My journal. Africa Trip, March 9 – April 6, 2016

Africa Trip, March 2016 Namibia Day by Day 2. Namutoni Rest Camp

I was quite interested to see how people were living along the way to Etosha. We stopped for gas and what not at a convenience store with a small settlement of some sort behind it.

And the first thing I noticed was chickens walking around.

They belonged behind the store to people in living conditions that I did not take pictures of. In retrospect I wish I’d been more intrusive, but at the time it seemed a matter of respecting privacy and not wanting to be an Ugly American. I did take a shot of a largish semi-open structure beyond the chickens there.

When I wandered over to take a closer look, I saw several black folks sitting at tables apparently enjoying coffee or a lunch. They did not make happy, welcoming faces at me, so I retreated to join the chickens again.

On the other side of the convenience store was a group of three or four maybe beer makers. They had each a big pot of white liquid and were hawking it to some locals who wandered by. Not evident what the liquid was. Eric thought maybe a fermented root yielding a kind of beer. No pix again. Interesting was the energy with which the three hawkers went after the one woman who was tasting it.

When we make it in to Namutoni Rest Camp in the east of Etosha National Park, we notice that the left rear tire is way low on air, which is to say, flat. But, lo! There is a flat-fixing specialist right across from HQ. I will discover as we go along that fixing flats is available just about everywhere there are people here. Of course, there are vast stretches of peopleless landscape ahead of us.

That was the good news. The bad was that the tire was beyond repair. Still, the Nissan came with two spares — the one on the back and another underneath the truck bed.

Here was the basic look of things:

And looking right from there, an old Dutch fort in the background:

The camp sites here were spacious and clean. There were clean bathrooms that included showers with hot water. And electrical outlets for recharging our cell phones and tablets at your site. Across the way from us was a group of black folks listening to a recorded or radio sermon the next morning, Sunday the 20th.

And right beside us was a young couple with two children just the ages of Katie and Kyle. This couple, who were in the international travel-arranging business on line, were taking a year off to travel around the world. They had already spent a month in India and gave Margaret and Eric good reports on Mumbai vs Dehli. The kids played. By running around in circles and jumping over the horizontal tree trunk you see here:

That was Saturday and Sunday morning. Time to drive on to the Halali Rest Camp, about 75 km distant on a good gravel road along the Etosha Pan:

Despite the blue color, the Etosha Pan is a big expanse of dirt except for the infrequent rains up here in northern Namibia. There is a rich assortment of animals living along its perimeter. We drove slowly on the lookout.

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