Sunday, September 19, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
We would have loved to walk the entire trail, and hope to do so someday, but this time the schedule only allowed us the afternoon to descend to the Orange River and back. It was a walk that took 45 minutes down and about twice as long to climb back up. The trails are in good
condition, but hard, very rocky and at times confusing. We learned just to continue downhill for a short while and the path would reappear. It was a walk into another realm. The trail is full of interesting rock formations, plant life and the occasional reptile, well worth the effort to experience.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Luderitz is a German colonial town on the Namib Desert coast, seemingly untouched by the 20th century. It began life in the late 1800s as a harbor and trading post, but the bay’s shallow water and rocky bottom, make it unusable for modern ships. Today Luderitz is a tourist town with shops and restaurants. Its main draw for visitors are wildlife cruises and the nearby ghost town of Kolmanskop.
Just off the coast is a marine wildlife sanctuary that can be visited by boat. There, you have an opportunity to see African penguins, sea lions, white-sided dolphins, flamingos and many other marine bird species.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
The night before our visit, we stayed at the Sesriem gate campsite in the park. In the morning, we were up before the sun and drove the one hour to the 2x4 parking area. We left the truck there and continued by foot for the last four kilometers of our journey to arrive at the Sossusvlei as the sun was rising over the dunes.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Nearby, there are welwitschia; ancient plants that can live for 2000 years and proof that life can exist even in the harshest climate.
Later, we returned to the hotel. We washed our clothes at a nearby Laundromat, ate dinner in a nice restaurant, and took one last shower. Tomorrow we would head back into the desert for our next adventure in traveling.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
We drove from the small town of Khorixas along some very dusty dirt roads for 90 kilometers to Twyfelfontein. The desert scenery in the region known as Damaraland is spectacular, and in itself, is worth the drive. Unexpectedly, we came across an elephant standing in the middle of the road and had a short break while we waited for him to give way. For me, these little inconveniencies are what make travel in Africa an adventure.
Once at Twyfelfontein, we met a local guide who took us along the well-tended trails through the petroglyphs. He pointed out the highlights, but he was hard to understand. All I really got out of his talk was that Twyfelfontein is Afrikaans for doubtful fountain and that a farmer who once homesteaded the area had named it.
The day was bright and hot as most days in the region are. For the next few hours, we explored the many rock faces and shaded overhangs to discover for ourselves the artworks hidden from plain site. It was a great insight into how the ecology of the area had changed from bush to desert over the millennia and into the minds of the ancient people that once lived in the area.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
The Himba are a mostly nomadic pastoral people, breeding cattle and goats. They are an offshoot of the Herero people and speak a dialect of the Herero language.
Traditionally, women tend to handle more labor-intensive work than the men do. They carry water to the village, build the huts and care for the children. Men are responsible for maintaining relationships between clans and for tribal politics. Both men and women go topless and wear skirts or loincloths made of animal skins, but most famously, the women are known for covering themselves with otjize, a mixture of butterfat and ochre that gives their skins a reddish-orange tinge.
Our Adventure started with a drive north to the town of Opuwo, Namibia. Once there, and after several hours of searching, we meet the guide who would make our introductions to a Himba clan. At his request, we bought a large sack of rice to give the clan as a gift, then left town in our overland truck in the direction of the Angolan border.
An impromptu Himba market