We got back to Upington in the early afternoon and were ‘treated’ to a wimpy!
A wimpy for those of you who don’t know, is the British equivalent to McDonalds and just about serves up the worse hamburgers you can get from a fast food restaurant (well at least this one did). Mind you as far as I’m concerned most fast food places are like that. The first two or three bites taste pretty good ’cause your hungry the rest resemble cardboard and have you thinking why did I bother? Because you’re hungry of course!
We set up camp in the local Caravan Park, where the others were sleeping the night. We had a bus to catch to Keetmanshoop in Namibia that night and Hannah and Si were catching one to Cape Town. But we had enough time to rest up for awhile and watch the locals set up their caravans and crack open a few tinnies.
This was, according to Roland “duchy country”. Duchy refers to the ‘real’ Afrikaners, people who had ancestry back to the first Dutch settlers in the seventeenth century. I had tipped Roland to be a ‘duchy’ but he apparently was not from that stock.
A couple of them came up and started chatting to us. These guys were big bulky blokes who had tinnies almost disappearing inside their massive hands. They were the archetypal beer swilling rugby and cricket mad South Africans that most of the world recognises as the white South African. We had a bit of banter over rugby and cricket and they asked us over to the local bar to watch a rugby super twelves game with them. I was hanging out to do something like that but our bus departure time wouldn’t allow that and Michelle and Alex rightly felt it was not a good idea for them to go alone.
The Intercape Mainliner to Keetmanshoop was 45 minutes late leaving, which allowed us plenty of time to say our good-byes. Roland was like a mother hen with our bags, making sure that they were loaded on carefully and near the front, as our stop was one of the first. We had all given him a generous tip in foreign currency, which he collects, so he was happy as a lion rolling in the Kalahari sand!
The bus ride itself was an another overnight job and would have been pretty uneventful except for South African customs wanting everyone off the bus so that their sniffer dogs could sniff around presumably on the possible scent of weapons. We eventually got to Keetmanshoop at 3 am and were met by George from the La Rochelle B&B our overnight stop. We had booked a night here, figuring that arriving at 3 am in a strange town, without a place to stop the night was not a good idea.
George was the first of many ‘Germans’ that we met in Namibia. Even though Namibia was only a German colony for thirty-one years from 1884 until 1915, its influence in certain areas is still very strong amongst descendents of that era. George was we were later to find out a typical example. He had been born in Namibia but still spoke with a fairly strong German accent and the B&B itself was very central European in its style and ambience. All dark wood and German style trinkets and furniture.
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