South Africa – Namibia,

11.2.2010 – 28.2.2010

 

 

Reports / Berichte

 

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Forword:

So as not to have to repeat myself and always forget a bit more, I started to write these holiday reports a few years ago.

Since the original of this report was in English, a few expressions have the German in brackets. Everyone then should know whats ment.

I will be using the following abbreviations:

SA = South Africa
CT = Cape Town, CPT = Cape Town Airport
JHB = Johannesburg, JNB = Johannesburg International Airport
FRA = Frankfurt Airport
WDH = Windhoek
B&B = Bed an Breakfast (Zimmer mit Frühstück)

The flight, Graz – Johannesburg – Cape Town – Hermanus

It snowed in Graz the day we left, 15-20 cm. I had to go shovel snow twice! For Arno it's still a work day since we're only flying in the evening.

At midday I did an online check in for all the flights through to Cape Town and printed the boarding cards.

When we got to the airport and checked in our luggage, we were informed that our flight to Frankfurt had 1,5 hours delay. The reason was the snow chaos in Frankfurt. Arriving in Frankfurt we saw that our flight to Johannesburg also had a half hour delay. So no panic when changing flights. At the end we had 2:45 hours delay since all the short distance feeder flights were delayed, we had to wait a long time for the anti-icing and finally the Pusher (that pushes the plane out of the park position) had to be changed since out full 747 was too heavy. We then got the Pusher for the A380.

As we landed in JNB, our plane for Cape Town was taking off. We fetched our luggage and changed to the inland terminal and went to the Service Centre. There we were told: It is Friday afternoon, and all flights are full. We can wait on standby, there may be space on the 18:10 flight. That was at 13:00. It was chaos, because the flights from Munich and London had 6 hours delay and had also just arriving. There were a lot of passengers that had missed their connecting flights.

We got lucky though and got seats on the 18:10 flight. In CPT we fetched our hire car. I had ordered a Toyota Corolla Sedan and what we got was a Nissan Livina. I don't know what sort of car that is. They told wus at the counter that it was an upgrade (higher category) at the same price. I think they say that every time. When I got to the car, I thought to myself, that it was more of a free Downgrade. It was definitely a smaller car. It is late and I want to get to Hermanus (120km away) as quickly as possible, so we let it be. It was also a long way back to the counter. The car was not that what I had booked, but for CT and surroundings it would do. After 29 hours of travel, we final arrived at our destination.

Hermanus

We stayed at Harald and Sues Avalon on Sea.

A small prelude: when we were in South Africa 5 years ago, Arno had booked his Great White Shark dive with Shark Lady in Hermanus. We had not booked a place to stay and went looking for a B&B. Everywhere we asked about accommodation, was fairly pricy. Then I saw a qute house and that it was a B&B ist. Arno asked about the price and I then said to him, in the Austrian dialect: That's OK and we'll take it. The Landlord turned around and said: Ah, seid ihr Österreicher, ich bin der Harald aus Völkermarkt (Oh-ha, are you Austrian? I'm the Harald from Volkermarkt). We immediately felt at home and this was our third visit there.

Harald told us that the B&B business was in a bit of a slump since last year and times are hard. The British have stayed away throughout 2009; they don't have any money any more apparently. The Germans and Swedes are still coming and they're saving the situation.

They told us that for the Football World Cup in June, 65 000 beds had initially been blocked by the organisers. Now it's apparednt they don't think that the beds are going to be occupied and have been released again. The whole action's disturbed the market and kept guests away. The latest estimates are that fewer visitor will be here than that were hoped for 1 or 2 years ago.

When we initially planned our SA Holiday, we'd planned to stay 7 nights in Arno's brothers holiday house Felsensicht . It lies 35 km south of Cape Town in Simonstown. Unfortunately, exactly to this time it was rented to paying guests from Denmark. Instead I then booked 3 nights at Haralds and 4 in Bloubergstrand to the north of CT, an area that I don't know.

Hermanus is a nice holiday town well known for whale watching. Every September the Whale watching Festival takes place here. We enjoyed the first day with a long walk along the cliffs and visited the weekly farmers market. In the afternoon we took a walk along the long white sandy beach east of Hermanus. It was a sunny 24°C afternoon, but fairly windy from the sea. When it became too cool for my sensitive ears, we turned around and made our way back. At the end both ears were equally cold. To warm up we had a good coffee at the Blue Grotto Beach.

