We got back to the resort in enough time to have another shower (our third) before dinner. Dinner brought us kudu steaks again and again it was the texture that put me off confirming after this second ‘chew’ that the kudu is safe from me in the future. Unfortunately there were no other choices so it was that or go hungry! Nonetheless the remainder of the food was good and really became secondary to the conversation we were having with a South African couple and a couple of journalists from Zambia who now live in New York. We were enjoying the conversation so much that it was almost an inconvenient interruption to be called to the night hide to see a porcupine munch on another slab of meat left there to attract him.
It was all go the next morning. Up at 6 and into the huge long grassed paddock that was the lion’s enclosure, on the back of an open safari truck. These three lions (one female, Tess and two males, Matata and Tyson) were rescued from brainless people who kept and mistreated them in captivity. Even though they were now part of the family, it was intended that they would be relocated back out into the wild. Watching Donna and Roselea Hanssen play with them, I wondered whether how that could ever be. These animals were domesticated and appeared to me to be just big playful pussycats and then I remembered Guy’s story yesterday and made sure that I stayed well within the safety of the truck.
Our final ‘activity’ was a guided bushmen walk trail. Chris our guide (who I noticed showed a healthy respect for the lions in the way he held on tightly to his rifle) took us on a track littered with bushmen artifacts, ‘home comforts’ and tools.
It was interesting without being riveting. The bushmen like many other traditional peoples had no concept of ‘waste’. Everything had a use. A small animal would provide not only food but also pelts for warmth, fat for cooking and skin for shelter. It’s a principle that appears to be have lost over the centuries by Europeans.
Back to the lodge and we only had a few minutes to vacate our room before Brunch (they like you out of the rooms by 9 am) which we enjoyed under the watchful gaze of the resident warthog.
On the drive out Sue was feeling pretty crook and we hadn’t got far when I had to stop whilst Sue got rid of the contents of her stomach. From then on she slept whilst I drove onwards to Terrace Bay in the Skeleton Coast Park, some 380 kilometres away, in the blazing heat of the desert.
As half of the road was gravel, there was no way we were going to make it in a day so our overnight stay was near Twyfelfontein where some of the finest rock art in Africa is found.
Not so fine was the Abu-Huab Camp. Another dust hole masquerading as a ‘rustic and natural desert camp” in the middle of nowhere. Once again we had to put up with dust and sand blowing into every crevice and orifice. Sue was still crook and lay most of the time in the tent and I still had the remnants (in the form of catarrh and dry throat) of the cold I had caught nearly 3 weeks ago at Fish River Canyon.
We were back down to the realities of independent budget travelling with a bump. No comfy bed in a dustless air-conditioned room for us that night. As darkness descended Sue gradually regained some strength to sit outside whilst I eat and we actually began to enjoy relaxing under the gaze of the millions of stars that lit the night sky with their pinpricks of light scattered in and around the milky way. That was until Sue almost put her foot on a scorpion, which could have put us right in the ‘shit’. Somehow this wasn’t the sort of place where emergency medical treatment would have been easy to find. That was enough for us, our beds were calling. Hopefully tomorrow would bring a better day.
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