My first Safari
Trip Start Jun 15, 2013
33Trip End Jul 17, 2013
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Where I stayed
What I did
Etosha National Park
I stayed awake until Danny awoke again and began reading. Then I slept for an hour or so more. The cold was so unbearable. I had a tee, hoodie, fleece, leggings, sweatpants, socks and shoes, a fire jacket, hat, ear band, and sleeping bag and I was still shivering.
About 4:00 in the morning I didn't think I could hold it anymore. But i wasn't about to surrender after I'd made it that long. Around 5:00 I watched the moon set... It was so incredible because I could literally see the moon sink into the hillside within ten minutes. I've never seen anything like it. Surely, I thought with the moon sinking the sun would come up equally fast. WRONG! It took forever. About quarter till six we packed up our bags and beds as well as all of our belongings. Around ten till we heard and then saw one of naan ku se's truck in the distance. Soon Keith was there to rescue Danny and me from the tower. We threw all of our belongings down and climbed down to be greeted by Keith and his jack Russell.
I've never felt so happy about seeing a bathroom once we arrived at naan ku se.
I had about 25 minutes to get ready in a room taken over by Miss Sheila. And, of course, she wanted all my attention. I ran into Bradley in the bathroom (as well as Chris... We always run into each other as he shaves and I brush my teeth for the morning). Quite sad thinking I may not see my first friend and naan ku se again, but we did exchange information, so at least we will keep in touch and share stories. Then I returned to the room to grab my things and dash.
Emma pulled out a small container from our cabinet and said something to herself about a scorpion. Apparently she had found it in the food prep sink, called researcher Stew, and he told her to catch it if she could and keep it for him in the morning, which is what she did. So in this container was in fact a little tiny scorpion. I was even more thankful for the freezing cold watchtower duty.
Charlotte had Sheila, so I quickly darted out the door, but I wasn't successful. Sheila managed to fling herself out with me. As soon as she got to the deserted outdoors, she changed her mind, and ran right back into the room.
Breakfast consisted of a bag of kettle cooked pepper and sea-salt potato chips (or "crisps" as the British say).
We were on the road for about a four hour drive. We stopped at an open market where villagers sell their goods. I have developed a strong dislike for these markets, as I always feel pressure to buy and can never tell if I am paying a good price for something or not. Now I'm wishing I would have bought the big five from the market in Windhoek with Sophia.... She told me she wouldn't let me overpay for anything. Across the street from this market were toilets ($2 Namibian to use), a souvenir shop, coffee shop, gas station, etc. Allison and I went to the coffee shop and I had an extraordinary coffee shake. A few more miles down the road, we stopped at a "Spar" supermarket to pick up "beverages" and snacks. My favorite alcoholic beverage here (most beverages that are available come in the form of beer) is called Brutal Fruit, so I picked up a few of those as well as my new favorite snack "crusties". Chocolate was also on the pick up list.
We arrived at Etosha and had time for a short evening drive. We saw giraffe, oryx, springbuck, an elephant in the distance, wildebeest.
Before i headed over, i needed to charge my camera. it didn't work on the normal outlet provided at the camp ground, so George noticed that My charger was a usb port and would work with his car charger, so we did that. After a bit I checked it, and the camera was having a fit. It dawned on me a bit later that I have to use a converter for their outlets, so plugging my camera into their unconverted car charger probably did it in. When I get back to the States I will have to have it looked at. Hopefully it is just the cold. Thank goodness I brought another camera.
Giraffes were there and soon after we arrived black rhino showed up. We ended up seeing three in the floodlit hole. I can't explain how incredible it is to see such an animal... Some of the last on earth. We all just stared in awe. Unfortunately I couldn't capture very good pictures with the darkness and the floodlights, but that memory will stay with me forever. We ended up seeing three rhino all together at the waterhole.
I returned to sit around the fire and drink for a bit with some of the others. The conversation led to George asking me what I thought caused people to cheat on their significant other. My response summed up was a weak mind, wrong mindset, and that a rough partnership may not have helped the situation but is not an excuse to not remain faithful. I also said that it doesn't help that it is tolerated and more accepted and forgiven in society now (like divorce, etc.). Apparently I have a bit of a different view than the others that were in the conversation with me.
Tomorrow I must be up and ready for a morning safari around 6:20. We are specifically looking for cats. I'm sure the jackal will keep me up all night if the cold doesn't. Maybe I'll get a good nights rest.