There was, we discovered the next day, a second viewpoint. This had been recently found and developed by Louie and without doubt it was pretty spectacular.
Right on the bend of the gorge, the river was right underneath us, it was like looking down two canyons. Fellow guests, Alfred and Bridgett, had stayed in the more swanky lodge at Hobas, which was around three times the price, and had seen the hikers viewpoint, the main and most visited spot in the canyon. They reassured us that this spot was at least as spectacular, after we said that we wished we had managed to go to Hobas.
Alfred and Bridgett were from Germany and whilst Bridgett spoke good English, Alfred struggled to understand us and put his thoughts into English. They both however were travelling in a classier style, they had hired a car and would have still been staying at the lodge in Hobas had it not been fully booked.
To go from there to this rather basic and rudimentary lodge with the singing owner was a culture shock in more ways than one.
They certainly didn’t know what to make of Gertrude.
Gertrude is Louie’s mum and stays with Louie for around 3 months at a time and gives him a hand. She means well but she was an absolute pain in the arse!
Her persistent chatter, interference and fussing in almost everything would have drove me to first degree murder had we have to put up with her for 3 months.
In some sort of weird way she took a liking to Alfred, continually making sure he was happy and this is the weird bit, reminding him he was German. She was a sort of female version of Basil “whatever you do don’t mention the war” Fawlty.
It was with some relief, particularly to Alfred, that another German couple Jurgen and Sabrina turned up to spread her attention.
Louie may have been a rather average singer but he was a pretty good on the Barbecue. We had some good meals except one, Kudu steaks. Kudu are striking antelopes that are common around southern Africa and supposedly are good tucker. Sue couldn’t eat hers, mainly I suspect because of her love for any animal of the wild. I didn’t rush back for seconds. It had a strange soft liver type texture that made me wander whether it was ok! However there were no repercussions the next day so it must have been!
I don’t know how hot it got but it was unmercifully hot! During the day the sun just beat down cooking everything and worse still heating up this lunar landscape of dark rock. At night freed of the sun’s rays this rock almost glowed as it radiated heat making the night more uncomfortable than the day. We had hoped to do some hiking in the canyon but there was no way we were prepared to risk this sort of heat. But the heat didn’t stop the group of hikers we saw earlier, who eventually found their way to the lodge; actually Louie picked them up from a prearranged spot in the canyon. They all looked terrible.
After they had scrubbed up we got talking to a couple of them. They told us that they had run out of water at one spot and with a raging thirst drank from an old open livestock tank.
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