The next day we did a sightseeing tour of the surrounding area. First to Elim which, according to the travel guide, was interesting because of the Morivian church community.

The last 30 km were a dirt road (untarred road). Suddenly, on this rough gravel road 2 cyclist and an officals vehicles came towards us, and a short time late some more cyclists. Then I saw tthat they had start numbers. In Elim (where there is again 2 km of asphalt) is a refreshment station built up. We found out that it was a Mountainbike Fun Race from Struisbaai, almost the most southern point of Africa near Cape Agulhas, where the Atlantic meets the Indian oceans, to Gansbaai. At the refreshment station Arno heard one of the riders say: Never again!

In the Moravian church a sermon was being held. We heard the priest out onto the street and then the singing of the faithful. When the sermon was over we had a short look in the church. Near the church we viewed an old disused waterwheel. I wondered from where the water came from for this big wheel. T could only see a small stream.

Thereafter we drove to Die Dam, which is written with big letters on the map. There were a few holiday houses, no nice beach and otherwise ... nothing. Not my type of holiday place. It's a bit too quiet.

We carried onto Pearly Beach: according to the travel guide, a divers and sun-worshippers paradise with beautiful white breaches. I was not impressed. Between street and beach was lots of bush. The beach couldn't be seen from the street. It's tiresome to get to the beach and there was no restaurant anywhere to sight. Only residential area. The divers paradise we did not find.

We drove onto Kleinbaai, where Arno already been shark diving twice. There we had lunch in a pleasant restaurant with a view over the ocean. It was too windy to go for a walk.

Bloubergstrand, Wine Route, Cape Town

The next day we drove to Cape town along the coast road. At Meerlust (Arnos favourite wine farm) we had a break, tasted some wine, and bought 2 bottles.

We then carried onto our B&B Rockhaven in Bloubergstrand. We were immediately enchanted with our accommodation, the beach and, most of all, with the view. It really was as pretty as the photos on the Rockhaven homepage, it was kitschy. That evening we drove into Cape Town and had supper with Arnos niece Jackie. The second niece Kimberly didn't have time, she was at a friend’s birthday party/braai.

The next day we visited friends in Durbanville, and they took us on a wine tour in the afternoon. We tasted wine at David Frost, Perdeberg and Verdome. In South Africa wine tasting is between 9 and at the latest, 16.00. For me, they are unholy times. One tastes wine, buys and drives on. There's rarely a restaurant where one can stay a bit longer. The wine farms a really big (compared to those in Austria) and they have vineyards so large that we cannot imagine their size here. I told our friends about our Styrian Toscana, the small wine farmers and naturally our "Buschenschanken". Our friends could not imagine that such small businesses can survive.

We again bought 2 bottles of wine and 2 bottles of sparkling wine (Sekt) for the next day. That was to be a very important day around which the whole holiday had been planned. The day and evening lasted a lot longer than expected. There we able to get an update on the Winter Olympics that were being held. SA has no real winter sports and had no at the Olympics and, as a result, no sport coverage. This is of course, a torment for those Austrian with an interest in Alpine skiing.

The special day was really a special evening.

In the morning we again drove to Hermanus, using the direct route and the speedway. There was something we had to fetch there. For the return trip we chose the picturesque route. That took us passed the Theewaterkloof Dam, the water reservoir of Cape Town, and Villiersdorp. We passed this way 5 years ago and the water level then was 4-5 m lower than now. Round the dam there are giant fruit orchards, mainly apples – Granny Smith. Villiersdorp itself we skipped this time since we'd seen it 5 years ago.

We carried on over the Franschhoek Pass in the wine area near Cape Town. We stopped at the top of the pass and savoured the view over Franschhoek, Paarl, Stellenbosch and the Drachenstein range.

Our destination was the wine farm Anura where, apart from wine, you also get excellent cheeses. Today we didn't buy any wine, but cheese, and for lunch we had an excellent cheese platter. It's one of the few wine farms that also has a restaurant.

