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Archive for July, 2007

The Waiting

As noted in my previous post, we’ve been spent a great deal of time recently waiting for the Namibian bureaucracy to process paperwork. But, we’ve tried to make the most of the time that we’ve spent waiting. Two weeks ago we rented a car and drove to the Namib Desert (if you’ve seen Planet Earth – Deserts, you’ve seen it. If not, you’re missing out on the whole series). The park is located about 350km of dirt, sand and gravel roads from Windhoek. We rented a VW Golf and treated it as our rally car all weekend. It’s pretty easy to imagine Travis gripping the dashboard and Kevin screaming in delight as we fishtailed and jumped dry riverbeds at 80mph. If you can’t imagine it, we have plenty of video to document it.

Unsurprisingly, about 50km from reaching the dunes, we had a blowout and ending up camping on the side of the road. About an hour after stopping, fixing the tire, and setting up camp, the first vehicle to pass us stopped to see if we needed help. As is it turns out, our blowout had occurred in front of his 11,000 acre farm. He invited us to stay at his guesthouse, which we warmly accepted, and spent the night sleeping on a mattress for the first time in four weeks. Only in Namibia—I love this country.

As the oldest desert in the world, the Namib Desert is more than breath-taking. Over 1200 miles long and 150 miles wide, the dunes roll without an end in sight. We spent an entire morning hiking Crazy Dune, the world’s largest, eating lunch at the summit. We spent the remainder of the day barefooted in the sand before watching sunset from a dune that grants a panorama of the entire park. The vastness of the park certainly forced a reappraisal of my relationship with this beautiful planet to which we belong—undoubtedly a spiritual experience.

I’ll be in Namibia for ten more days before making my way up through Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania over the next six weeks. Kev and Trav leave for Zambia later this week to volunteer in clinics for the next few weeks before we reunite and head to Lake Malawi at the end of the month. From there, we’re planning a two week diving trip in Zanzibar/Pemba next month before flying back to the states in late August.

Much love from Namibs.

Benjamin

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