. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: February 18, 1999

Thursday, February 18, 1999
Outside Noordoewer to Hobas, Fish River Canyon National Park, Namibia
Namibia's Flag

Map
Hobas, Fish River Canyon National Park, Namibia:
Latitude: 27° 37' 13" South
Longitude: 17° 29' 15" East
Altitude: 22 feet
From Seattle: 11132 miles
Lodging: Camp - Hobas Camp

Map
Today's Travel:
Country: Namibia
Region: Karas
Route: Roads: Desert Tracks, C10, D324
Start: Outside Noordoewer
Stop 1. Ai Ais
End:Hobas, Fish River Canyon National Park, Namibia
Linear:84 miles
Weather: Mostly Sunny

Available Photos:

Dawn over river Felix Unite River Adventures Camp, Noordoewer, Namibia

Cliffs in morning light Felix Unite River Adventures Camp, Noordoewer, Namibia

Desert track Fish River National Park, Namibia

Road? and Landie Fish River National Park, Namibia

Dean, Craig, and I in the desert Fish River National Park, Namibia

Dean, Craig, and I in the desert Fish River National Park, Namibia

Clouds / mountains / desert Fish River National Park, Namibia

Fish River Canyon Fish River National Park, Namibia

Fish River Canyon Fish River National Park, Namibia

Fish River Canyon Fish River National Park, Namibia

Fish River Canyon Fish River National Park, Namibia

Canyon edge Fish River National Park, Namibia

Fish River Canyon Fish River National Park, Namibia

Desert Fish River National Park, Namibia

Fish River Canyon Fish River National Park, Namibia

Fish River Canyon Fish River National Park, Namibia

Fish River Canyon Fish River National Park, Namibia

Fish River Canyon Fish River National Park, Namibia

Fish River Canyon in evening light Fish River National Park, Namibia

Mesa in evening light Fish River National Park, Namibia

Clouds at sunset Fish River National Park, Namibia

Quiver tree Fish River National Park, Namibia

Clouds at sunset Fish River National Park, Namibia

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

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Map
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 679
Linear Dist: 136779
Countries Visited: 50
Regions Visited: 186
More stats...
Hotels: 199
Friends / Family: 158
Camping: 79
Hostels: 181
Transit: 55
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 2496
Hide...

Journal Entry:
Woke up when the sky started to get light, as I rolled over to go back to sleep I caught sight of the pink clouds and decided to get up and watch the sunrise. I walked down to the river and it was spectacular - lots of color. After the sun came up I decided I was already at the river so I decided to go for a swim. It was heaven, not to hot yet, and so peaceful. Packed up my gear, took a shower, and sat down to watch the camp come alive. Once the others got up we got on the road pretty quickly, pausing only so that Dean could replace the distributor - pretty much the only thing in the ignition system that hasn't been replaced since we started having car troubles. First stop was at a store for lunch and diner supplies and beer and ice!

Since we were only trying to get to Fish River National Park, 100 km away by the direct route we decided to take a scenic route through the desert. We ended up lost and the temperature was 120°+ F, and the car was still not running well. Despite that it was a great day. The scenery was fantastic, and everyone was having a good time (the case of beer that was consumed during the hot drive probably helped). We finally rolled into Ai Ais around 4pm where we stopped for a swim in the hot springs - which were to hot, so we tried to swim in the cold pool - which was still pretty damn hot. We got to Hobas where we were stopping for the night at about five pm.

After choosing a camp site we set out to the canyon view road. The canyon is supposed to be one of the largest in the world, and it's impressive, but it doesn't really compare to the Grand Canyon for raw splendor. While we were at the first view point we decided to head to the next one down the canyon. We decided (I thought) on a point about 1 km down the canyon rim so I said I would walk. The last thing I said was "are you sure you guys are going to that one?" So I set off down the rim and a few minutes later turned around to see where the others were - they were no where in site. I figured they probably headed the other direction for a quick look - which annoyed me because I would have gone in the car had I known. When I got to the agreed point - walking along the edge of a shear drop that must have been several thousand feet - the car was still no where to be seen. I was getting quite annoyed, but settled down to watch the sun sink lower over the canyon.

When it started to rain I got angry. All I had on was a swim suit and a pair of sandals, and all I had with me was my camera. I started to walk back along the road and when I got to the first view point the car was still MIA. I decided to head back towards camp as it was a ten kilometer walk and I had no idea where the others had gone and it was going to be a long walk if they didn't show up. By the time they did show up I'd been walking for over an hour and I was pissed. I couldn't help but remember them going off drinking for five hours when I was waiting for them at the beach house a couple days ago. I'm really not feeling like part of the group.

I also started to consider what I had given up by joining the car. The car has made the trip a lot easier, and it's been nice to have the company, but I'm also missing out on a lot. I don't mix with locals as nearly as much as I used to when I had to take public transport, and I'm not necessarily sure the trip they want is the trip I wanted. I worried that the reason I was still with the car was that it was the easiest path. By the time the others showed up I'd convinced myself that I should set out on my own again next chance - probably Windhoek.

When they picked me up they were confused about why I was on that road. It was obviously a communications problem - and I honestly believe them, but at the same time that doesn't change all my other reasoning. I was very upset because it is going to be very hard to leave and I'm suspecting my reasoning either way. Basically I decided I didn't want to talk about it while I was upset and angry, and still a little drunk. So I didn't say much and as soon as we got to camp I set up my tent and went to bed without diner.

Between the sweltering heat and my runaway emotions sleep was mostly impossible - especially inside, but the giant biting things, rain, and aggressive baboons didn't allow sleeping outside. Basically this ended up being a day from hell and I haven't felt this down since Dakar.


Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Namibia
CIA World Fact Book: Namibia

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