The safaris begin

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Day 51: Swakopmund, Namibia-Otijawarongo, Namibia (28 October 2009)

We awoke this morning to a brand new day that started again with oatmeal and peanut butter and some tea for me and coffee for the husband. We headed out for a bit of a drive and I slept most of the way-I know, so unexpected, right? We stopped at Spitzkopope which is the tallest peak in Namibia for a quick photo stop (and a smoke for Paul) and then headed for a roadside market. This was a small market set up by the Nama tribal people to sell all different types of quartz and crystals and again the little children came running right up to us with no regard for strangers. They smiled for the photos and were busy playing with the simplest of things, rocks, sand and sticks… having fun and making the materialism of the west look so unnecessary for toys…although you could see that they were wanting for both food and clothes. We wandered the market and looked at all of the glittering crystal of different colors, shapes and sizes. After much decision making we bought two small pieces, one purple and one black for later use. After the crystal shopping, back in the van one more time to the supermarket for a lunch stop and then to the lodge in Otijwarango (which means a beautiful place/home of the fat cattle). This lodge was on a game reserve and they have ostrich, flamingo, kudu, wildabeast, impala, springbok, oryx, zebras and giraffes. We dropped our stuff in the beautiful room and went on the walking trail on a hunt for animals and were careful to watch for snakes both in front of us and in the trees above.

And then, there it was…one minute it was a tree, and the next we saw it…a giant giraffe just lumbering through on its way from nowhere to no place and it was beautiful. What an amazing sight…I felt like we were literally on the discovery channel or in an episode of national geographic..it was amazing! We saw wildabeasts (and heard them…they are a flatchilant bunch), and tons of springbok and then out of nowhere we were in a standoff with two zebra; one in front of us and one behind both close enough to touch. It was unbelievable…I think I held my breath for a good five minutes as we all stared at each other waiting of course for the zebra to decide where to go and hopefully that didn’t mean charging directly at us. Well, we survived and will never quite forget that moment in time and headed back for some rest at the pool, but Mathew hadn’t had enough and headed back out for a wander again with Daniel and David. I watched the ostrich and the flamingo family by the pool and the carroways just outside our terrace and after watching the sunset we went off to dinner at the lodge with everyone.

After another amazing day and another amazing sunset we spent some time on the internet and working on the blog and are now getting ready for a new adventure tomorrow where there will be an abundance of wildlife for many real life safari adventures…what an unbelievable experience this is. Real life animals close enough to touch, see, smell and just sit in wonder of their lives. I am so glad we are doing this…I already can’t wait to do it again! Tomorrow: more animals at Etosha National Park.

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