Chaos at the Cape to natural beauty in Namibia

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August 5th 2017
Published: August 7th 2017
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Delhi airport is just like any other! Check in desk staff baffled by how you are traveling onto the next destination and unsure of
what to do with your bags- queue the panic of not getting your bags at the other end! Security as ever has all its own quirks- this time all electrical items to be removed, even wires. Cue the chaos that is Lauren and Jo with huge bags full of wires, trying to find them all. Finally we got through to departures and thought we would indulge in some last minute Indian cuisine- the final frontier- the Mc chicken maharajah! Now I had mine without chilli's and it was crazy spicy, so god only knows how spicy it was with chilli's- jo tells me bloody spicy! A short plane ride and we arrived in Dubai at 2am in the morning.
As we got off the plane Jo started to feel unwell. We were both tired and what proceeded to unfold was made worse by this. We had to transfer terminals first off- cue pushing and shoving from rude people. Arrived at the terminal- four different people telling us four different things. Cued for 2 hours to get our tickets all the while Jo was sick as a dog by this point. No where to sit in the terminal- I thought this was meant to be the best airport in the world....?! A full blown argument with a man at a check in desk, whilst Jo is literally crawling around on the floor trying to find a toilet (there's hardly any in the terminal). Finally after a 6 hour lay over we were at the gate, only to discover we had a 30 min bus transfer to the plane. This would have been fine except the bus was like a sauna. Jo was green and sweating by this point and I genuinely thought she was going to throw up all over the bus, but instead another girl next to her fainted. All in all by the time we got on the plane we both exhausted, near breaking point and glad to get the hell out of Dubai. Arrived Cape Town and I have to say what we saw of it was stunning. We managed to check in and I swiftly put Jo to bed. I managed to catch up with a good friend and do some washing. During the night the tables massively turned and it was now my turn to be horrendously ill. It was like someone was trying to tell us not to go out and explore Cape Town as the table mountain cable car was out of action, we couldn't get a ticket to go over to Robben island and we were both deathly ill. Between visits to the bathroom and because we were forced to check out, we did manage a trip down to the water front for a ride on the Ferris wheel and to take some snaps of table mountain.
In the evening we met our group, split into our teams (we're split into teams for chores such as cleaning, cooking, packing etc) and I went straight back to bed, in hope of trying to shake it off for the rest of the trip.
The next day I did feel totally different and we were off bound for the South African costal route. We arrived in the afternoon at a place called Cederberg, a quick orientation of the Lando and on how to pitch our tents (home for the next few weeks!) and then off for some well earned wine tasting. We started to get to know the group a bit more and enjoyed quite the array of wine. Our favourite was the pink fizz and the vermouth!
Up early the next day for camping breakfast and packing up the Lando, we were bound for the orange river- the river separates South Africa from Namibia. The scenery on the drive wasn't very exciting so some well earned sleep was caught up on. We did stop by the road side for some lunch and arrived at the orange river early evening. It's called the orange river because as the sun sets it makes the water look orange. The first of many beautiful sunsets I'm sure.
It was up and at them early again the next day- something I fear is the norm from now on! All ready to go for the boarder crossing into Namibia. After we all got stamped in and out, half of us were nearly married off to boarder patrol men! Our tour guide managed to negotiate or safe passage minus the marriage- I'm told we're quite the catch here!
Onto fish river canyon to catch the sunset at the second biggest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. The sunset was beautiful- made even better by cheese and wine!
Back to set up camp and we now began to realise that we would not be losing any weight on this trip! The food these guys cook up is amazing! Three full square meals a day and you can't say no- because it tastes too good!
The next day was a full on Lando day- we had such a distance to cover it was unfortunately unavoidable. Still we kept the atmosphere light on board with a full sing along- instigated by me and Jo to the likes of 'it's raining men' and 'waka waka Africa!' Even the boys got involved and I'm sure everyone was crying wth laughter by the end of it. The roads are also a cause for entertainment as a road here is nothing more than a very bumpy unmade dirt track at home!! Nicknamed African massage!
4am our start was the next day. We had to be up in time for the Namib desert opening. Leave it any later and we would be queuing for hours to get in and climbing the sand dunes in the blistering heat. It's crazy how the landscape changes from a very grey arid and stoney look, to beautiful red dunes with a purple tint to the sky for sunrise. Once in some of us headed up the big big dune called big daddy whilst the rest of us decided the more leisurely climb would suit us better. We got to see amazing parts of the landscape and appreciate how huge the Namib dessert actually was. Coming down the dunes was hilarious. Stepping forwards and sinking down to your knees in sand every time. How we didn't end up rolling down is a real achievement. Back on the bus, sand everywhere we headed to our next stop. This place again is in the middle of no where but we were told we would see zebras!!!
By this point we have already seen ostriches, springboks, oryx gazzelle and baboons just chilling on the side of the road as we drive along. Tents pitched we had dinner on the go and we're enjoying a drink as the sun set. Jo sits bolt upright and thinks she sees a zebra- she did see a zebra. Pandemonium ensured, grabbing cameras and binoculars. Until the sun set we watched the zebras walk right by us to get to the watering hole and even after sunset more came and I could have watched them all night. We had seen zebras!!!! Off to the Tropic of Capricorn and swakopmund In the morning- I hear there's a birthday to celebrate!

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