Beautiful Namibia!! But it might as well be Mars.
I'm on Mars! How did that happen?!?
The border crossing between Angola and Namibia was a very strange sight for me. Because it looked like what a modern border crossing would in most modern countries.
Now I'm not saying that what I have been seeing up through West- and Central Africa hasn't been modern. But it has certainly been more rough and not very inspired by the Western World.
Border between Angola and Namibia.
This border was a massive complex. It had a large paved area in front of a large flat building. And you had to walk inside these airport like halls to walk from one country to the next. Best of all: They didn't want a visa or anything! They simply stamped my passport and bid me welcome to Namibia. Well, to be completely frank the computer system on the Angolan side was down so the border opened an hour late. And the guy in Namibia noted that I could stay until March 10th which was in the past so we changed it to April. But hey... ;)
Nowhere within the African continent had I seen what now stood before me! The roads where paved on both sides of both borders. But on the Namibian side the road was lined with shopping malls, fast-food joints, various outlets, shops, parking lots and more? Where was I? The exit from Central Africa and into Southern Africa couldn't have been marked any clearer!!
I did however find a lady selling street food under a shed. And she served me some noodle soup for around $0.20.
A bus got me all the way down to Windhoek: The capital of Namibia. And what a surprise!! This was more modern than most European cities. How was all this possible? The road to Windhoek had been straight as an arrow and smooth as a babies cheek.
My first Namibian sunset.
The landscape was brilliant as the sun was setting, I saw the landscape climb up towards the sky and form large hills and small mountains. They were covered by green trees which resembled giant broccoli if your imagination stretches so far.
Rodney at the Namibian Red Cross suggested that I would stay at the Cardboard box. An actual hostel as you would find them in Europe or the Americas. I woke up in a dorm room the next day after having arrived after midnight. It was a room with around 16 beds and a lot of teenagers. I could have opted for a private room, but this was the cheapest.
It's a really cool hostel. But my timing was wrong.
It was Easter. So life was somewhat quiet in the city. I went to the cinema in one of the many malls in Windhoek. What's up with that Windhoek? Why so many malls? You're a capital with only 300.000 people. Yeah, yeah...I know you're around 20 times larger than my home country Denmark. But I think you have more malls in Windhoek than we have in all of Denmark and I see more coming.
Downtown Windhoek. For some reason they call traffic intersections for robots?
Anyway, for several months I have been wanting to see the new Starwars and the latest James Bond. But the lady at the counter looked perplexed at me? "Sorry, we took those off the program around 2 months ago". So I end up seeing "Risen" which I wouldn't really recommend.
I probably should say this. Because I'll end up in one country or the other - or in both! But there was a distinct familiarity to Namibia as soon as I arrived. And the feeling increased as time went on. And I worked out what it was! Namibia reminds me of Australia. And more specific the Northern Territory of Australia. It's the wild dry natural elements of the landscape and the top modern, neat and clean infrastructure. It's such a strange feeling for me to be here. I'm roughly 12,000 km away from home and I took quite a detour to get here. But now I've been nearly 1 full year - non stop - on the African continent and that must effect my mindset somehow?
Nik the Russian stole this photo of me writing last weeks blog.
As the days progressed I started feeling uneasy. I began to feel sad. I didn't know what or why. I still don't. But the feeling is still there.
You may or may not understand this. But I think a part of it is the loss of my hat! Keep in mind it's been on my head nearly everyday for more than 2 years. It's a part of who I am now and it's gone. I've been looking for a new one but nothing has come really close. A few people have offered to cover the expenses for a new one. The honor goes to my father...he was the first.
Back in Central Africa I didn't have options. Not many at least. That too could explain my feelings now. Because now I am free to do whatever I want. No visas needed. I can hop on a bus or a train at any moment and go to several countries. I've tried to explains this feeling a few times and the best I could come up with is the feeling of playing an important match of some kind but having to leave early. "You go on without me guys! Good luck". Central Africa was beautiful and outstanding in so many ways. I wouldn't hesitate to go back!! But I can't see myself crossing all those land orders again and arranging for visas as I go!! Never!!! I had the struggle of a lifetime and I will be laughing my socks off if anyone ever tries to do me this after. It nearly broke me. You will never understand how close this project came to an end.
Another and 3rd factor could be the easiness of a tourist destination. Namibia is absolutely a true pearl!! Once you start reading and seeing pictures you will be lured in too. This is so withy of a visit by anyone of any age. You should look up the skeleton coast for starters!! Quite interesting I bought a framed panoramic photograph about 15 years ago. It has always had a special place in my wall wherever I have lived. It portrays a red sand dune up against a perfect blue sky. In the center you see a dried up tree. As it turns out it is from the south of Namibia. You see...there is something going on here...
Windhoek train station.
Come and see the elephants, the cheetahs, the landscape or some of the 13 ethnic groups. Come and be a tourist and have the time of your life. But I'm not a tourist...and that's the thing...
A national newspaper called the Namibian did a piece on the Saga. Check it out. It partly explains the importance of the Saga:
Do you remember German Christoph from São Tomé? He recommended that I would visit Joe's in Windhoek. Good recommendation!! I had this spear with crocodile, zebra, kudu, springbok and oryx! Yum yum!!
Maybe a fourth thing here is that I'm living in a hostel full of teenagers? I'm in a dorm room full of teenagers. I'm walking around tourist constantly and I've hardly seen a tourist for a year. For so long I've been immersed in local culture with local people and suddenly I find my 37 year old body surrounded by people who want something else from life.
I had a good time meeting the Namibian Red Cross Society. Good people!
I could have taken a few more days in Namibia and have made a small vacation out of it. Perhaps a great vacation. But my girlfriend will be coming to see me wherever I am in the beginning of May. So heartbreaking as it is I will now leave gorgeous Namibia behind me more or less undiscovered.
Adventures lie ahead! Let's go and seize them!! ;)
Mr. Torbjørn C. Pedersen (Thor) - meep meep!
"A stranger is a friend you've never met before"
Once Upon A Saga