12.04.2014 - 20.05.2014 35 °C
I had coffee with the camping neighbours we had had a little run in with, or rather Don had had a run in with. The Dad had come to apologize the night before and everything was in fact fine. One of their dogs, however, bit my arm that morning but thankfully didn’t pierce the skin. I had thought I would be fine without my rabies shot if I made it out of Gambia, but hadn’t taken into account these types of situations.. The neighbours, from Windhoek, gave us their map which had far more detail than our current map and included a whole bunch of back roads and spots of interest marked. They also pointed out a few things, for example the Save the Rhino Trust camp that we visited the following day. The map and their advice proved to be a huge help throughout the rest of the trip.
Our engine light had come on the day before so we had been back and forthing about whether to go get it checked. In the morning the light had gone off so we started on our way.. in the wrong direction. We backtracked the 5 or so km and then the engine light was back on. We made a few calls to the car rental company who arranged for us to see a mechanic on Easter Saturday in Usako, a town about 55km back in the direction we had come. We turned for the second time that morning and headed to Usako. As you move north along the Skeleton Coast and then inland to Kaokaland you get into some pretty remote areas and we wanted to be sure we had a car that wasn’t going to break down. By 2pm we were on the road (there was no car problem- just dust in the sensors) and by 4 we’d made it to Uis, the ‘major’ town southeast of Brandberg mountain. This drive was less scenic than others so far on this trip- all gravel with big dips where the flood waters pass through. You look around and there is nothing for miles and miles. I again found myself wondering how people could live out here. When you do see houses they are in the middle of open areas, instead of near trees and the protection of shade.
We stocked up and various bits and bobs and continued on to Brandberg mountain. At about 4:30pm we found a small track that took us near to the mountain base and set up our camp here. We were in the middle of what looked like wheat fields, or a close cousin. Light golden yellow as far as you could see. When it shimmered in the sunlight it looked like an ocean with a breeze running over top. The name Brandberg is Afrikaans, Dutch and German for Fire Mountain and is so named because of its glow in the sunlight. The area is a spiritual site of great significance to the Bushman tribes and various rock paintings can be found in the region and on the mountain.
At 5:30 in the evening it was still way too hot to sit in the sun and you sweated just sitting there in the shade. I am just not built for this kind of heat, even after a year of living in Africa! We had a relaxed evening, Don taking photos and playing with his new filter, me doing some work on the blog.