Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Travelogue > Namibia: Cape Town-Springbok-Keetmanshoop

Jase and I are on a road trip in Namibia. This is his first time in Africa. I'm attempting to blog daily (thanks to a mini PC that Vye has lent to me for testing purposes) but I don't have Internet access set up so I will be backposting the entries to the correct date when I can. My digital camera died a few days ago so most of the photos on this trip have been taken with a Nokia N82, which Nokia kindly lent me for testing purposes.

Today I got up at the (beyond) ridiculous hour of 5:30, which, coupled with about four hours of sleep, is enough to put me in a bad mood for eternity, in order to get going (a day late, but that's another story) on our big road-trip adventure.

We eventually left just before 7:30, filled up the car, headed off to the highway ... and got stuck in rush-hour traffic (my intention in getting up early was to avoid this but I was, as usual, running late before I even got going).

We finally got to the N7 and then we (and by "we" I mean "me") drove and drove and drove and drove and drove and drove and drove and drove.

We passed an Engen 1-Stop at exactly 300 kilometres on the clock. It had a Wimpy. I saw the sign as we barrelled past and I considered stopping so that Jase could experience it but then thought better of that idea. I was calculating times and fuel consumption. Stopping for Africana experiences was not part of the plan.

Then we drove some more and some more and some more and some more and some more.

At 12:15 we hit Springbok at 591 kilometres (away from Cape Town, although I really wish it was at 591 kilometres per hour), which was quite handy as I was on the verge of running out of petrol. Caltex to the rescue.

I was quite impressed with myself because I had calculated my expected fuel consumption very well and my car was holding up spectacularly.

Melkboschkuil restaurant, Springbok

It being around lunch time we decided to stop and eat. Nearby we had the option of a restaurant or a coffee shop. We chose the coffee shop, which turned out to be a restaurant as well. Go figure. As this was Springbok there weren't many vegetarian options on the menu so I sampled crumbed mushrooms with tartare sauce and a tiny baked potato. We conducted some cappuccino testing, which will appear on at some point.

When it was time to pay the waitress was nowhere to be found so it seems that Disappearing Waitering Person When You Want To Pay The Bill Syndrome is not something that's confined to Cape Town service. Good to know (in that way that's kinda bad).

Man, it was hot. I nearly forgot that bit. I don't really care as I function extremely well in heat but I think Jase repeatedly thought he might be dying. He sat semi comatose on the passenger seat and kept rolling down the window to breathe, which messed up my fuel consumption. This meant I had to multitask and take most of the photos, so I was kept busy, but that's probably for the best as meant my mind stayed active, which helped to prevent me from falling asleep at the wheel from all the monotony and accidentally falling off a cliff.

I don't know why people always get excited when you say "road trip" because 10 hours of driving is about as much fun as watching a Lindsay Lohan movie.

(By the way Jase wants me to point out that his years in Utah have prepared him for desert heat but he has the common sense not to trap himself in a car in the middle of summer for 10 hours. Until now.)

We got to the border just before 16:00. When I got out the car it was like climbing out of an oven and into an oven. Woo! I thought that was neat.

I think I was the only one.

Welcome to Namibia

After customs (X2), passports (X2X2), car- and personal-registration whatevers (X2X2), policemen looking under my (car's!) hood (X1), and officious stamps (too many to count) we were suddenly in Namibia.

It was just as hot there.

We drove for another three hours, marvelling at rocks, wide open spaces, and the occasional lizard (which apparently only I was seeing), to Keetmanshoop, where we rolled dice to follow cryptic signs along a convoluted route to "Bernice Beds & Breakfast" (Reël 4: "Elke persoon gebruik net sy bed se handdoeke"), which is tucked away behind high walls with security measures reminiscent of suburban South Africa. I felt right at home.

Except I was in Namibia. Awesome!

Stats For The Day
Distance covered: 1047.4 kilometres.
Driving time: Roughly 10 hours actually on the road with a(n unexpectedly) two-hour rest stop thrown in the middle.
Butterflies and moths killed by fast-moving Toyota: at least 20 (may God (or "Gawd" for my atheist readers) rest their tiny little lost souls). Interestingly South African bugs tend to try very hard to fly out of the paths of cars, whereas Namibian bugs tend to fly right into them. It was fascinating stuff to behold (if not also a little traumatic for me).
Music tracks played: 99 (I vetoed sound until after lunch).

Extra Flickr Photos: [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]



Anonymous Stefanie said...

I like the photos there is something so beautiful about the blue sky over Africa.

Saturday, January 26, 2008 4:00:00 PM  
Anonymous tracey said...

Gadzooks! Stef beat me to the comments.
Something is terribly wrong here.. I must be losing my edge.

Saturday, January 26, 2008 6:03:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy J Watson said...

stefanie: I took (quite possibly) thousands, and am only selecting a few from each day to illustrate my blog posts [the rest sill pending] and to upload to Flickr. It's difficult because even though they're all "the same" (as some people would say), they're all actually different and I could spend hours looking at them. It's very soothing.

tracey: Yeah. It's gone.

Monday, January 28, 2008 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

qtrvpnGadzooks? I think I may be lost. What year is it?

Monday, January 28, 2008 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous tracey said...

Meh. These things happen.
But I'm educating myself re: RSS feeds - however I'm almost out of space in my bookmarks bar so will just continue the 'manual' checking of your blog for now.

Although I'm actually spending too much time 'internetting' and too little time working...
Good thing I'm the boss.

Kyknoord: I chose 'Gadzooks' due to it's PC(ish) nature. The exclamation that ran through my head was something else entirely!

Monday, January 28, 2008 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Mandy J Watson said...

kyknoord: I live permanently in 1941 - film noir, big band and swing music, .... Tracey's just keeping it alive for me.

tracey: Me too, except I'm not the boss. Only kinda. But not here. So it's no good, really.

Monday, January 28, 2008 11:54:00 AM  

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