After three days on the road, including Stilbaai four days, some 2 000 km later, we have arrived in Windhoek and will move to Etosha tomorrow morning. We had an eventful few days. From having our vehicle broken into in Cape Town and having to scramble to get ready for the road, we finally got away.
Good people there were plenty. The fine people at PG Glass in Cape Town and Vredendal were magnificent, as was our brokers Megacover and our insurers, Santam. Luckily not too much was taken and the window on the Ranger was repaired. When we had problems with the battery driving our deep freeze in the back of the Ranger, Eugene at Supa Quick in Springbok came to the party. This morning NIC in Keetmanshoop sorted out our sim cards and that is why our portable wifi can connect from just about everywhere. There are lots of good people in these regions and we were happy for their support along the way.So we will rather discuss a few highlights and one fairly low light. We decided to overnight in Vanrhynsdorp where the ad from Van Rhyns Guest house promised a great experience. What a disappointment – we will not stay there again.
The high lights started when we turned into the gate at Klaver Wine Cellar to buy some Michelle Bubbly. Leon greeted us at the gate and when we told him we came to buy Sparkling wine, he suggested that we should taste a few more wines too. “No,” we countered, “we have a lot of driving to do.”
The rest of the conversation was about the problems the locals have with the traffic police. “The young guys here get up to a lot of mischief. They go for braais on the farms but when they come back they have to pass the traffic police’s favourite point of stopping vehicles. One youngster thought he would be cleaver and drive on the winding gravel road past the vineyards. When he came around one corner, there the policeman was waiting for him. He tried ‘hullo my friend, what are you doing here?’ The policeman said ‘I know we are friends, but you still have to blow.”
‘These guys are incorruptible’, lamented Leon.Then Leon came out with a rather bizarre story of another group on young growers who gathered at a place called “Die Boom” for a braai. This was next to a prickly pear orchard. It was a whole day affair and by evening the guys had quite a few braais. “Their thoughts turned to pudding and they waded into the prickly pears to pick some fruit. Initially they used gloves to pick the thorny fruit but as the wine had its effect, they were picking them with bare hands.”
Leon says one chap regretted this very much. “These little thorns are so small and they imbed themselves in your hands. This young chap could not touch anything with his hands for weeks. How do you go to the toilet or do other things if you cannot use your hands,” asked Leon.
This all happened at the gate. We finally got to buy the Sparkling wine.
In keetmanshoorp we had a great evening at the local German restaurant. This morning at breakfast we met a Frenchman who is working for Namibian television. He says he moved to Namibia from France 15 years ago and never regretted it for a moment. “This place is almost three times as big as France and with only about 2,5 million people there is lots of space for all of us.”
We also met the farmer from Karasburg, a place in the South. Fredo knows his sheep and asked the farmer what kind of sheep he has on his farm. “Van Rooyen sheep,” he replied. Fredo knows Dorpers, Persians and Karakoel breeds but never heard of the Van Rooyen breed. It turned out that these chaps are almost the same as Persians, but they are fully white, while the Persians have a black head. They both have a rather ‘fatty’ tail which is used to mix into sausage to give them special flavour.
Well, you learn something new every day. We were invited to attend the Nama Cultural Festival which is being held at Keetmanshoop this weekend, but, reluctantly, had to decline.