#28 – Making new friends

Published by Bas on

People walked in and out, all kind of languages were spoken, a dog wandered careless around, laughter arrised from several corners as new friendships were born, grown people were guided as kids by small stickers above handles and light switches. It’s the typical and vibrant atmosphere of the hostel life.

I was back in a surrounding I left two days ago. Due to the popularity,  every young backpacker seemed to have its base point in the same hostel as I had, causing to meet several people I met in the past two weeks. It felt as a reunion of old classmates, sharing interesting stories of how our lives developed in the past days.

With a group of mostly Germans, a Danish and two Bulgarianx we went to one of the most popular bars in the entire country. A drum round of visitors and teachers was formed and live music was feeding the ear sense.

I’m now staying in Windhoek for another week, as I’m waiting for Els Celie to join my trip. For the past couple of months we’ve been planning this, and the 13th of March she will arrive in Windhoek. Untill Cape Town, she is going to ride alongside me.

It gives me the opportunity to work on my new video. As my laptop broke down, Els will bring a new one from The Netherlands, and in the mean time I’m working on a laptop that I bought here, and will return after 7 days.

A few spider webs formed on my bike, as it hadn’t moved for more than a week. But this morning the spiders had to fing another corner, as I went on a short trip to a meat market in a township called Katutura.

Together with another cycler, Fabien from France, who I met in the hostel I’m staying at, we used our two wheeled friend to check out this promising market. Meat that lays drying in the sun, covered with loads of flies and grilled right on the spot. Beside meat, some other food such as caterpillars and dried spinach biscuits was sold as well.

“I passed the border control”, said a message that popped up on my screen. A few minutes later I sat on my bike towards the airport, hoping to cross paths with Els, a 55 year old Dutch woman who is going to join me for a few weeks.

After cycling uphill for roughly 90 minutes, I saw a slowly moving object of what looked to be a cycler. I turned my focus 180 degrees and together we cycled through the beautiful rolling green hills, decorated with yellow flowers.

As much as I look forward to have a cycle companion for about 2 months, I was happy to receive Dutch sweets, new equipment from AGU, a new laptop and a new airbed.

A particle that is a thousand times smaller than a hair, is controlling a modern world as we only have seen in movies. The taken measurements are more extreme one day after another. People start to fear and become foul. Not so strange as uncertainty dominates many lives now.

For more than a year, the only certainty I had was to see my best friend marry, after I will reach Cape Town. But that one certainty is gone now, as so many others. Borders might close, flights are getting cancelled and complete lockdowns start to become the rule rather than the exception.

From a place where the measurments are barely visible yet, it is hard to imagine how the situation must be for most of you. It’s going to be a tough battle, but hopefully a more united world will be born out of it. Soon I enter the empty desert and at least for a while I can continue my trip as if nothing goes on. Stay strong and try to give more than to take in these grim times ❤

After almost two weeks I packed up my tent and shove all my stuff into bags again. Els and I set off for a two day trip to a sanctuary with a diversity of activities, just some 50 km away from the capital.

Arrived at the activity center, a car drove us to a point. We walked through bushes and suddenly 14 San people were sitting on the ground, almost naked and with some colorful decorations around their bodies. They explained to us some of their skills and style of living, which is probably one of the oldest and most back to basic lifestyles humans habe ever known.

After a fruitless attempt to ask for a place to camp at the activity center, we camped next to the road a single kilometer outside the area. During our bonfire cooking and the golden sunset that colored the skies purple, we saw a jackal. But the most interesting was the group of monkeys we only heard during the evening, from very close.

Baboons accompanied us all night, and in the morning we saw a dozen of them walking away. We packed our stuff and drove the short distance back to the same activity center as we visited yesterday.

Our guide Lorenzo had to feed six animals, which are living in this resort as orphans. It created the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful animals from very close. From the naughty baboons, we went to the elegant cheetahs and the look a like leopards. Then we saw a group of wild dogs with Mickey Mouse like ears, a 3 m high jumping caracal, and last but not least, three intimidating roaring lions.

A little baffled away, we headed back to Windhoek on the tough but satisfying gravel road. It was all a very good preparation for what’s coming next, a long journey through a deserts and very remote landscape, which will start tomorrow as we go South.


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