking. Finally we found them! The grey lumps in the reeds turned into elephants, and we watched for a while as they browsed.

The elephants were still rather far away, so we went back to the camp for our showers. Shortly after that, Åsmund came back to say that the elephants were much closer, so we went back to take more photographs. Indeed they were much closer, so the pictures should be good.

Dinner tonight was a lamb shank stew with corn on the cob. After dinner we sat and chatted for a while, wrote our journals, then went to bed at 10 pm.

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