Day 46: Gareep River-Keetmanswop, Namibia (23 October 2009)
As we got up for breakfast as the sun was rising over the Gareep River we knew we were in a very special place. We packed up our things and said goodbye to our little huts and headed to the pretty restaurant for some breakfast. Once we left Felix Unite we were on the road for quite a bit amidst a few toilet stops and we watched as miles and miles of dirt roads and nothing seemed to go on forever. The landscape looked arid except for a few spots where there were bits of green trees popping up or wineries with bits of fertile land. There were rocks, rocks and more rocks that were sun drenched in this arid climate and we saw our springbok and our first zebras. We drove on further and then we saw it! The place where one of my best friends spent a week-long race hiking through amidst thirst, hunger and the threat of scorpions…there it was, Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world! What an unbelievable sight!
The canyon had no railing around the entire rim. We watched in awe as we hiked along the entire rim. There are tours down into the canyon but it takes five days and we had just a few hours so maybe we’ll have to come back if we decide to put hiking into the canyon on our list of things to do, but for now, the adventure was a hike around the rim. There were pepper trees around the edge that look like pointed cacti, there were loose rocks everywhere, there are three rivers that run inside the canyon and the picturesque landscape was just breathtaking. Each step led to a new view and a different perspective of the canyon and the world around it. We spent over an hour just enjoying the air (my dad would just love it here) and finally made our way to the Canyon Roadhouse for some lunch where I had a toasted avocado and feta sandwich, Mathew had a pineapple chicken salad plate and we all shared a plate of chips (French fries) and a piece of Amarula cheesecake. The Roadhouse had a nice pool and was decorated with tons of vintage cars outside. After lunch and a quite enjoyable morning we drove in what seemed like stifling heat to our next stop, the Canyon Hotel.
At the hotel we used the internet and hung out by the pool a bit. The grocery market was the only game in this one horse town so we went for a short walk and came back to have dinner in the hotel restaurant. Dinner was not the best one so far and the restaurant had no airflow so it was a bit difficult to breathe and completely kicked up my asthma. We went back upstairs to find our air conditioning not working so the lovely staff members switched our room to a cooler one which was easier to breathe. A bit of a rest and then tomorrow: the Namibian Desert!