Day 45: Lambert’s Bay-Gareep River, Namibia (22 October 2009)
A night’s rest at Sir Lambert’s did us very well for our 6am wake up, 7am breakfast and 8am on the road time for our 7+ hour journey to Namibia today. The accommodations were really lovely and breakfast was delicious. The people who own the bed and breakfast collected different kinds of tins and had them above on the mantle that was near the ceiling in their living room, it was really cute. We left for our day’s journey that for me began with swollen eyes filled with pollen and smoke from the barbecue last night but some Claritin and patanol should make it better in a few hours. We made a few rest stops along the way (as I slept most of the morning) and then stopped for lunch in Springbok. Now, Springbok is not only the name of this town, but also the name of Southern Africa’s type of antelope, the one on the South African coat of arms and the name of the South African rugby team. Mathew found some sunglasses, we found some marshmallows for s’mores, had a quick bit of lunch and were as Kenny Rogers says ‘back on the road again’.
We made a few stops along the way as the scenery was constantly changing outside. There were many rock formations now and desert-like plains and an increasing color of red in all of the landscape. Each time we would stop along those roads there would be no one in sight for miles, so at one I just stopped and did a cartwheel right in the middle of the road (don’t worry mom, I looked both ways)! We finally made it to the South African border as we all had to get out and get our going out stamp placed in our passports before we could get a going in one to Namibia. We got our stamps, walked over a bridge across the Orange River, stopped at the sign that said ‘welcome to Namibia’ for some photos and then picked up the coach on the other side to drive us to the passport control office in Namibia…and to think, I thought walking from Minnesota to Wisconsin was cool; this is out of this world! We drove to the border patrol, got our stamp for Namibia (amazing) and drove straight to our place for the night, Felix Unite.
Now, Felix Unite is a campsite like structure started by Carlos Perrera, a Portugese Angolan man a few years ago and he has built it from the ground up. We all were staying in these beautiful thatched roof huts that were gorgeous inside and each had their own bathroom facility. He has many huts, is building a pool, has a bar and a gorgeous restaurant and wants to expand more and more in the future. There are no keys or locks on the door as there is no crime here. It’s amazing that you can be in the middle of nowhere yet these huts/palapas have electricity, running water, air conditioning, a kettle, a refrigerator and amazing views as they overlook the Gareep River. After looking in awe at our accommodations, we made our way down to the river by the canoes for a quick dip as Paul said there were no crocs or hippos in the water. It was lovely, enjoyable and quite relaxing to be there in Namibia looking up at our accommodation! That was awesome!
We showered and went to the bar for a bit to watch the sunset over the Gareep/Orange River and then had dinner in the beautiful restaurant as we breathed the fresh Namibian air. Dinner was special Portugese chicken (for Evelyn and myself there was vegetarian schnitzel) and salads and veggies, portugese rice and ice cream with a mint chocolate sauce (Jill would love that). We finished dinner and went to bed overlooking the water unable to believe that we are actually in Namibia!
Tomorrow: Fish River Canyon!