To the Weirdest Place on the Trip

We had yet another long hot driving day on the way, generally, to Etosha National Park. But first, we had another talk and tour by a Damara man named Mike who showed us the fascinating rock paintings of men and animals at Bushman’s Paradise.

Later we got to our hotel camp. This was the first room we really didn’t like. We were in a row of rooms set away from the others on the edge of the property. There was a large springbok grazing right behind our room behind the game wire. The room was made entirely of pitted black stone, maybe from a volcano, had a thatched roof, a terrible smell and a centipede in the sink. This was the first place with mosquito nets, which jibbed with what Dr. Basil in Cape Town had said, “Once north of Windhoek, start taking your malaria meds”. We hadn’t gotten to Windhoek yet, but when we drove away from Swakopmund, which was due east of Windhoek, we had driven northeast.

It was hot but the room had screens and a fan. Jenni was completely unimpressed.

The hotel itself was not so bad. Outside the gate on the way to the gas station, we were really hassled by the hawkers. We got what we needed and headed back for a dip in the pool. It was very chilly but refreshing.

Dinner was truck side, while the sun set and we watched dark clouds and heat lightening in the distance. After dinner, we watched a group of performers show us the old style of dancing. The people were wearing traditional costumes which included lots of furs, including the tails, and one man made sure that it wiggled while he danced. There were children in the group and they looked tired but adorable. A woman was the leader of the clapping and singing, but an older man was the spokesperson. We were invited to dance with them and it was fun. They asked for a donation after the performance.

At two am, it got especially hot in the room and I realized the fan had gone off. I thought for some reason Jenni had turned it off, but I was too afraid to get up in the dark and investigate. In the morning we realized the power was out. Our "torches" and my headlamp came in handy as we got ready.

At breakfast someone realized Marguerite and Barry were missing. We found they had overslept and were trying unsuccessfully to get ready in the dark. They were kind of upset. I helped them get out of their room and on the truck and we got off at about the right time. By helping them pack up, I realized that our room was the weirdest and creepiest room we had had, but not everyone's room was so bad.

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