We drove back to CT, went for a bit of a walk and then got dressed up for the Dick's birthday party. He's celebrating his 60th. Dick was Arno's diving instructor more than 20 years ago and was at that time in the Air Force. Today Dick is a self employed tour guide (www.nautilustours.co.za). He's given up diving all together. The presents that Arno brought were diving videos of Jacques Cousteau and Hans Hass, as well as the 2 bottles of sparkling from Perdeberg.

Dick told us in the course of the evening that due to the finance crisis and the high SA inflation, that his pension planning had had such heavy losses and had shrunk so much that, most probably, he had to work for as long as he lived. The pension he can expect would not even cover the fixed living costs. Fortunately his wife has worked a lifetime at Woolies which will save the situation. She retires at the end of the year and gets a company pension. They should then still be able to make small holiday trips. That's totally differnt to Europe where the retired seem to try see the places that they missed out on while they were working, health allowing. They're a major source of income for tour operators.

It was a very pleasant evening and the time passed far too quickly.

The next day we took a walk along the endless long beach along Blauberstrand. It had 25 degrees and the sun was shining, but a fairly strong wind was blowing. I had a cap and long trousers on. Arno had shorts on, took off his shirt and got a bright red sunburn. That happens when you don't listen to the wife and don't use sun blocker - it's your own fault. The afternoon we spent on the veranda in front of our room, enjoying the cheese from yesterday and the freshly bought olive bread and sunshine.

Later in the afternoon we again drove into CT. The wine that we'd bought we didn't want to take with us to Namibia seeing as it would go bad with the expected heat there. We wanted to leave it at the B&B, where we were to stay the last night before our flight back to Europe. The landlady had no objections and we did as planned.

We then visited the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a must when you're in CT, even if it's not your first time in CT. One always finds something new and interesting.

That evening we met a former work colleague of Arnos, Ratilal, Rats for short. Between 1986 to 1990 they both worked on the Rooivalk project. When the Angola war ended, so was Arno job and came, on a very winding route, to Austria.

The two spent the whole evening talking about former colleagues (whenwe were ...): one is in England, the other in Australia, one in USA, ones already died etc. What the 2 knew about their old colleagues was amazing.

Rats worked in Sweden from 2001 to 2003. The whole family was there then. He was highly impressed by standard of living there: no criminality (compared to SA), children could take the bus alone to school, you didn't have to lock everything away, you could walk about after dark. We know (and enjoy) that, but for a South African that's sensational.

 

Namibia – Windhoek – Stampriet

The next day we flew from CPT to Windhoek (no delays, or problems).

Arriving in WDH we fetched our hire car. I, as always, had booked a Toyota Corolla Sedan. Again, they wanted to give a a VW Polo, "an upgrade". This time I insisted on the Toyota and after some tug-n-pull, we got it!

Then we needed money - Namibian Dollar. Off we went to the Autobank (ATM). In front of us, a distraught tourist didn't get any cash from the machine (Windhoek Bank). We didn't get any either, neither with Arnos SA card, nor the Austrian cards. Next to the ATM is a Bank de Change. When I saw the Euro rate, I said to Arno: Not a chance, I'm not changing my valued Euros here. The rate is terrible, they've got a nerve. We drove into WDH. First we saw Arnos old school (St.Pauls, if it's still called that, in Klein Windhoek). His father managed a hotel in Windhoek in 1968-1969. We then came to a shopping centre. There were 3 of SA bank branches there. We then had no problem getting cash with our cards.

Now having money we went shopping in the supermarket. It was like any shop in SA, the same wares, the same prices (Namib Dollars to Rand exchange rate is 1:1) ). We bought fruit and water in 2 and 5 litre canisters. We were to travel in areas where one should have at least 5 litres of water per person, just in case things went wrong.

We carried on through WDH central where Arno immediately recognised a building, that was the hotel that his father managed. Today it house offices of the ministery.

We still had 240 km to our accommodation for the night in Stampriet.

Arno was surprised how green the place was. We later found out that it usually rained in Namibia from January till March, but that it had already rained this year, more than usual, in Jan and Feb.

