Venturing into Namibia: A Border Crossing Saga and Unexpected Adventures

Today was thrilling! We had an 8 am start. Marsel was quite sluggish this morning figuring he had a hot, rough day yesterday. However, once we were on the road, Marsel just started to purr. After 100 km of driving, we came to the South Africa-Namibia border. We cleared out of South Africa. It was quite simple, just a lot of paperwork. Namibia customs was a true test of patience, stretching over a span of two hours. It seemed that time stood still as we waited patiently in line, all under the watchful eye of a single border official. But when our time came, a simple flick of the wrist, the border officer motioned for us to pop the trunk. With a nod of approval, more paperwork and a road tax of 300 Namibian dollars, about $22 Cdn., the official bid us farewell with a simple yet heartfelt “Have a nice trip!”

It was really, really hot today and thank goodness Marsel came through with the AC. We stopped and picked up a SIM card for a little over a dollar, and it takes up to 24 hours to activate, hence no connection to the rest of the world. Namibia is like you’re on the moon. It is very sparse gray sand, brown sand rock formation, and nothing much of anything except grapes. I have yet to try Namibian wine, but I know I will tonight because there were hundreds and hundreds of acres of grapes drawing in this hot air, sandy climate.

After driving for about an hour and a half, we came across the Peugeot broken down again on the side of the road. The young couple with the blue Porsche had already pulled over, so we pulled over. No one could figure out the problem, so Simone asked whether she could get a lift with us in Marcel and leave her husband, Michael, to wait for help from the support vehicle.

All of a sudden, the Peugeot started up and flew past us. We believe it was probably overheated because Peugeot do not do well in the heat. We drove another 45 minutes and ended up at Canyon Lodge, a hidden gem nestled snugly amidst the rugged embrace of rounded granite boulders in the Fish River Canyon in southern Namibia. Which is, oh my gosh, all these big boulders somewhat reminded me of Moab or parts of the USA because of all these big rocks, and they’ve built these beautiful cabins into the rocks beautifully decorated just a lovely setting. The pool was way far away, but we went for a swim, and it was 22°C, and outside was probably 38 Celsius.

Tomorrow is a somewhat easier day, at least on paper, with 300km of driving. But as we know, anything can happen, especially on dirt roads…