Henties Bay to Palmwag

March 26, 2011 - Opuwo, Namibia

We camped 2 nights at Henties, the fisherman’s paradise. The town was full of bakkies with extremely long fishing rods mounted vertically in front of their bumpers. They were catching some good ones, seems there was a lot of kabeljou as it featured for catch of the day!

First day we went off to see Cape Cross and the seal reserve. That was very smelly and interesting, loads of seals and their pups. The stone in front of the Cape Cross read –“In the year 6685. After the creation of the world and 1485 after the birth of Christ, the brilliant, far-sighted King John II of Portugal ordered Diago Cao, knight of his court, to discover this land and to erect this padrao here”. From there we took a turn through the desert following the GPS to the Messum Crater, a long bumpy desert drive, the road often being any place you chose to make it. The crater was vast, about 22km in diameter, on the route out we followed a riverbed through the desert. The river banks were high and full of stony columns that looked out at you like a bunch of petrified people. We found a Welwitschia forest, obviously a well kept secret as no map or GPS would have told you that. Welwitschia plants are thousands of years old and their roots can grow to a depth of 1000m. So there was a sense of history that day, from our early explorers to the plants and stony statues looking out over us from the river banks.

Pushing on through Uis, an old copper town, we arrived at the Brandberg White Lady Lodge and campsite. Rivers rise and fall fast here, arriving we nearly got stuck but the next day it was bone dry. This is a popular spot, beautifully situated and famous for the “desert” elephants (in a lush green mountainous place) which occasionally march over the lodge walls and trash their pools. The humidity there was heavy and afternoons became stormy relieving it a bit.

On the way out we rescued another tourist stuck in deep sand then went on see the White lady bushman painting -  not at all what one might think. The white lady was actually a witchdoctor who looked white with all his sweat and the white sand that stuck on him from his frantic dancing. Bushman paintings are very prolific in this area, the guide said there are over 45000 images in over 900 sites!

Next we went to Twyfelfontein, this area is famous for the many (over 2000) bushman engravings and the petrified forest. Human figures are rarely seen in the engraving but the animals sometimes have human legs, or their feet look like the spoor rather than a hoof or paw. We took a guided tour and were shown a great number of engravings all at one site. Other sites in the area included the Burnt Mountain and the Organ pipes which we passed quickly through. The petrified forest was last, these trees supposedly millions of years ago were swept along by rivers in flood, covered later by sediments and subsequently uncovered by erosion. The trees were heavy like rock but looked like wood.  

Palmwag was the next stop, we thought this might be a town but seems it is only a petrol station! We are wondering now how many “towns” north are going to be like this. We had to settle for tasteless white bread made by the lodge at R40 a loaf! Palmwag was a nice break, we did nothing all day but laundry, reading and swimming. We had good company, a humorous Scotsman in his 60’s who played the bango with his 6 foot plus Canadian wife of 11 weeks.

From Palmwag we went onto Sesfontein and what should have been an easy journey turned out to be an adventure of note.



Walvis Bay 071
walvis bay 002-550
walvis bay 003-550
Desert Golf Course (note the small sand bunkers)


Ant & Cherie:
March 27, 2011
Love seeing the photos and reading the (very well written) blog! Trip of a lifetime.
March 27, 2011
Nice to hear from you again, we were getting worried.Thanks alice for a well written blog.
Jurgen and Gerie:
March 27, 2011
Nice to see youre pics and how you are. We are curious if you baked the bread already.
We are still in Lusaka and hope to goto South Luangwa on tuesday.
We keep in touch
susan hall:
March 27, 2011
yoo you are quite far north now are u going into Estosha? then Angola cant find your itenarary is it somewhere on this website
It seems you are doing extremely well with your route.
Lots of Love
March 28, 2011
Hi all. Good to hear from you! Susan - look on the map top of the page if u want, that tells you where abouts we are going. Sitting next to Epupa Falls on the Angolan border now, sand bags around camp as river would be in it otherwise.Lots love George and Alice x
March 28, 2011
Can't wait to hear about the next installment.
March 28, 2011
Hi George and Alice.
Hey great to hear from you. I am quite envious seeing all this beautiful land scape and not being able to experience it.
Georgie, did you try to have a game of golf on that lovely course ?
I spoke to Mike at church yesterday and he said that he had telephone contact with you on Saturday and that you sent regards. I will pass that onto the rest of the small group.
It was Jonny and Janine's first anniversary and some of the people went to celebrate at Clifton on Saturday. Unfortunately the rugby kept me busy. It is also her birthday tomorrow.
Anton and Melita also celebrated their first anniversary last weekend. Remember we still went to the wedding together ?
Look after yourselves. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.
Much love and blessings.
Andre B:
March 28, 2011
Ally, you've missed your calling. What a good scribe you are. Reading your blog opens my mind to new things. Thanks for your creative way of describing your trip. Outstanding. Ask George how the tyres are doing. BY the way, I was going to ask the both of you wherether I could submit your blog to Getaway magazine as they are looking for stories such as yours for the magazine. let me know, they may even pay for it.
March 28, 2011
Hi Alice,
What an awsome experience!!!!! I am just yelous! Which you could sit right next to me and help me with the writing of my thesis. ENJOY!! You deserve it!!!
brigitte parfitt:
March 29, 2011
Hi Alice and George, gee that was such an exciting read and I agree with your friends who have commented on your writing gift. You really have a way to make your trip come alive for all of us who had to stay behind. Always looking forward to the next episode of your wonderful journey. Be safe and know that you are missed.
Much love, Brigitte
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