On The Road Again, Again, and Again...Oh My!

Trip Start Aug 22, 2012
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Trip End Jun 16, 2013


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Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Thursday, April 11, 2013

For all intents and purposes we have been on the road and almost entirely camping for 26 days since the beginning of our March 16 safari. Since then we have covered approximately 8000 km of African roads and skies. What we have seen has been beyond our wildest dreams – wildlife, vegetation, landscapes, skies, weather and human behaviour.

How can I describe my gratitude for these past 20 days of this overland trip – well, really the entire 8 months - of safe travel, fantastic weather (about 6 days of rain in total since August), healthy body, good food and drink and sustained friendly interaction with fellow travellers? Fabulous. We have been so lucky!

But…I am growing weary of our daily ritual of packing up our tent and bags, climbing into a vehicle and driving for anywhere between 3 and 10 hours. We often leave in the dark so I am misplacing stuff and I am tired of using communal washrooms. One of the guys produced Jim's missing bathing suit from deep in his pack or somewhere after a week of Jim hunting for it. However, I am appreciative of all logistics being taken care of thus releasing Jim and I from multiple daily decisions and/or negotiations which can get exhausting.

Our G Adventure continues after 'experiencing the ecstasy of flight’, with our first stop deep in the Namibian desert at a farm. I have no idea what could possibly be farmed at this place as the earth is hard and dry and there is nothing in view for miles, except arid landscape and no humans other than our group and the owners of the campsite. We were told we were so lucky that it wasn’t too hot as the last trip through here 3 weeks prior cooked in temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius. I thought it was extremely hot, so much so that I went swimming in the small pool with my clothes on so I could enjoy the air conditioning from wet clothing! Lethargy enveloped the entire group until the sun had dropped enough for us to walk up to the ridge and watch the sun set.

I crawled out of bed again at 5:30am to do yoga by starlight and sunrise with one of the other travelers. This time was the best of all. I felt such a sense of peace and well-being that it brought me to tears. The previous evening, we sat for hours staring at the stars then playing with the camera doing some ‘light painting’.

More day-long driving across the desert to Sossusvlei, a 32,000 square kilometers sand sea with the wind always shaping the dunes creating sleek lines on the horizon like a beautiful dancer creates lines with his or her limbs and body. A gentle breeze took the edge off the afternoon sun as we hiked into one of the most picturesque spots we’ve seen. This place is called Deadvlei, a low open landscape of very dry clay amongst the dunes with hundreds of years old trees that have never decayed.

With very little time to spare we dashed to Dune 45, climbed, descended and exited the park before it closed. We saw the sunset but even more exquisitely were the changing colours over those gorgeous red dunes!

Rising early again for star-shine yoga and meditation, I first set off alone to the washrooms in the dark and somehow got turned around on my way out. Although I had a headlamp, I wandered lost in the campsite for about 15 minutes imagining running into a hungry lion or a scavenging hyena. Upon return and reporting this to my travel-mates, one of the 30-somethings laughingly feigned a news report, ‘old lady lost in campsite, circling the pathways for days’. Old lady – my how things change quickly (see previous post Younger Every Day)!

Our last stop in Namibia was Transfrontier Park where the enormous Fish River Canyon is. Again, more stunning views and landscapes that took my breath away. Farewell to Namibia – one of my favourite countries on this entire trip.

As we entered South Africa, we felt a distinct change; the infrastructure improved, the desert is gone, the landscape is less captivating and the campsites are more developed. The long drive from the Namibian border to Cape Town was fast with a fun stop at a campsite situated at the Highlanders winery.  The wine-tasting activity was educational, tasty and resulted in many giggles. Add to that the delight and relief we all felt knowing this was our last night in a tent, meant we were playful with lifted spirits.

Finally, we arrived in Cape Town to a hotel and Internet! Celebrating our adventure together, we listened to some fantastic live music and enjoyed a fun meal together at a Mama Africa, a well-known restaurant on the infamous Long St. Our goodbye breakfast the next morning brought the G Adventure trip to a close. Jim and I are on our own again with 4 weeks left to travel South Africa. We will start tomorrow with a trip up to Table Mountain.
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Comments

Scott McGovern on

As always, continuing to love your entries and photos. Will be curious about your experience of South Africa. Was in Cape Town last August visiting Alec, who was studying abroad at UCT for the semester, and I had lived and worked in Southern Africa in the late 70's. Hope you have good weather for Table Mountain. Try Lion's Head for the sunset!

Kathi on

I have been riveted for the past number of days, weeks, and months. I can barely imagine the emotion of experiencing this vast earth that you have been through. Hauntingly beautiful.....thank you both so much for sharing the endless tales and amazing photos.

carol chung on

Donna, the pictures are gorgeous! I'm glad the weather has been good for you :)

Sue Walker on

WOW
You both need to give up your Halifax jobs and do travel for a living. Photography and writing. What a team you would be.
Sue xo

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