Crossing the Namibian border
Trip Start Mar 17, 2007
435Trip End Ongoing
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The landscape is variable. In South-Africa and in Namibia.
We cross the border to Namibia. Customs are surprised : why does anybody travel on Christmas day? Checking into Namibia is as usual: cranky people, unorganized procedures.
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is in southern Africa on the Atlantic coast. It shares borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east, and South Africa to the south. It gained independence from South Africa in 1990 and its capital city is
The dry lands of Namibia were inhabited since early times by Bushmen, amongst others. The region was not extensively explored by Europeans until the 19th century, when the land came under German control as South West Africa apart from Walvis Bay, which was under
German and Afrikaans were official languages until independence in 1990 . The majority of the population speaks Afrikaans as a second language, while Oshiwambo is the first language
of half the population. German is spoken by 32% of the European community whereas English is only spoken by 7%. Estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.
At 825,418 kmē, Namibia is the world's thirty-fourth largest country (after Venezuela). After Mongolia, Namibia is the least densely populated country in the world (2.5 persons per kmē).
I am a bit nervous about not having a hotel yet, it being Christmas and high season of the holidays. But no worries: Dr T finds us a boring business hotel, which kitchen is open this evening in Keetmanshoop.
We stop in a 'village' on our way to look for some lunch. Everything is closed and deserted. We find a small supermarket with a fast food section. I order 'boerewors with roll' (on the menu like that) and Tony fish and chips. He gets his fish and chips. I have to repeat my order. I get my boerewors. I ask for my roll. She does not understand. I point at the menu. She does not understand. I say: sandwich, bread. She does not understand. OK, boerwors it will be. We pay and leave. Tony's crisps are bad. My boerwors is worse. But his fish is uneatable. Welcome to Namibia, have a nice day.
Not one pub is open, so I have my first wild pee. In a picnic area where there is a garbage bin, so no paper is left in the nature.
We find the Canyon Lodge in Keetmanshoop easy enough. They have 2 computers with internet connection at the reception. Then the room dance starts. We asked for a double bed and a double bed it is. But it stinks of cigarette smoke. We passed by none smoking rooms, so Tomcat goes back to ask for a non smoking room. When he comes back with the key: the room has 2 single beds. He goes back. Gets another room, which has ... no fridge like the previous ones. No problem for Tony, he did not lock the previous rooms and gets the fridge out of there. And what else does he find? A very interesting cable coming out of the wall. And indeed, Hubby plugs in the right cables and we are on line. The whole hotel feels like it used to be THE place to be. Long time ago. The rooms are spacious, the bathrooms nice but it is from the past. (A bit like Catanzarro Lido, remember Broekske?).
We have our meal in the hotel. Dr T has a Gordon Blue. A weird one. I have a seafood cocktail, which turns out to be a: can of tuna. Ah, well ... .