Tuesday, 22 April 2014

In to the cauldron...

We nearly bought a car without air conditioning. By this stage we had travelled through most of Africa without really needing it, but after the first couple of hours in southern Namibia, surrounded by unbearable heat for most of the day, it became clear it was worth every penny.

It was 40 degrees plus every day, and we were forced into an existence where we were only outside for the couple of hours either side of sunrise and sunset. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the main things to see in this part of the world are massive sand dunes, and giant arid canyon (as well as making the most of the local German connections by eating a wide variety of apple strudel!)

Sand dunes as far as the eye can see in Sossusvlei
Dried up lake beds - hard to believe that there's ever water...

Big canyon at Fish River

This photo get across how hot and dry it was quite well

This is proper frontier country, and you really felt out of it, barely seeing another person in a full day of driving.

With that in mind, you can understand how at odds our accommodation on our last night in Namibia seemed. We landed mid afternoon at Ai-Ais, a natural springs with several pools to sooth aching limbs (unfortunately, they are hot springs - not ideal!) You can imagine how impressed Anna was in this situation (ie 40 degrees, only hot pools to cool off in), when I started playing the stupid game where I drove away every time she tried to get in. Luckily though, this game highly amused the local park ranger, who happened to have a luxury villa going spare that night, and decided to bestow it upon us for free!

That night we slept in air conditioned luxury, with an odd treat of being able to watch the Oscars under the beautiful desert stars from our personal hot tub!

From here, we continued south into South Africa, our last country. It was then that I started to get nervous.

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