As we drove today, the landscape got much greener and we crossed through big mud puddles in Chuck. We saw our first wild giraffes today! It was so exciting. They crossed the road in front of us and jumped the fence like it was easy.
We arrived at a place, again, literally in the exact middle of nowhere, where there were people who mine gems in the mountains, then sell them to tourists. This stop isn't listed in our itinerary, so I can't remember what the name of the people are, but I think of them as the dirt people. They live in the desert with what looks like almost nothing. No cars, no grocery stores, no electricity, and no apparent water source. Their shelters were mud huts with thatched roofs. It was about 8 am and it was about 95F, and only getting hotter. The people sold loose gems and polished stones. We all bought a few things. The people seemed desperate for us to purchase from them and they indeed looked impoverished. I only took a couple of photos but I included them above; one is a picture of their gems stands and the other is of two barefoot toddlers playing with a large metal spring. This activity would be a solid no-no to any American mother, but there looked like there was nothing else for them to do. It was hard to imagine a book let alone a TV or laptop ever entering their lives.
We were so excited to arrive at our hotel for the night BEFORE lunch. This was already getting to be a complaint, that we were getting to the hotels after dark and leaving before sunrise. We all knew we were not on a relaxing vacation, but sometimes it was just such a shame to get to a place that we could tell was lovely and then not be able to enjoy it.
We ate lunch and then set off in smaller vehicles to see the Himba People. Read more about the Himba here.
When we returned to the hotel, we went swimming and had a drink or two. The vanishing edge pool overlooking the valley and mountains was lovely and clean.
At dinner we had a talk about our visit to the Himba and how we all felt about it. There were mixed feelings between it was okay and it seemed like they liked us there to we were exploiting them.
Later we had drinks at the bar with Sven, Diana, Nikolas and Louise. This was a perfectly lovely hotel.