Saturday, February 18, 2006

Epupa Falls to Windhoek, Namibia . . . “Moro”

From Opowu we decided to head further north up to Epupa Falls. The drive of just under 200km took us about 7 hours. A flat tyre held us up for a few hours and shortly after that the Tazz got stuck in the sand. However, we an interesting assortment of hitchhikers to keep us entertained and a lot of help from the locals so we couldn’t complain. The goat we hit on the way up would be the only one with a complaint. Although Phil claims that he “didn’t hit the goat . . . the goat hit him”. Luckily the goat lived to stagger off the road and will no doubt die much later in a more useful manner.

By the time we got to Epupa we were looking forward to a dip in the river and perhaps putting a foot on the river bank of Angola - just a short swim away. On arrival we were told that there was a fairly high population of crocodiles in the river. Luckily we were armed with excellent advice from our travel guide:

Your best line of defence is to stab the crocodile in its eyes with anything sharp that you have. Alternatively, if you can lift up its tongue and let water into its lungs whilst underwater, then a crocodile will start to drown and will release its prey.”

Realising we weren't carrying any sharp objects and not wanting to rely on the lifting-of-the-tongue method - we decided not to swim. Instead we visited the falls, which were very impressive after the recent rains.

I must admit that by the time we got to Epupa I was a bit fed up with camping. That night I got up in an outraged mood to complain to camp management about a light that had been shining into our tent for hours, preventing me from sleeping. Before I stormed out Phil kindly informed me that the light was, in fact, beyond management control. Damn that full moon.

Leaving Epupa Phil told me that the next stop was "the Big 5". Concerned that we were going to pop in to the offices of the top five law firms in Namibia, I was relieved to find that "the Big 5" is game-park-speak for five animals: the lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo. We went looking for them and other lesser creatures at Etosha National Park, a game park in the north of Namibia. Dry season is the best time to view game in Etosha so as it was wet season we were very lucky to see four of the five. Damn those elusive leopards.

Leaving the animals we went south to see some petrified trees. These are not trees in fear of the axe, they are trees that apparently froze during the ice age somewhere farther north in Africa and when the ice melted they floated down stream and (for a reason explained to me but that I have now completely forgotten) became petrified into rock. So, essentially we saw rocks that look like logs. Exciting stuff.

After dealing with three flat tyres in less than 12 hours, we then went to visit some stone age painting and engravings which were pretty interesting. The last one is famously called 'The White Lady" although it is actually a painting of a black man. The confusion was the fault of a know-it-all European archeologist.

And that was the end of Namibia. We tearfully said goodbye to the Tazz in Windhoek. Next stop Botswana. Next entry in a week or so.


Blogger stephanie said...

wow let us see some more animal photos

11:08 PM  

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