DAY 18

Week 3


Monday November 28th, 2016

TODAYS MILEAGE – 282 miles or 454 kilometres
TRIP MILEAGE – 15219 miles or 24493 kilometres

Today had a little bit of everything. We started off the early morning by spotting a young black rhino just outside the Etosha National Park gates, which got everyone just a little pumped up.

We lost Herbie for about ¾'s of an hour in Outjo, even though we were all told it was just a "fuel & bushy-bushy" stop and he decided to go souvenir shopping of all things. A roadside stop for lunch across from the Okahandja Mbangura Woodcarvers Craft Market, saw me sneeking into the local servo's burger shop for some "naughty food", as I needed a change from ham salad sandwiches.

Whilst offloading the Chakalaka's at the Christus Kirche (Christ Church) in Namibia's capital city of Windhoek, I snapped some photos of several black Mercedes Benz cars making a hell of a racket going past us. Some seemingly random bloke then starts going off at me in broken English for taking photos and wants to take my camera. After a bit of dialogue, I was able to work out that the cars were actually the Namibian President’s motorcade and it was illegal to take photos due to anti-terrorism measures. After apologies were made, "Maverick" and I jumped in the truck and headed to the tyre shop with my camera and the shots of the presidential motorcade intact.

The tyre shop was an interesting affair. We identified 4 tyres that needed replacing but when "Maverick" called his workshop their attitude was that the vehicle was headed to Johannesburg and it it was all bitumen, then he should be able to make it with just the single steer tyre spare. It was pointed out that the three worst tyres were actually still on the vehicle and corroborating photos texted to the workshop, but still they said no. The impasse was forced into a positive resolution by the tyre shop manager, who said he could not legally release the vehicle with the tyres as they were. We ended up with two new tyres on the drive axle, replaced the steer tyre and then purloined the spare steer tyre from another Nomad Tours vehicle, so we were good to go. All the stuff arsing around saw us about an hour late in picking up the Chakalaka's, but no one had any grumbles after we explained what actually occurred.

From there it was over to our accommodations for the night - the Hotel Safari in which our tyre delay was somewhat fortuitous for me. On check in, I asked about getting some laundry done overnight and was informed that the hotels laundry was closed for the day. It just so happens that a couple of laundry staff members where walking past and the receptionist speaks to one of them in their native tongue. The lady comes over to me and says even though the laundry is closed, she could do a quick load for me "off the books" before she went home. So, I rummage around my bag there and then in the middle of the hotel reception and hand over my dirty laundry bag. I finalize my check in, get situated in my room, start re-charging all my camera gear, have a nice long hot shower and sit down with a beer to check my email. Not long after there is a knock on the door and it’s the laundry lady with a stack of neatly folded clothing in her hands. How much do I owe I ask? What you think is fair, was her response. Now I get a little sheepish for fear of offending her, as I have no idea as to what the going rate is, but I offer up $150.00 Nambian and ask "Does that cover it?" Her response was a beaming smile and a "Yes, thank you very much". I come to find out it was about $50 Namibian more than the hotel charges, but I figured it was the same amount as what I was charged at Amanpuri Travellers Lodge and I have a great story to tell as well - all for the princely sum of $14.86 Australian.

Now that I was scrubbed up and somewhat polished with fresh threads, most of us headed over to Joe’s Beer House for a couple of sherbets and a feed. Be Happy

• ROAD C38 ~ Rhino Sighting (Oshikoto, NAM)
• ROAD C38 (Oshana, NAM)
• ROAD B1 (Otjozondjupa, NAM)
• OKAHANDJA ~ Mbangura Woodcarvers Market (Otjozondjupa, NAM)
• WINDHOEK ~ Namibia's Capitol (Khomas, NAM)

Day 12 - Windhoek
An early drive to the gate gives us a final opportunity for game sightings before we set off towards Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. On the way we stop at a popular craft market where you can barter for handmade gifts to take home. Windhoek is not only the capital; it is also the cultural, social and economic centre of Namibia. On arrival in Windhoek, our guides will take us on a short walk. Joe’s Beer House is an exciting dining experience for our optional dinner out.