Saturday, October 31, 2015

Thursday & Friday, October 29 & 30, 2015: Travel Day – Flight to Johannesburg, South Africa and on to Windhoek, Namibia

Plans are to leave Livingston on a British Air flight at 1:30 this afternoon.  We relaxed this morning at the Lodge.  I, Rachel, have not been feeling well since Tuesday pm.  I apparently got a bug through my mouth!  I did not eat anything today, just drank plenty of water and hot black tea with no sugar.  I have to starve this “little bug” so I get over the situation. I am taking the antibiotic Cipro, which we have with us for these situations.  In all of our travels, the last time either one of us has had a problem was in 2011 in Guatemala. However, we are very careful with food and water.

The flight went well today, and we checked into a hotel here near the airport – we returned to where we stayed our first night in Africa.  It is a lovely hotel and tonight they upgraded us to what is nearly a suite! Lovely! They have a great restaurant, and while Cal ordered a delicious meal, I drank a bottle of water!!

Victoria falls From the Sky

Our Hotel in Livingstone
Tomorrow we fly to Namibia.  Because we left the village of Mwandi earlier than planned, we will have 3 extra days in Namibia.

We requested a wakeup call for 4:30 Friday morning so we could be to the airport for our 6:40 flight to Windhoek, Namibia.  It was hard to leave the hotel in Livingston because we had such a great room, nearly a suite.

The flight to Namibia was uneventful landing around 8:30. By the time we cleared customs, passport check and claimed our luggage, bought a SIM card for the phone, got local currency at the ATM, the vehicle we reserved was ready for us.  We are driving a diesel 4x4 Isuzu pickup, with a second seat and a cover over the bed.  It has 6300 miles on it – looks and smells brand new. We were told we will need a 4x4 due to where we want to go here in Namibia.

What we saw from the plane reminds us of Arizona & New Mexico.  Desert, straight gravel roads, and mountains. The sand dunes are farther west along the coast.

The international airport is 30 minutes outside of Windhoek so by the time we arrived in the city of Windhoek we went directly to our reserved apartment, to see if we could possibly check in this early.  We were tired from our early morning, plus Rachel is beginning to feel the lack of food.  After we had a short nap we began driving around down town Windhoek.  Everyone told us that there was not a lot to see in the downtown and they were for most purposes correct. We found a nice German Lutheran Church which was located in the center of a round-about - unusual location for a church.  From there we went to an old German castle, The Heinitzburg, which is now a very lovely hotel. The hotel has an indoor restaurant, but we chose to have lunch on a veranda overlooking Windhoek – perfect location.

German Lutheran Church

The Heinitzburg Castle/Hotel

The Castle and Garden Veranda Restaurant

Lunch at The Castle

View of Windhoek from the Patio

Leo's Restaurant at the Castle

A Pair of Fighting Salamanders
When we returned to our apartment Rachel was feeling no better.  The little bit of lunch she did eat did not agree with her. At the insistence of our daughter, via What’s App, we decided to find a pharmacy before the weekend. The Pharmacist was extremely helpful. We hope things begin to improve. I want to enjoy the German food!

We have been to two grocery stores today and they are total bedlam.  People all over the place(crowds). First (at about 1:30) we were looking for a small ice chest so we can keep water and drinks cool while we travel. There may also be times when we need to pick up items for lunch, as we will be in remote areas. The reason we returned to a second store (6:00) was to look for items for Rachel to drink and possibly eat – Powerade & crackers, etc.  In both store you could hardly move around, people were everywhere!  We heard Christmas music, saw Christmas items on the shelves and Christmas decorations were being put up.

Another issue while traveling in Namibia, will be keeping the vehicle full of fuel.  Stations can be few and far in the more remote areas.

A little history on Namibia.  On old maps it was called German South West Africa.  The German settled and colonized this part of Africa. 

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