The area through which we drove was the edge of the Kalahari desert. I had always imagined the desert differently (sand, stones, thorny bushes). This here is semi-desert. Here a yellowish, light brown grass grows and shrubs and trees. Sometimes more, sometimes less, sometimes higher, sometimes lower. The landscape is mostly completely flat, sometimes there are a low chain of hills. The roads are often 10 km or more, dead straight, before a curve suddenly appears. The traffic becomes ever growing less. The roads are always accompanied by power- and Telephone- lines and a train track. Birds like to build their nests around the top of the telephone lines.

On the map you can find various villages. As we drove through them, we saw that these places consisted of only a few houses or a road intersection. Namibia is has the second lowest population density on earth - 2,2 inhabitants per km², only Mongolian has less.

Stampriet is near Mariental. 60 km, but that nothing for Namibia.

We stayed in the Stampriet Historical Guesthouse – in the middle of NOWHERE, as one clearly sees on the map! but it was a good choice, very pleasant hosts, nice rooms and a great sunset. went well with the sundowner

The folks here speak Afrikaans and English.

We were the only guests this evening and we happily spoke with our hosts. They told us that they enjoyed running their guest house because they got to meet and talk to so many interesting people. Stampriet is a settlement where the majority are indigenous with very few whites.

 

Stampriet – Keetmanshoop

The next day we carried on to Keetmanshoop – 350 km. The landscape changed little. A little bit outside Keetmanshoop lies the Giants Playground and the Quiver tree forest. Everywhere giant rectangular granite blocks lie around.

To get there one drives along a sand road, and Arno tries the limits of our car and the Toyota starts swimming quiet soon.

It is suffocating hot, 38 degrees. Apart from a few churches and an old railway station, Keetmanshoop does not have much to offer. We settle into our accommodation, Gessert Guest House. We are almost happier here than we were in Stampriet. We stay here for 2 nights.

At breakfast we had a big surprise. On the breakfast table we saw an exotic flower decoration, which on closer inspection turned out to be part of the buffet. Very nice!

At first we did not find a suitable restaurant or anything else in Keet, where we felt we could have supper. Eventually, on the edge of the town we saw a sign: Schuetzenhaus Guest House

There is an excellent restaurant, they speak German, the menu is in German, and not only the language but also the food: Eisbein, Kasseler with Sauerkraut, Wiener Schnitzel, etc.

 

Fish River Canyon

Today we drove into the desert, the REAL desert. Here nothing grows any more. We're of to the Fish River Canyon. To get there we have to drive along a sand/ gravel road from Seeheim. There we had the first surprise: Road closed! We asked in the nearby Seeheim Hotel, the only building in x-many miles around. There's a second road. We don't have to return to Keet and drive the other route – thank goodness. That saved us a 80km detour and we passed a water reservoir that we would not otherwise have seen.

Even on the gravel road, Arno drove too quick. When I said that he should drive slower, he replied: "You Europeans are always sh-tting yourselves for nothing." No sooner had he said that when the car bottomed out on a "mittelmannerchie", ooops - that was hard, but the car was robust and could take it with no damage. A few km later the same again after which he drove more carefully.

Kilometers later we got to the entrance of the Fish River Canyon National Park, where we paid the entrance fee but did not get any map or guide. Arno took a picture of the wall map so that we could orientate ourselves better and we didn't have to memorize everything that the warden told us.

The canyon is overwhelming! So is the heat! 39 degrees in the stone desert. We walked 10 minutes from the car park to the look-out point. My fingers swelled up, the surrounding seemed to dance in the heat. I ended the sightseeing after another 15 minutes. This is no climate for me. We drove to another 2 lookout points and then we'd had enough. We started the drive back to Keet. Had I mentioned that we had air conditioning in the car? That's very important when the outside temperature hits 43 degrees C. That was the highest we had on the whole trip.

On the way back to Keet, I took the wheel for a while. You can really drive faster on these sand/gravel roads than on ours in Austria. After a short distance getting used to the road, I was driving almost as fast as Arno. I managed 80-100 km/h, Arno managed 100-110. Only over the big humps did I drive a lot more careful than he, where he said, a bit too carefully. How important that was, was demonstrated a few days later.

