I can’t believe we are in Namibia. The last few months have been frantic, getting the car ready, getting the necessary equipment, trying to get sponsorship. And now we are here. We are almost at the beginning.
Namibia is cold, not cold like the UK, but there is no central heating in the houses. The night we had to camp I barely slept for cold. It brings into perspective what it is like for people who don’t have money for warm clothes or a duvet. Windhoek seems wealthy but there are also those who live in shanty houses, and struggle for food and basic necessities.
But the cold will be good for Emma, it is cool enough to run until about 11am.
Nambia is also dry. We are in a desert. I’ve learned to keep lipsalve with me at all times. And the nights are long. It is dark from 6pm until 6am. Windhoek is pretty safe during the day but its best to be home by night. A couple of nights ago two men broke into the hostel and attacked one of the guests with a knife. He was swift and clever enough to be able to defend himself but the intruders stole several laptops. It is a reminder to be careful.
What strikes me most, however, is how friendly and helpful most people are. Villa Moringa, a gorgeous place, where we stayed initially, are storing most of our kit for us, whilst we sleep in cheaper places.
Drs Keletso and Barbaria Nyathi, who run Maerua medical practice have been looking after us. I contacted Keletso after reading his profile on Explorers Connect. (If you are planning an adventure you should check out Explorers Connect). Keletso is a doctor and ultra runner interested in adventure so, I thought he might like to join us. Sadly, due to work commitments he couldn’t but, he and his wife, have welcomed us, given us essential advice on what we need to do to be legal and will be teaching us first aid. They are incredibly hard working, constantly laughing at life and a pleasure to be with. I can’t wait for them to meet Emma.
Indira, Keletso and Nyathi’s receptionist, has been showing us around. She welcomed us into her story and educated me on what life is really like to grow up in Katatura. She took us to her grandmother’s house where she was raised and to a local restaurant. For dessert, we went to the meat market where we discovered the most delicious Namibian spice to have with a BBQ.
We have also been preparing for Emma, Mike and Cleo’s arrival: finding out where to get the last bits to kit out the car (Cymot); contacting radio stations (Kosmos, RadioWave, One Africa); making sure our agent who will be getting the car through customs has all the necessary documents; and getting to know the city.
Tomorrow, we shall set off on a 5 hour minibus taxi journey to Walvis Bay to fetch the car, Cleopatra. Fingers crossed she comes through with everything intact.
Things we learnt:
Its winter bring warm clothes in August
August is peak season, book accommodation in advance
Its very dry
You can buy almost everything here that you can get in the UK
You need a GB sticker for the car
You need to get a Cross Border Certificate for cars on a temporary import
Paint your car white, everyone else has, its probably a good idea.