Final Drive In Namibia...

Remhoogte Mountain Pass

Remhoogte Mountain Pass

Today is my last day in Namibia.  Sadness.  Tomorrow on to Botswana for 4 days. 

Today was kind of a late start.  I actually got more than 8 hours of sleep last night.  First time it has happened since I arrived.  I didn't hit the road until 9:45.  I went to the Sossusvlei Lodge for breakfast, and headed back to camp to pack up and check out.  I was kind of lazy this morning since I knew I only had to drive to Windohek.  It was a 6 hour drive.  

So I got on the road and took a few gravel roads which led me to another gravel road and a mountain pass.  It was the Remhoogte Mountain Pass.  It was really a mountain pass.  I had to drive through rivers, and could only drive about 50km per hour which is about 30mph (thanks Google).  It was super fun and exciting and a little scary at the same time.  I loved being alone on the roads and this one I definitely was alone.  I saw one other car while driving on the mountain pass.  So, if anything happened, I was on my own.  But some beautiful scenery.  I only stopped once to take photos because it was mostly blind corners, driving through water, and narrow passes.  I didn't want to cause a wreck.  Especially since Doris had been so good to me this trip and we were in the home stretch.  Oh, and then I came across a herd of cattle in the middle of the road.  I honked.  Nothing.  So I got out and started yelling at them, "MOVE COWS".  One cow got up and ran down a hill but the others just stared.  I had just enough room to get around them so I did.  They all stared at me as I drove past.  Cows.  So, after driving through the awesome pass, I made it through and the road widened and then the rain started.  Funny thing is the gravel roads become way more smooth when they are wet.  I could do 80kmh!  Then it happened.  I came to a pothole in the road.  It had filled with water.  I just kept driving at 80 and that water covered Doris from top to bottom.  Not my smartest move.  I couldn't see anything but muddy water for about 10 seconds.  It was ok.  I guess thinking about it now it wasn't that exciting.  But at the time it was.  I drove through a puddle!  I'm dumb.  I made it to the tar road, the B1, and that took me all the way to Windohek.  I arrived in Windohek and of course my Google maps on my phone wasn't working so I had to use the regular map.  I missed my turn.  Of course I did.  So I kept driving as I needed to fill up Doris before I got to the guesthouse anyway, and couldn't find a gas station.  Well I'm so dumb I just followed the signs to city center.  What a mistake!  They have traffic lights here, but they don't use them.  They were off.  I was driving in extremely heavy traffic, going through traffic lights that weren't working and looking for gas.  I decided to ditch the idea.  I found a side road and made a right turn and then turned around and found my way back to the B1.  I knew if I could get back to the B1 I could follow the map to the guesthouse and figure out my turn off from there.  I FINALLY made it back to the B1 and I flew right by my turn again. So I went to a roundabout and went all the way around and came back to my turn.  Finally made it.  Then I found the main street that the guesthouse is right off of.  But then I missed the turn for that.  I'm horrible.  I finally made it to Villa Vista Guesthouse.  But I decided I needed to be brave and get gas so I went exploring again.  I drove a bunch of streets and found 2 gas stations but the lines were insane.  So I made my way back to Villa Vista and decided they could take the refueling fee out of my deposit.  It's going to be all of $35.00.  I should've just avoided the hassle in the first place.  Oh, I put exactly 2100km on Doris on this trip which is about 1,300 miles.  That's a lot of driving.  It's like driving from Madison to Salt Lake City.

Finally made it to Villa Vista and got to my room.  Unpacked everything and repacked for my trip to Botswana tomorrow.  I can only bring a small duffle bag since I will be traveling to the safari camp by bush plane.  I repacked everything and loaded up the duffle and made sure it would fit in my regular suitcase so I can leave my other luggage at the Maun airport office and just take the small duffle.  So, interesting this blog.  I'm talking about packing.  Geez.  Enough.

Tomorrow I go to Botswana.  I'm getting picked up at 4:00a.m. for a 6:35 flight to Johannesburg.  I have a 2 hour layover in Johannesburg, then I get my flight to Maun, Botswana.  I will arrive in Botswana at about 1:15.  Drop my luggage at the safari camp's office, and then get on the bush plane for a 45 minute flight to the camp.  I'm super stoked about that.  I will be in Botswana until Friday when I start the journey home.  Flights from Botswana to South Africa, then to Paris, Detroit and finally Madison.  I should be home by 5:00p.m. on Saturday.

This actually may be the last time I update the blog from Africa.  I would be super surprised if they have wi-fi at the safari camp.  But then again, I was really surprised where they had wi-fi in Namibia.  So maybe I will post again.  If not, I have a 5 hour layover in Paris so I need something to do. I will blog then.

Thanks again for reading, everyone!!  I'm sad this is my last post from Namibia.  It has been an amazing experience.  Very introspective.  Being alone on a road trip in the desert will do that to you.  Especially when you have limited human contact for 9 days.  It's been a trip I will never forget.  Maybe it's not over yet...Botswana is coming!