We noticed that colds were forming and at first, found it pleasant. It's cooler in the shade than in the direct sunlight. The quickly formed to big dark masses. We still had 30km before we got to a tarmac road. I was driving. We wanted to reach the asphalt road at Gruenau before the thunderstorm reached us. We did not want to be on the sand road or risk getting stuck. We managed it. The rain caught us a short time later. On the way back to Keet we drove through rain 3 times.

Went we reached Keet, the rain again caught up with us. When it stopped, we again drove to the Schuetzenhaus for supper. It's in a road that has no asphalt. While we were eating, the next thunderstorm passed over. The road turned into a river which passed directly under our car. Great! Arno got wet feet, moved the car and I got in where there wasn't a river.

 

Keetmanshoop – Luederitz

At first the was not much difference in the scenery, semi-desert: sometimes more, sometimes less vegetation. The train lines run parallel to the road. We see that there are "stations": a sign next to the rails, sometimes a small building, but no platform and nothing else around. Arno thinks they are only train water supply points. On our map they are entered as stations. There is lots of space on the maps to write names there.

At some arbitary time, along came Aus (German for "Out" meaning in this case nothing beyond this point). Around Aus there is a population of wild horses, a few of which we saw as we drove past.

Thereafter the landscape changed dramatically. Vegetation became very sparse until there was only a sand and stone desert. This is now the Namib desert. Shortly before we get to Luderitz we see Kolmankop the ghost town, a mining town that had been deserted.

Siehe auch Kolmanskop Bilde,

We passed the salt lagoon on our way to Dias Cross, This is a very unfriendly landscape with lots of wind.

When we arrived in Luderitz (also see Luederitz_info ), I had the feeling that I had really arrived at the end of the world!

A rugged bay, arid land all around and a small town on this bay, where everyone speaks German. Also the black personnel speak German, even the petrol station attendant had a German name and the menus in the restaurants are also in German.

We took a walk through the town and the waterfront. In about half an hour we had seen all the highlights of the city.

I went into the internet cafe today because it's my sons birthday. Otherwise I stayed away from it during the whole holiday.

It was a pleasant 25 degrees, but the winds getting a bit on my nerves. In the late afternoon we took a drive to Agatha’s Beach – a beautiful sandy beach, some braai areas, lots of wind and even more dry desert all around.

Shark Island

Here in Luderitz was the first, and only time, of our tour, that the landlady was not as friendly as we had gotten used to. In the morning when we left, there was no-one around, the room had been paid , so we left the key in the door an drove away.

 

Lüderitz – Sossusvlei National Park

In the morning it was foggy near the coast and a bit cool. we had to drive the 120km back to Aus to drive around the Restricted Area along the coast. That's where the diamonds are mined and you can only get in with a very special permit. A few km before Aus, more or less in the middle of the desert, we came across another fog bank about 5km long, in which we could see 100m max.

In Aus we filled our tank and took our leave of the asphalt road for the next 2 days. For the next 134km we had no on-coming traffic, after which we traffic ever 30km or so. Now we knew why it was so important to have so much water with us.

We find ourselves in an area that is more like a semi-desert. Every now a again we see a waterhole (mostly man-made) with green vegetation and some animals and also farms with cattle herds. You suddenly see a farm and then the next one, but there's 60 km between them.

Our first objective for the day was Duwisib Castle. built in 1908 by an ex-Officer of the German protectorate troops, in the middle of nowhere, in the style of a medieval style.

It had 34 degrees and we wanted something to eat. Here in the area is a coffee shop next to the castle, but it is closed, and a guest farm, where we did not see anyone. So we carried on towards the Sossusvlei National Park.

We took a quick deviation to Maltahohe where we had a good meal in the Maltahohe Hotel. An asphalt road comes here from WDH. We'd just ordered when a big bus arrived: German tourists! and they all stormed into the hotels beer "rock" garden (lots of rocks and cacti). Trivia: the landlord of the hotel was also called Arno. We carried on our way to our next overnight stop, a mere 150km down the gravel road.

I had booked a room for the night at the Betesda Lodge gebucht.

The Lodge lies in a very arid area where only the occasional bush grows. Instead, there is a bush airport/ runway across the road. We'd seen a number of these "bush runways" along the road. The gravel roads are usually demarcated with white stones or tyres. Otherwise there's nothing there - not quite, a gravel road to the reception.

