Final Destination

Trip Start Nov 02, 2003
Trip End Mar 01, 2005

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Flag of South Africa  ,
Tuesday, January 4, 2005

C... We have reached our final goal...Cape Town, South Africa! We have waved goodbye to the overland truck and are back on our own two feet (Adrian minus one flip flop after it was eaten by a cheetah) for our final adventure involving the Southern coast of Africa and a hire car. We have also been looking back over the past 14 months and was wondering what is left to the little paradises that we found along the way, mainly in Thailand and Indonesia and hope the people we met along the way and their homes and families are in one piece after the Tsunami.

Our last few weeks on truck took us brisquely through Botswanna and Chobe National Park where an anthrax outbreak and the rainy season had scared off most of the wildlife. We skipped the three day canoe trip through the Okavango Delta, as our stomachs were a bit dodgy at the time and rigorous truck life had aged us about 50 years and needed a break from it all.

So no longer being the tough traveller we opted for a blissful flight over the Okavango Delta, spotting all the missing elephant herds, hippos and all of their friends. The pilot however wanted to try out his red arrows routine (if that is possible in a Cessna) so felt even more ill by the end of it, than if we had taken the three day canoe trip.

Next stop, Namibia! - Which feels like the armpit of hell in the middle of the Namibian summer. Especially when you have 12 hour truck journeys through the scorching desert, with not even a bush to hide behind for toilet stops and the temperature tops 48 degrees in the suns spotlight.

Etosha, one of the best National Parks in the world however lies in the North, and is essential viewing. The highlight is when the sun sets over the vast plains and the animals come out at night to drink by the floodlit waterholes. The camp grounds are situated by the major waterholes, so after mixing at the campsite bar with all your truckie chums you can head down and watch the animal kingdom hanging out together and having a cautious drink.

Unfortunately I missed most of this too, after being rushed to hospital with Malaria symptoms. Luckily I just had some Amoebic Dysentry. Oh joy...

Adrian also had a lucky escape when we visited Cheetah Park, we stopped by to visit the farmers rather large family pets, who seemed to have a bit of a shoe fetish. Adrian's flip flop did not live to tell the tale.

On the way south we had a very brief and incredibly smelly stop at the Cape Cross seal colony.

We spent our Christmas in a lovely German town on the Skeleton Coast called Swakopmund. Many ships would end up around here, only to find nothing around for hundreds of miles but desert, hence why it became the Skeleton Coast. Swakopmund however was a cool and cheery place, with lots of festive decorations, fine German food (and cakes) and more activities to totally finish our funds off. Adrian kept to one dose of sandboarding however and we both went a bit crazy in a dune buggy.

After Swakopmund we headed down to Sesriem, site of some of the worlds largest and certainly most picturesque sand dunes. We climbed a wopper to see the sunrise, which was very hard going, but the sunrise (and simultaneous moonset) were absolutely stunning.

The last few days was a hot and fiery blur of bushcamps, big rocks and canyons, until finally the landscape started to turn green and found ourselves sipping a fine Pinotage (and a Merlot, a Chardonnay, a Shiraz, a Chenin Blanc, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Semillon and we can't remember the rest) in Stellenbosch, which happens to be famous for wine.

The Grande Finale was on New Years Eve, due to the lack of group decision and participation, Adrian and I ran off to a very swanky bar overlooking Cape Town's stunning waterfront. We managed to find clean and glam outfits, so glam in fact that we managed to wander into the room next door and share the beginnings of a new year sipping Champagne on the balcony next to the English Cricket Team. HAPPY NEW YEAR! A few days later we got to watch them at work, unfortunately this time, they were not looking as happy. Better luck next time England!
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