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Wonderful Wildflowers

Above and Below: A Puff Adder - which Brian had shot, skinned and tanned, then decoratively strung tautly on branches of this native thorn tree. It now hangs in the sitting room at the hotel.

Brian, husband of Wanda, manager of the hotel, very kindly offered me a Puff Adder skin which he had "spare", rolled up tightly and small , but I guess Quarantine and/or Customs would snaffle it coming back into Australia, so I reluctantly declined.

It was time to pack up and leave this restful place in Keetmanshoop, and continue on south into South Africa.

The highway south runs through very dry, barren country with very little to see. Animals were few and far between this day, except for a little ferret-like critter that ran across the road in front of me. Unsure what it was, though. Oftentimes, there was just nothing for miles to the horizon. Flat, with only a low saltbush scrub breaking the nothingness. Occasionally, there would be hills and undulating land.

 

Some of these hills were wonderful, particularly further south nearer the border. It was as if there'd been a dramatic eruption down in the bowels of the planet and these rocky hills had forced their way through the earth's crust to sit in the clean dry air.

In patches, the rocks would be round, large and black. Further up the road, they'd be dark brown, square shaped rocks ranging from small to large. Then there'd be red rocks, of all shapes and sizes. Or a few hills made of small round rocks of all colours. And sometimes the rocks were of a more golden colour. Incredibly beautiful countryside. We do live in a wondeful world!

But generally it was pretty much the same, and time passed quickly at, or even under, the speed limit of 120kph.

It was refill time in Grunau, where I spotted 4 Harleys from SA, with attendant badge bedecked riders in the restaurant. They didn't acknowledge me, so I ignored them. They left in the usual noisy blast of unnecessary sound. Oh well, to each his/her own ...

At the Engen servo just before the border crossing, I stopped in and had a late lunch, hoping the Wimpys would have internet access, but it didn't. As I was about to leave, some more very noisy Harleys arrived from RSA, with most unnecessary blipping of throttles - "gee, look at me, aren't I tough!!!" type of stuff - together with a BMW R1200GSA rider [who also owns a Harley] who wheeled his bike from the pumps to beside mine, although he was travelling with the Harleys. We chatted about unnecessary noise, and other stuff for a while, then I left - quietly!

It was a fast exit from Namibia (once all the oldies in their campervans were processed through before me) then along a few hundred metres to the RSA crossing counters - Immigration, Customs, then a Police check, then a few yards on yet another police check (why???) then a final handover of a slip of paper. For the first time in Africa, I was asked to show my Yellow Fever vaccination document. I wasn't aware that it was a problem in South Africa. Maybe the lady cop was just being a sticky beak?

I eventually found the road into the caravan park in Springbok, and rather than pitch the tent (then take it down in the dark at 4.00am on Saturday morning) I elected to sleep in the Ox Wagon.

The caravan park was full, and the manageress explained that it was wildflower season. I acknowledged this, as I had been looking at many, many different blooms on the way along, particularly south of the border. Apparently, it is a major tourism thing, with Springbok being the hub of the flower area, with people flocking to the town each year from all over to see the wildflowers. Very pretty!

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