This evening there are only 3 rooms occupied. While the guests were being served the main course, the Dachshund of the manager suddenly started barking and nervously running around. Some of the employees surrounded a tree and a 4x4 provided light. A 2m long black Mamba was in the tree, 12-15m from the open dinnig room door. The other 4 guest went inquisitively to have a look. Then some of the personnel fetched sticks and poles and beat the tree and snake.

I had taken the contact lenses out and did not have my glasses on, so I could really see what was happening outside. That was fine, and I busied myself intensively with my evening meal. I get goose bumps when there’s talk about snakes. At last the snake is killed and the other guests went out and photographed it. I didn’t even want to see it.

 

Sossusvlei – Swakopmund

The next day we started early to drive to Sossusvlei National Park. It was going to be very hot again today and we wanted to be able to get out of the car. We drove to the park entrance and then, amazingly, there was an asphalt road. We hadn’t expected that!

The red dunes came out of the morning haze in front of us. An entrance fee is to pay, of course. During our tour we found out that there are different entry prices: Namibians play little, South Africans a bit more, and the rest of the world , a lot..

The further we drove into the park the closer the dunes came. They are not small! We stopped at Dune 45. Why it has the number 45 we don’t know, but you can walk up this dune. A few enthusiasts had got up early and were already on their way back. We only went up a few meters and I took a handful or red sand back with me. Now I can saw that I went to Namibia to fetch a half kilo (1 lb) sand. The sand is very fine and dry and gets in everywhere. A good reason not to go climbing a dune.

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We drove to the end of the road, to Dead Pan. This pan (shallow lake) has water ever few years, when it’s rained. The last time was in 2006. It’s normally bone dry and is used as a parking lot. A pan with dunes on 3 sides – very impressive. And what did we see –the bus with the Germans. Thank goodness that they’re on the 4x4 Jeep tour that we did not do. On the other side of the road, in full sunshine, not a bit of shade near them, was a group of Brits, reading poetry and playing scrabble. I think they’d had a bit too much sun.

On the way back to the park entrance, we were surprised to see runners coming towards us. It was already 10:00 o’clock and 29 degrees, in the shade. At midday it would have about 34 degrees.

They were participants in the extreme marathon, the Namib Dessert Challenge 2010.

Pure MADNESS!
What we noticed again, as in the mountain bike race in SA, that all the competitors where white. They obviously have time to waste with such madness.

We carried on driving towards Walvis Bay and saw a car every 10km or so. Suddenly there were 3 cars behind each other (heavy traffic) and I saw that they had German RT … number plates … and that they were left-hand-drives. Strange, seeing as they drive on the left side of the road in Namibia. Arno explained that they were 2 of the new Mercedes cabrios with a support vehicle. They do their rough road and high temperature tests here.

After lunch, where we again saw test vehicles, we carried on over 2 passes towards Swakopmund. We drove through a hilly landscape with canyons but not a blade of grass. Every time that there’s an interesting area for photographer Arno, I’m allowed to drive: I got to drive over all the mountain passes. And they still do not have any asphalt.

The last 120km before arriving in Walvis Bay, is through a sand desert. I suddenly saw 3 curious things next to the road. Arno driving at the moment. By the time I realized that they were 3 vultures that were sitting there, till I had the camera in my hands and switched it on, the vultures had flown away. In this sand desert everything shimmers in the distance and the road is glassy. Arno is pushing 110 through this. He later said that he’d had enough of desert and sand and wanted to get to Walvis Bay as quickly as possible. That’s where the asphalt starts again. Why doesn’t he tell me that while he’s driving? I also wanted to drive on a sand road with 110! – men are simply stubborn and egoistic!

As the asphalt started again, so did the sand dunes, but this time they weren’t red, they were yellow. We saw a “Snow Plough” clearing the wandering sand dunes from the road. A strong wind blows most of the time and the sand comes back from all sides. We saw telephone masts standing a meter deep in the sand dune next to the road.

At last we arrive in Walvis Bay, a harbour town built by the British, but founded by the Dutch, with a really nice residential area around the outskirts. The town itself in dominated by a harbour and not really nice – functional is a good description.

