Published: May 13th 2010May 8th 2010
At 05h30, we were summonsed for the sunrise. To be more precise, we'd been told about the sunrise, so I was up with the camera, whilst the others were up and packing their tents! Away from the camp, the first rays of sun were lighting the mountain opposite, giving it deep red and orange tinges whilst the clouds in the sky added further interest.
Breakfast of coffee and bread was over far too quickly and, as I'd been taking photos, I was the last to pack away the tent. Despite this, we were still ten minutes ahead of schedule leaving camp!
The journey northwards was as in previous days; very hot through what's called Karoo, i.e., semi-arid, semi-desert. Springbok and Ostrich provided animal interest in the majestic landscape.
We stopped at Uis for shopping and a lunch break before arriving at the Brandberg camp site. The fire mountain
is known for its numerous rock painting stretching back some 6000 years and it was here, at probably the most famous, that we stopped.
It was extremely hot when we got out of the bus, donned our walking boots and took plenty of water. Meeting our local guide, he
led us through 90 minutes of rough terrain, up a very hot side valley to view the White Lady
. All the while, the valley narrowed and became more wodded. Mountain Wheatear flew around us as we reached a large rocky outcrop. Now that we were close to the paintings, I told Colette, in French, that the paintings were high up on the mountain top, knowing that, after yesterday, she couldn't make it. Even the French guide joined in, informing her that she probably ought not attempt the climb, although Colette realised that the two of us were pulling her leg.
After a short climb, we arrived at the cave and, lining up across the mouth, had a superb view of the White Lady, who is neither white, nor a lady! It is now thought that the image represents a shaman. Numerous other images were painted on the walls, most very well preserved, given their age.
Back from the walk in the intense heat, we put up our tents and then adjourned to the swimming pool, although I took the opportunity to take photos of more bird life. Sitting in the sun, I watched the Dusky Sunbirds flying between
the Cactus and Aloe flower, judging when best to take the photograph. Whilst sitting with the guides, a meerkat came into the gardens and sat in the shade next to us. Not shy at all, it lay across a book and dozed. This trip was getting just better and better!
Back by the tents, later that evening, I tried to convince the French contingent that our dinner (Oryx steaks) would be ready in five minutes whilst theirs (bread and water) in 50 minutes. Whilst unsuccessful, Colette did say that she'd now pack her bags and return to France. Another victory to the English and copious amounts of laughter from all sides!
There are more photos below