Some of the information covered in our first meeting ( a general overview) — keep coins ( shrapnel) in our pockets to tip gas station attendants, and for bathrooms. I have found the bathrooms to be very clean and stocked with toilet paper. They have either been real toilets or the bush ( no tipping required). I am used to tipping to use a bathroom from my experiences In Morocco, however in Morocco there isn’t always a toilet or paper - just a hole with a bucket.
When we cross borders, we will need the three P’s — passport, pens, and patience. Could take up to 2 or 3 hours.
When we are going down the road, and we see pedestrians crossing the road - do not stop - they are aware of us — traffic does not stop for pedestrians here — if we start stopping, we will confuse all of Africa.
There will be some speed traps, if we decide to speed ahead and are “ knicked by the coppers” — we are on our own.
Once in Botswana, we may have to ride through some toxic sludge canal crossings, they are having trouble with hoof and mouth disease within their cattle herds and are trying to prevent it’s spread. Side note here — I have found Namibia to be very conscious of their resources, including it’s wildlife.
We will encounter wildlife in/on the road - he had different recommendations depending on the animals. For Springbok, we need to either slow down or speed up — the point is, we are trying not to stress them, as most of Namibia is divided into Game farms. There are high wire fences that run along side the roads. If stressed, the Springbok will turn into the fences and get hurt, they spring but cannot jump.
Wart hogs will be in the middle of the road — they will scatter with their tails straight up - much like a deer flagging its tail - and then come right back to the middle of the road, right under our tires.
Cattle tend to run in the direction they are headed.
We can’t wait to get started!!!
Their are 12 of us in our group — a diverse group of women from Texas, New Hampshire, Australia, California, Florida, and that’s all I can remember right now. We are beginning to bond as a group. Our three day excursion to the red dunes of Sossusvlei, in the Namib Naukluft National Park, together in a van was instrumental in that process. Namibia is constantly working on it’s roads, really not that much different from the USA, except here most of the roads are gravel. Graders pull trailers behind them to an area, set up that trailer, that is their home for as long as they are in that area grading the roads —- continuous process.
On our way to Sossusvlei, we traveled B, C, and D roads, some of which had not been graded for awhile. Loving referred to by our group as the “African massage trail”.
Our accommodations have been first rate, food amazing.
We visited a cheetah rescue, watched the sunset while we sipped our cocktails, laughed as our group dynamics took it’s course.
We celebrated one woman’s 75th birthday. She is part of the Dallas Duo. They have been married for 43 years and are an older version of 9R and Barb. It is absolutely uncanny, the similarities. I think it freaks 9R out just a bit.
Group travel, obviously, is much different than solo travel and just as obviously, there are pros and cons. So much has happened since 9R, Barb, and I have been in country that I am still trying to process it all.
Going to try and post pics in galleries on this website — for right now, they will give you a better idea of our journey than I can describe in the moment. I posted a few but it is painfully slow to upload photos —- I will embrace that limitation and post photos to FB for now.