Then the last stage of our days trip – 30km to Swakopmund – on one side the ocean, on the other the dunes. We saw people Sand boarding and Paragliding.

We reached Swakopmund and found that we had booked at a real nice little hotel, Pension a la mer Here everyone speaks to you in German as if it were the most natural thing on earth. The heat of the desert has passed, it’s now only 24 degrees and for super Arno ate a super good sea food platter in a place overlooking the Atlantic.

The next morning was hazy and cool with 19 degrees. You couldn’t see 200m. The wandered through the town and slowly the mist disappeared and around 10a.m. even the clouds disappeared.

 

Swakopmund - Windhoek

Once we’d seen all the sights of the town, we started on our way to WDH, an easy days drive of 350km on the national road (tarred!) – we thought. Ja-Nee, it was only 70 or 80km road works, otherwise it was an easy drive.

In WDH we again took a walk around town and Arno was determined to photograph the ”Reiterdenkmal” which he could remember so well from his childhood. We did not find it. We asked where it was. Answer: it was removed last year, and is now stored somewhere a bit out of WHD, until March when it should be mounted at its new place. Pity, we were there a month too early.

The evening we spent in the idyllic garden of our hotel, Onganga. Here they speak German as well and we spent a pleasant evening speaking to the other guests.

 

Windhoek – Cape Town – Home

We took our leave of Namibia. After 3129km and 42 driving hours we returned the car and flew to Cape Town.

In our room that we had booked our wine was waiting. I had booked a room in a B&B Upperbloem

on the east slope of Signal Hill. From the Veranda you looked over the roofs of downtown Cape Town and could almost see our previous B&B in Bloubergstrand.

The landlady is a pleasant German that’s lived in Cape Town for the last 10 years. We immediately felt comfortable.

 

We wanted to go to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront in the afternoon and ended up in a terrible traffic jam. Then Arnos niece Kimberly called and we changed our plans and met up with her at Rhodes Memorial. We’d left the city map in the room and naturally took a wrong road. We ended up in the university upper campus, where a porter then explained the way to the memorial.

Afterwards we went to a pub that Arno recognised from his time in Cape Town, the Foresters Arms. Mainly students come here. Looking at the cars on the parking lot, I must say, that students here are well off, especially when mommy and daddy sponsor the student life.

The last evening we spent with cheese and wine on our lovely veranda. A strong wind was blowing, but we were well protected and could enjoy the wonderful view over Cape Town against a setting sun.

In the morning we made a quick visit to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront, after which we fetched our luggage at our accommodation.

Because we still had some time we drove to Camps Bay and over Greenpoint, where the new soccer stadium is for the WM, to the airport.

We flew from CPT to JNB and FRA and then the last leg to Graz. We left CT with 32 degree and arrived with 11degrees at home.

Where has all the snow gone, that I had to shovel away 2,5 weeks ago? There’s almost nothing left. The Crocus are blooming in my garden.

Namibia is an interesting country, I had seen a lot, learnt a lot and know … I could never live in that country for any length of time.

I had spoken to various Germans that had settled in Namibia and asked why they had done that.

 

Here are some of their answers:

In DE there is a rule everything and more, everything is controlled.

In DE the people are never satisfied, even though they have everything. Everyone watches the neighbour to see what he has and does, it envious of the other, no-one laughs, they only moan. People don’t stand together, they are against each other.

People have forgotten how to live quietly. Everything is so loud, so that conversation is no longer possible. They want to be, or are, entertained.

Everything on top of each other in DE.

I spoke to a Namibian with German forefathers.

He grew up in Namibia (then South West Africa), was in Germany for 5 years and then returned to Namibia. Later he again visited Germany with his Namibian wife.

They felt trapped by the closeness in Frankfurt, had claustrophobia in the U-Bahn. Everywhere there was too much pushing and shoving, whether by shopping of wherever. They found the Germans unfriendly, hectic and arrogant (very true – comment from Arno).

One thing is true: we met only polite and friendly people almost everywhere in Namibia, many of which had a honest smile on their face.


Last update:12.04.2010

© 2010 Elfi