Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; plgContentembed_google_map has a deprecated constructor in /var/sites/a/aaltenvoogd.com/public_html/plugins/content/embed_google_map/embed_google_map.php on line 21

We woke up at 8:00am to find the campsite deserted. We hadn’t heard anyone moving around but they were all packed up and gone. It was a bad start to the day. At Waterberg the tours onto the plateau to see the animals either left at 7:00am or 3:00pm to coincide with sunrise and sunset. From the little we know of animal watching these are the best times to be out and about so we both knew that we had probably missed the boat.

Still not really with a pattern for getting going in the morning we were both trying to get ready as quickly as we could but it seemed to me that everything I touched was a trial to overcome. To get to anything in the truck I first had to move at least two other things out of the way and I could feel myself getting more and more wound up. Stef seemed to be having the same problem too and seeing each other dithering I think just compounded the frustration we both felt at having slept late.

With neither of us really making any headway we soon decided to just wipe out animal spotting for the day, take it easy and use the time to catch up on some laundry and other bits and pieces. We had a proper breakfast and I think at my fourth attempt I finally made it to the shower. The cleaners seemed to take hours to clean the washrooms but despite this they were still not the cleanest ones I have been to. Irritatingly none of the doors would shut but fortunately there were few people around to disturb me.

The day slowly got better and we both felt less irritated and eventually we could laugh at ourselves. We laughed at our panic this morning that we were late, our inability to get ourselves up and out quickly and at the bugs and insects that plagued us off and on during the day. In the early morning we were woken by the dawn chorus of the birds and birds kept us company for a couple of hours. As the day wore on though the birds seemed to disappear with their place being taken up by a myriad range of insects. Some were just simply flies, others were big grasshoppers and cicadas and we even saw one of the big beetley things that had been all over the roads in the last few days.

20060331_P_0242
Finally, a use for that piece of string we've carried more than halfway around the world!

Although we regretted the loss of a day on the one hand we also used the time to reconsider and replan what we would do in Namibia. A warm wind was blowing through the site and last nights clear starry skies had been followed by a clear blue sky this morning. During the day we chatted to one of the park wardens who told us that lions had been spotted near the camp and a South African couple later confirmed they had seen them about 4km away from the entrance.

The campsite gradually filled up as the afternoon wore on. Another Lonely Planet style tour bus arrived and then a car turned up and four people with what sounded like British accents rolled out. The car was absolutely jam packed and hung very low against the ground. They seemed to have picked up a puncture along the way and while the chaps went off to sort the car out the girlies were left behind to sort out the camp and do some washing. They were quite a comical group to watch off an on. What I had thought were two couple turned out to be people who had met up along the way and decided to share hiring a car. They seemed pretty disorganised and scatty and Stef in particular took great delight in seeing their less than successful attempts at lighting a campfire.

A re-stock of tonic and wood set us up for another comfortable night with a medicinal sundowner keeping us going as the campfire was set. Stef is now taking great pride in his fires, wanting to ensure that his is among the best on the site and quietly laughing at those who can only produce a trickle of smoke. Another braai, more wine and beer, a few more games of gin rummy and we were soon ready for bed, planning to be up and out early tomorrow.