Thursday, January 25, 2007

Quick Vacation

After a full December of stress, chaos and isolation, I decided it necessary to take a few days of break. The original plan was to wait for some other volunteers, who were at the time in America, to arrive back and to travel for a week or so in their company. This plan had its faults however, mainly that I really needed to leave to maintain my mental health, and that my friends were not scheduled to return until a week or so after the new year and we had not yet spoken really about what we were going to do. So, altering the plan, I decided to hitch out of Aranos to join up with some other friends who had just returned from the Cape and were about to travel around, as one of the groups brother was visiting from America and wanted to see the area. The plan was to hit up Brukarros, an extinct volcano, then head to Sossusvlei, then travel to Swakop, then camp at Waterberg. So, I went with them to the volcano, and it was amazing. We hiked into the creator and poked around. I collected a lot of really fascinating rocks, which is apparently only cool to me -- but its also ok with me that its only cool to me, and a good time was had by all. Climbing up in the rocks really helped me to relax and distress which was much needed. I hadn’t fully realized until then stressed I had really been. After Brukarros, we headed back to Mariental. They wanted to leave in the morning to the dunes at Sossusvlei, but I decided to break off and try to catch the original group as they came in; so, in the monrning I hitch hiked north. In Whk, I met up with another group, not the intended group coming in, that was headed to Sossusvlei for a couple of days. This appealed to me because the area is very close to my site, which would make it easier to get back in a timly fashion, and also because I had had no contact with the group that was flying in, so, in true PCV fasion, I decided to go with them to the dunes. Its crazy how plans come about here. No consistency…
Anyway, we headed out to Sessriem, the camping area for the dunes, and after an amazingly beautiful drive on dirt roads, interrupted by a flat tire, we arrived at our destination. That afternoon, after setting up camp, we decided to hike Sessriem cannon. It wasn’t much of a hike, but it was beautiful, and there were plenty of chances to climb around. At the source of the cannon was a murky pool of brackish water set back into an almost cave like area that was home to several families of baboons and some catfish. It was pretty cool.

That night, we decided to sleep in the open instead of using our tent. At the time this seemed like a great idea due to the heat; the night however, would prove different. Throughout the night I woke to what I thought in my sleepy haze was dogs all around the camp. These dogs as it turns out were jackals, raiding the camp for food. That night it didn’t make too much of a diffrence to us that jackals were around while we slept, mainly because we were exhasted.
The next morning we heared out to Sossusvlei to see the dunes. It was amazing. I really can’t write too much about them because it was just cool. Mountains of sand. Very cool. I had a blast. In all that day we walked about 17km and by lunchtime the head was up to about 104 in the shade. I think the pictures say it all. If you ever go, make the walk to Deadvlei, its worth it.

That night the jackals returned, and made off with the oatmeal out of the tent. This was a sad moment as we didn’t have much to eat. Who knew that jackals had a thing for the oats. Also during the night, a herd of oryx , or gemsboks, made their way through out camp. I awoke to what sounded like horses galoping through, and when I opened my eyes, a giant oryx stood not 4 feet away, towering over me. I decided it was best not to move, and just watched as the beautiful animals made their way through.
It was a very good break, though short. I was droped in M’tal and made my way back to Aranos. Things have continued on a downward course at site, but I still hold some hope that next year will get better.

Lawrence Of Namibia.

Its really all about the stick.


At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read you last message. Kevin emailed me your blog link finally. I'm distressed to hear what a difficult time you've had since you were home last time. Please take good care of yourself, Darling, and let Nana hear from you. I'll include it at the bottom of this message. Have loved all of the pictures I was able to review. They're beautiful. Hope Shaka is growing up to be a good pal. Think of you so much and so often. Enjoy the box Kev is forwarding ... have enclosed some funny Valentine's stuff. Enjoy.

Love you,


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