Today was a little stressful, but mostly a good day. I slept in a bit and left the Fish River Canyon at about 9:30 this morning. On the way out, I stopped and took a photo of a lonely tree. I like lonely trees. That was not the stressful part. I had about a 4.5 hour drive to Klein Aus Vista near the town of Aus. The road to the Canyon Lodge was longer than I expected. So I probably should've stopped and got fuel the first thing. Well, after a long drive out of the canyon to the main B4 road, I was anxious to get to my next destination and forgot to stop for gas at the next town which was about 3km from the main road. So less than halfway through my 180km drive I realized I had less than 1/4 tank of gas. There was nothing I could do but hope that it would get me to the next town, which was Aus. I kept staring at the gas gauge and my miles. Then the warning light went on. I freaked out a little in my head. I had about 15km to Aus and wasn't sure if I was going to make it. So as a let down to this story, I made it ok. But I had an EMPTY tank. Took $500 to fill it up. Which is about $33.00 US. Super cheap. So, that's the stressful part of the day. That part and the baboons.
Oh, last night was interesting. I was at the Canyon Lodge, sitting on the terrace waiting for the wi-fi to upload my blog and an old German lady in a tour group was walking down the stairs. One of the waitresses was helping her, but she kept yelling something at her in German and waving her away. But the waitress kept doing the stairs with her, but keeping her distance. Maybe she was a racist German. I don't know, but she didn't want that waitress touching her. She gets to the bottom stair and does a face plant. Woah! The poor waitress didn't know what to do. I sprung into action, ran down the stairs and helped the racist lady up. (I don't know if she is a racist, but it maybe makes a better story. Karma...you know). She was bleeding. She cut her face open. Then the tour guide came and took her to her room. He later thanked me for helping her. That was the excitement of the evening. Mostly people here are German in in their 70's. I feel so young. Boring story over...
So, back to today. I made it to the gas station, got some gas, water and beer and went a few km down the road to Kelin Aus Vista. It is a hotel complex just outside of Aus. It has a rich German heritage and has been around for decades as a respite for travelers. There are two parts to the Kelin Aus VIsta. One is the Desert Lodge, where I currently am sitting. It's right off the main highway. The other is the Eagles Nest Chalets. They are about 15km from the Klein Aus Vista out in the desert. So remote. I'm staying at the Eagles Nest. So, I checked in and drove out to my chalet. I got to it and it seems maybe I'm the only one staying out there. I unloaded the car and decided to have a beer on the patio. As soon as I went outside, that's when I saw them. The fucking baboons. There was one HUGE one and it was howling and growling at the others. There were maybe 6 of them. They kept running around and hitting each other. I hate monkeys. I hate baboons even more. They are scary. The were kind of far away, but I started yelling hoping they would go away ever farther. That did not work. They all just sat down and stared me down. I had enough and went inside for a minute. It was only 3:00, so I couldn't just let those fucking baboons win and keep me in my room all day. So I decided to be brave and go and check out the situation. I went back outside and they were gone. So I walked to an info sign right near my room. It was a hiking trail information stand. There are hiking trails right outside my door! So I manned up and put on some sunscreen, grabbed my camera and some water and decided to go on a 7km hike. It was called the mountain hike. It was listed as intermediate. But it said it would only take 2 hours and that was all I had before the sun went down and the those baboons came back in the dark. So, I decided to do it.
I set off with my camera, some water and a granola bar. I thought maybe I could entice the baboons with the granola bar, if they cornered me. Then I would run while they were trying to figure out how to open it. Not a very good plan, but it's all I had. The hike went around a mountain and I came to an old car. A car in the middle of the desert! There was a sign by it. The car had been used in a diamond robbery in 1934. The police chased the two robbers out in the desert and had a shootout. The robbers were killed and the car was left where the shootout happened. The story is the diamonds were never recovered, and the robbers still haunt the desert looking for the loot. I don't need any ghosts around. I have enough to worry about with the baboons. So I continued the hike, then it went up the mountain and down the other side. I could see my room and car from the top, so I knew I was on the right path. I took some shirtless selfies and other photos at the top, then made my way back down to my room. It was a good hike and I didn't see one baboon.
I took a quick shower when I got back, then made the drive to the lodge for dinner. It is so weird driving at night here. So dark. But I made it and now I'm sitting in the bar updating the blog and having a Jack and Coke. I'm kind of tired from the day so I'm going to leave soon and head back to my room. Maybe I'll read for a while. As long as I have electricity. The room is solar powered, so limited electricity. I think maybe I will try to take some milky way photos tonight too. If I'm not too freaked out about the animals. It is so dark here, that I can get amazing star photos.
Tomorrow I will go to Kolmanskop! I'm super stoked about that! It's about 100km away. It's an old mining town that has been taken over by the desert. I think maybe I will go right away in the morning and then check out the town of Luderitz. It's on the coast and looks a little quirky and cool. I'm excited to see the ocean too. On the way home, I will try to stop and see the wild horses of Aus. They can be hard to find sometimes, but I will probably look.
Loving this Great Adventure!!! Thanks for reading everyone!!! Until tomorrow...