After a relaxing half empty flight to Windhoek, we said goodbye to Sue, my sister-in-law, and, the 4 intrepid travelers set off. Myself, our son Greg, (whom we shall call Greggie, to avoid any confusion for the remainder of the trip), my brother Greg, and our little niece, Olivia. I had a basic itinerary as to where we were going, and what we were doing. But, I chose to do as little planning as possible, and to go with the flow, with no expectations. Our main goal being “experiencing Nambia”. After driving through a landscape of scrub, we arrived to a warm welcome at Onjala Lodge.
What a pleasant surprise. The lodge has a distinctive African theme, and is set is a game lodge/ spa. What more could anyone ask for? After settling in, and eating an early dinner, we set of for stargazing. The little white domes that we had spotted earlier, actually house telescopes, one of which is a ‘Zeiss refractor’, which is only one of 6 in the world. We felt as if we were in a Star Wars movie as the roof rolled back, and they automatically focused on various planets, stars and constellations. These included Jupiter, and the jewellery box cluster, amongst other twinkling sights.
The next couple of days were a whirlwind of game drives, eating, walking, sunset drinks, and so much more. With one of our highlights being, sitting in the jacuzzi overlooking the vast expanse of Africa. We all had Shaman Chakra oil healing journeys, and massages, which were truly amazing. The staff were so kind and caring, and we felt right at home.
Sadly, we had to leave, and we made our dusty journey into Windhoek, while wishing, that the spa pampers had been at the end of our journey, and not the beginning. As the old saying goes, we felt as if we had travelled from diamonds into dust. Traveling is always an adventure. And so we arrived in Windhoek. I thought that I had no expectations, but I had expected more interesting things to do in Windhoek.
The next couple of days were not easy, as my brother Greg was sick. Little Olivia kept us all going, as the Angel entertained us daily, with her beautiful smile and chatting. We whisked through Windhoek in a day, visiting craft markets and driving around. We had fun evenings chatting to our lovely hosts and sharing stories, and wine.
After a couple of days, Greggie and I set off. We sadly said goodbye to the others, and jumped into our taxi to travel to the unknown. We had a pleasant trip from Windhoek to Swakopmund, where we both managed to catch up on some reading. We arrived that evening at Atlantic villa, to a warm welcome, a beautiful, comfy, clean room with heating, and a TV. After ordering takeaways we sat in bed pondering through all of the options of what we would do for the next few days.
We set off into town, and after a tasty breakfast, our 1st stop was the Crystal Gallery, which houses the worlds biggest crystal. Apart from this vision being overwhelming, the sight of all of the other crystals and semi precious stones blew us away. One of the highlights was the amazing jewellery, of which numerous items are on my wish list.
After this was a brisk exploratory walk through town, we ended up at the Village Cafe for a late lunch. There really is nothing like beautifully prepared home made food. We walked to the end of the Pierre, looked through all the curio shops, and popped in at the tourism centre. And then suddenly, as always as the temperature made it’s radical drop, from warm to freezing, and we rushed off to the comfort of our little room.
In the next couple of days, we visited a cosmetic factory where they make their products from the Nama fruit, had photos with the Owambo ladies, ate oysters, chatted, watched TV, and even managed to get some work done on the Internet. The highlight was Sandwich Harbour, where we set out with our guide in a powerful, old 4 wheel drive. On the way we stopped to view 1000s of pink flamingoes. Honestly, no photo can do justice to the sight of the most awesome dunes, with the sea breaking at their base. We saw jackal and springbok. We went on exhilarating roller coaster rides, up and down the dunes. The most amazing experience ended with champagne and snacks in the middle of nowhere.
We were more than ready to set off to Sossuvlei after 5 days in Swakopmund. Feeling like weary travellers, we had thankfully found transport, which had saved us from another 2 day journey. The next step of our adventure began, and ended in the desert. The vast open space has a tranquil feeling, and calming effect. Our drive was pleasant, and we ended up at the Namib desert lodge, a little oasis in the vast expanse of nowhere. What impressed us most is that the lodge runs all of its electricity off solar panels, and all the water is from boreholes.
More eating, (sadly, not too healthy), drinking (mainly copious amounts of water), sunset watching and dune viewing. The highlight of our trip was Dead Vlei, and the climbing of Big Daddy Dune. The Greg’s decided to climb up the steep side, to challenge themselves. Knowing, I would be a handicap, I stayed behind, and for a few hours really experienced the Vlei. I learnt more about my camera, and experimented with photo taking. I meditated, and felt incredibly peaceful, surrounded by the awesomeness of huge red dunes. I saw butterflies and birds, and listened to various tour guides explaining things, including that most of the trees, had lived for approx 300 years, and had been dead for approx 600.
After an early night, we got up at the crack of dawn, ate a quick breakfast and left. We are now going home, feeling very content. Greggie and I have had a wonderful experience. While travelling, I have been reading, The Power of the Heart, by Baptist De Pape, and I have been focusing on feeling this journey in my heart. I will go home with a warm heart, and feeling grateful for so much that this journey has given me.
It has been amazing to spend such quality time with the Gregs. I love more than anything in the world, doing things together with our whole family. But, I do enjoy one on one quality time with each of our children. Greggie has been such an awesome travelling companion. I am so proud of all our children, and I guess Greggie has reminded me of their amazing traits. He is great company, easy going, adventurous, resilient, motivated, goal orientated, kind and considerate. I am really close to all my siblings, and how lucky we all are to be able to share so many experiences together, with our families. It is always a joy to be with little children, and spending time with my precious God daughter has been so much fun.
I am going home full of motivation and inspiration.
“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator. ” Mahatma Gandhi
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