African shoestrings – Namibia Day Sixty – Windhoek
We got our liquid back in the bar when we got back after cooling the bodies in the cool water of the pool.
There were three tour guides in there. They were actually running an overlander full of middle-aged Belgium and Dutch tourists. We got chatting and had a bit of banter. One of them was a South African and of course the up and coming Cricket and Rugby union world cups was the main topic of discussion.
“You know I’ve got a lot of time for you guys, but I’m afraid you’re going to come second in both comps to us mighty Aussies” I bravely predicted. Harmless banter followed and these guys then went on to giving us some great tips and info and where and what to see in Namibia and Zimbabwe where they were also heading.
One of the things I always desperately miss when we’re away from Australia is the dry laconic wit that is always tinged with a sense of irony. Nobody does it better than we do and often it just doesn’t work with people from other cultures even Anglo-Saxon ones. But on occasion we do strike people who have a similar sense of humour and meeting these guys were one of those times.
It was time to move on to our next port of call, Etosha National Park, nearly 800 kilometres away. We knew we would never be able to get there in one day, especially with 280 kilometres being on gravel and having a car that struggles at 80 kilometres an hour let alone 100 or 110. We did expect however to get further than Windhoek which was little over half way. …………..but that was not to be.
The gravel section seemed slower than ever and a puncture slowed us down even more. The irony of this was that it happened only half an hour after chuckling at our overlander friends who had stopped by the side of the road to also change a wheel. We now had the problem of getting the puncture repaired. The overlander drivers had given us the name of a place just near Windhoek but it was closed and a slow search eventually found us a place that seemed to take forever to repair it.
Another problem was rearing its head, that of cash. We had attempted to get some cash out of several ATM’s before heading out to Namib. For some reason none of them wanted to release any money, so we were now starting to get desperate and the ATM’s still weren’t working. A trip into a bank was necessary, something you try to avoid at all costs. It’s not that the bank tellers are unfriendly, it’s just that African banks are slow, disorganized and very bureaucratic. It usually takes three queues to find the right one, which will always be the longest. When it’s your turn the teller looks at you as if you had asked for the Prime Minister’s bank account number. On this particular occasion I got off lightly at only 40 minutes, which was a good job too as Sue was waiting in the car outside.
By the time we had restocked our food supplies, we just couldn’t be bothered to travel on. A bed at the Cardboard Box seemed a much better option.
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