Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag New adventure
19 juli 2016
So there we stood, in the desert, after a week of partying, with excitement but without a clue. And for some unknown reason we assumed we would find a lift from the festival to somewhere close to the Orange River, but this feeling faded quite quickly. We did try though! We walked around with signs around our necks asking if someone wanted us for company in their car to Namibia, we asked anyone with a Namibian license plate and anyone without. But, no one could take us there. Luckily there were enough people who were keen to try and help out, and through these people we found Henk. Because apparently when you are stuck in a desert without help, you need to find Henk. And we did. As I said before.
That morning we rode on a turtle through the desert, with the rising sun over our shoulders, to find Henk at his farm house a little outside the festival area. Henk is the farmer who makes Afrika Burn possible, since he owns the ground we adventured on. The day before our kayaking trip, he promised us he would bring us 100 kilometres to the north (for those without a map: that is the way towards Namibia, really guys?), but he said this with a chicken leg in his mouth and a beer in his hand, so we weren’t too sure it was actually going to happen. But as any good farmer does, he stuck to his word.
Henk made us believe we could hitch-hike our way up, so we did. And for the more detailed story about the turtle, 140 kilometres an hour on the back of a pickup truck, how we found Henk or anything I don’t fully cover in my stories, you will have to meet me in person. And then maybe, just maybe, after giving me a beer, I will tell you everything.
So, with dusty hair, we stood in a small town one hundred kilometres to the north. Here we found our next transport, a blue bakkie (Google), which led us to another car and in the end another bakkie. After this we had a sleepover in Springbok, which felt like a combination of Nazi-Germany and the Swiss Alps with the greasiest food. After all, hitch-hikers also need to sleep.
With good luck, and mostly Sophie’s help, we figured out where to go while sitting in the back of one of our lifts. So the next day we arrived (also by bakkie, surprise surprise) on time at Vioolsdrift. This is the border post between South Africa and Namibia, which consists of a small supermarket and a bottle store. Here the border police explained we couldn’t drink in public, because this is illegal in South Africa (which I apparently still didn’t know), but decided it was okay as long as we didn’t drink it in front of them and wouldn’t tell anyone. Such strong law enforcement in these countries.
At the border we got picked up by our kayak guides, who made it very clear we should bring enough alcohol, which explained the importance of a bottle store at the border.
The hope for a camp at the riverside with grass and trees vanished when we entered the desert called Namibia. Dust, rocks, no traffic, no people- nothing but mountains and the sun. Again in the back of a bakkie (seriously, Google). The organisation (you can ask me in person if you really want to know the name, I am not writing a commercial) breathed life back into our hopes. We had our first wonderful campfire-prepared meal and slept at the side of the river, on grass, next to the fire, underneath the trees and stars. This is the way we slept the next four nights.
The next day, at 8 o’clock, we hopped in our kayaks and paddled under the rising sun. Unfortunately our camera died together with our phone services as soon as we crossed the border, so I am going to try to give you the most vivid explanation possible. That’s just how I am. Pleasure. Although we were surrounded by green throughout our trip, in the back you only saw deserted mountains with yellow and red rocks. The bright blue sky stretched above as we paddled through clear waters and over rocks that created rapids and thus excitement. Every time the sun gave us a hard time we just jumped in the water, went for a quick swim to relax the muscles. ‘Cause although it was an amazing time, it was still a huge work-out. And if things got too tiring, we just opened the first beer of the day. What a life.
These first few days Josse and I mostly talked about the luck we had to be there, and about the beauty we saw. Mostly we spoke about the luck we had to actually have made it in time at the right place.
After the first night, we decided that sleeping in our tent was not the way to go, so we spent the rest underneath the stars, after some drinks at the campfire and a delicious diner (yes I will give you the name of the company, just focus on my story for now). After being calmed by the stars during the night (which was needed with the possibility of baboons trying to take over our camp), we woke up with the sun. After an amazing breakfast, which gave us the strength to continue to paddle for the coming day, we continued our trip.
And although you might think these yellow and orange rocks made sure we saw the same view over and over again, you couldn’t be more wrong. I honestly don’t know how it exactly happens, but I don’t think I ever saw more changes in such a short time. Reef in front, sun on our backs, mountains all around us, with here and there some bushes on the big sand dunes. The only sound being produced by the colourful birds around us.
This beautiful scenery wasn’t the only thing occupying us these days. No, in these 64 kilometres we paddled passed an abandoned diamond mine, where they told us we could find tiger’s- and eagle’s eye (Google) among other stones and minerals. Unfortunately we didn’t, or did we?
This mine was abandoned since the owner understood his attempt to launder his blood diamond business wasn’t working without a license, so he fled. Equipment worth millions left abandoned, but no one who can (or took the time) to move and sell it. This gave an astonishing old feeling, as if we were walking through a past apocalyptic world.
After 4 days on the river (and a week in the desert) we decided there was some room for more adventure. So we started our hitch-hike adventure towards Windhoek, passing by the Fish River Canyon. But I won’t bother you much longer, more interesting (right?) stories next week. Same place, same time, African style.
19 juli 2016 13:44 | Door: Stans
Lieve lieve Doris,
Jouw avonturen houden maar niet op! Wat een mooie belevenissen.
Begrijp ik goed, dat je stage afgelopen is? En nu nog een paar maanden
Vakantie er aan vast knoopt.
Terug in Nederland ben je vast een ander mens geworden. Of blijf
je in het fassinerende Afrika?
20 juli 2016 18:36 | Door: Jacqueline
Je volgende verslag weer in het Nederlands? Dat leest voor mij gemakkelijker. Kun jij je denk ik niet voorstellen.
Dat wordt straks wel afkicken voor jou als je weer terug bent in Nederland. Maar.....de herinneringen blijven.
DORIS, knoop er nog maar een fantastisch maandje aan vast. Hopelijk kom je als je terug bent je verhalen spoedig bij oma vertellen, want life lijkt het me nog mooier.
Groetjes van je tante.
26 juli 2016 09:33 | Door: alda
Altijd leuk om je verhalen te lezen (op die google puntjes na dan...)
Je bent nu onderweg naar Tanzania en straks onderweg naar Amsterdam.
Lijkt me heerlijk je weer te zien, geniet nog van de Kilimanjaro, de Masai et cetera.
Gelukkig is het hier zomer als je terugkomt en is alles mooi groen.
En Gent is een mooi stadje!