TRAVEL SOUTHERN AFRICA A LETTER FROM AFRICA NAMIBIA part 3


Here is a recap of the last paragraph "Next episode will be of Swakopmund, and my reunion with Isabel, the last one of my 3 best girlfriends from school I’m to visit.  Isabel was the prettiest one, and also got hitched more than any of us.    Isabel and I have not seen or heard from each other in 20 years.  So stay tuned for our adventure to Cape Cross one of the largest Seal Colonies in the world, the Brandberge (Burning Mountain) and the Himba People "  (see image below)

Himba Girl Image Noleen Kutash ©

Isabel met me just outside of Swakopmund and I followed her to her home.  The last zoned property for development on the edge of town.  We headed strait toward the Atlantic Ocean and I was convinced she was taking me to a barbecue on the beach. This picture was taken from right inside Isabel’s living room door it’s her fence you’re seeing.

 
This is quite a large property and use to be an Oyster farm.  Glen, Isabel’s husband is planning on developing it.  In the meantime, they have build two small cottages Isabel and Glen live in one and their young sons in the other.  They have no immediate neighbors and just walk into the ocean knee-deep to catch their fresh crayfish, and barbecue it right there on the hot coals. 

Something you need to know about South African barbeque's, we do not use Webers or gas oh… no.  We start by collection wood and everyone has their own idea which of these timber fuels make the best coals.  Then we make a fire while everyone huddles around it and wait for it to produce hot coals, And then, and only then, do we put the meat in a special tool called a “rooster” (hand held grill) and that is placed on these hot coals.

Glen already had the fire well on its way, when we walked in the door, and then placed the finest looking beef steaks on that grill.  After a very late lunch, great wine and nonstop talking, reminiscing about our school days, we watched Rugby on TV the “Springboks” (South Africa) playing the “All Blacks” (New Zealand).  I felt a kinship with everything and everyone around me and knew it would be hard pressed to leave all this behind.

Glen and Isabel are early risers just like me and the quad bikes were fueled and stood ready waiting to be mounted for an excursion to the salt pans to watch the Flamingos and to ride the dunes.


  
Isabel and I left the next day for Cape Cross about an hour and 30 minute drive to go see the biggest breeding Cape Fur Seal Colony in the world, and we were going to spend the night at the only hotel there right on the beach called Cape Cross Lodge  - Here is an image of the beach right in front of our lodge early in the morning before sunrise.  Isabel and I enjoyed our stay here tremendously.

Cape Cross Namibia Image: Noleen Kutash ©
Seals at Cape Cross Namibia Image: Noleen Kutash ©
After we left Cape Cross we drove to the Brandberge and stayed at “White Lady Lodge” and had our own chalet with a thatch roof.  They stoked a fire outside or chalet to warm our water for our showers.  At sunset the lodge organized a drive in hopes of finding the “Desert Elephants”.    However, they just had babies and I knew that an Elephant with a new born is better left alone. Besides the Desert Elephants look and act different to normal Elephants. They are far more aggressive and have very tall legs.   Our vehicle arrived for this sunset drive, and it was an old lorry with bus seats and planks at the bottom for our feet to rest on.  It was quit funny this unconventional desert Land/Bus Drover.  The driver was the same girl from reception and once all the passengers were on the lorry, they loaded the booze and we were off to witness the end of another day in the bush…

Brandberge Namibia Image: Noleen Kutash ©

Brandberge Namibia Image: Noleen Kutash ©

Brandberge Namibia Image: Noleen Kutash ©
The image below is a rock formation at the Brandberg and called Nelson Mandella.

Nelson Mandella Rock Brandberg, Namibia Image: Noleen Kutash ©
This Meerkat greeted us at our breakfast table.  He had a few little buddies that were even smaller than him, and they would follow him around everywhere.  The staff at the lodge just never knew if they would return because after breakfast they would disappear into the wild.   However, the leader of the pack (above) would return at sunset with all the little ones in tow.  I guess he felt it was his responsibility to teach the youngsters to fend for themselves by staring at the guest while they eat.

Meerkat Image: Noleen Kutash ©

I was determined to photograph a “Himba Woman” (see first image of this letter) one of many Namibian tribes.  You need a 4x4 to venture into “Kaokoland”, but if you lucky you may find a few families in these parts.  I am fascinated by them and think the women are stunning.  They grind rocks and use the red powder and mix it with deer fat and cover their bodies with it.  These women have sculpted figures and high cheekbones.  So we found ourselves a guide with a donkey cart and off we went. 


This young Himba girl did not have her body covered in the red powder and deer fat, but I did not care she was resting under a shady tree and I took my picture and headed back to our lodge.  Because we still had an 8 mile hike up a mountain to the  White Lady  this rock-art is world renowned.

White Landy Rock Art Brandberg Namibia Image: Noleen Kutash ©
And so we come to the end of part 3.  In part 4 - I will share the tale of my drive and stay at the Desert Camp of  Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert; so don't go to far and check back often here on www.travelandtradesouthafrica.com for more adventure stories on Southern Africa.

 



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