01.01.2008 40 °C
Feeling remarkably refreshed after a night's sleep at Rivendell Guest House in Windhoek, the first thing was to pick up our 4x4 from Value Car Hire. We had gone out on a bit of a limb as Value Car have very cheap prices and slightly older vehicles. Would we get a dud? Things went relatively smoothly and in a short time we were hopping into our 2003 Nissan dual cab 4x4 with two roof top tents and full of the requisite camping gear. Next port of call - SPAR - that is the supermarket. No sooner had we parked and got out than a guy fronts us, 'hello, where are you from, whats your name?' Whoops, without thinking Rob tells the guy his name. We get in the supermarket and I start castigating Robert for being a bit slow - 'you know you're going to have a Makalane palm nut with your name on it now waiting for you to return!'
We have our share of carved nuts from our first two trips when we fell into every tourist trap imaginable!
Not to worry, having stocked up on groceries we managed to placate the nut carver and headed out of the city. Had only gone a short distance when a screeching noise starts coming from under the bonnet of our car. Second 'Oh, shit!' for the day. Quick U-turn, back to hire car company and in 40 minutes a belt on the air-con unit was replaced and once again we were heading off.
The drive from Windhoek to Waterberg is pleasant couple of hours or so with no more ominous noises from the car! Just as well the problem with the a/c happened before we left Windhoek because it is a stinking hot day, maybe around 40 deg C and the a/c is working overtime. We arrive at Waterberg mid afternoon and find a camping spot in a very sparsely populated camp ground. Time to set up camp for the very first time and see what gear we have. The roof top tents are a cinch to put up but the camping gear is a bit undewhelming. It consists of a green bag with plastic cups, plates, bowls and cutlery plus a knife, large spoon etc. 4 folding chairs and a very ordinary metal folding table. The 'cooker' is a gas cylinder to which you screw a single round burner on top. We also have a large plastic container of water and a braii 'thing' which you put your boerwoers and chops in and place on the braii. The sleeping stuff is 4 pillows which a dog should be sleeping on and 4 sleeping bags which are of course completely too hot to use. Fortunately we brought some light sheets from home.
Despite the beautiful landscape dominated by the plateau rock face behind us it is still too hot to even bother walking to the pool a few hundred metres up the hill, so we sit drinking Windhoek lager until sunset, cook something unmemorable and when the mozzies get too bad, jump into the roof top tents for our first night camping.