Over the border to Namibia

I’m getting a bit boring with marvelling at the beauty of South Africa – so I’ll bore you with Namibia instead. We left early from Langebaan as the sun rose over Table Mountain – way off in the distance. We were heading north for the Namibian border, over the Orange River. We saw little traffic all day – other than when going through enormous stretches of road works (cutely referred to as ‘stop – goes’). Luck was on our side and the really early start paid off, as we were hardly delayed at all by them – and don’t think we slowed our speed because of the road works …doesn’t seem to work like that round here.

We drove over mountain passes and straight roads that stretch beyond for miles (we only talked about Australian roads being long, straight and empty when I grew up – no one ever referred to the South African ones: clearly an oversight). We saw ostriches and flamingoes, dassies (like guinea pigs) and meerkats, wild goats and sheep. I have no idea what the latter were eating – it was wild rocky desert. I reckoned they must calculate their stock levels on how many acres per head, rather than the normal ‘how many head of stock per acre’. I don’t think farming out on these never ending wild and barren mountains is an easy life.. And then saw a combine harvester! What on earth was that doing parked up here? We did see ‘paddocks’ with large rocks and something that looked a bit like stubble in them – but I’ve no idea what on earth it was (need to ask my brother in law).

And finally we drove down into the valley of the Orange River and out of South Africa, green and fertile, grape vines and fruit trees. The heat hit us as we joined the queue in a cramped and airless room waiting for our papers and passports to be approved by the Namibian officials, and then another queue for the foreign car papers, and finally the queue to get through the border post. Thankfully we weren’t subjected to the car being emptied and checked over – unlike some of the cars ahead of us. Hugo was most concerned: we’d warned him that if he was cheeky and impolite to any of the border officials they might pull the stuffing out of his beloved teddy to check for drugs. He was aghast – and behaved impeccably!

And on we drove through hot dusty desert to Felix United. Gorgeous staff, thatched cabanas to stay in, chilled wine and cool beers overlooking the river whilst the sun set behind the mountains, a warm wind blew and the boys played (noisily!) in the pool. Bliss!