Wayward Luggage Returns!

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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On the bus to Cape Town

Flag of Namibia  ,
Friday, November 30, 2007

Yes, it finally happened - a reunion with our luggage!

We left Swakopmund very early and found it quite a picturesque journey back to Windhoek, We chose to take the sealed road all the way rather than the shorter unsealed route. Eerily there were quite dense patches of fog which slowed us down somewhat and then whilst we were still some 80 km out of Windhoek, the petrol gauge suddenly dropped from 1/4 full to dead empty. This is not a land where petrol stations are plentiful and we spent a very tense hour or so wondering if we were actually going to make it! We were almost right back into the city when we were stopped by a police road block. Heather wound down the window and explained we desperately needed a fuel station. The police man gave directions and waved us on - bless him!

Though we had been told every time we inquired that our luggage was not at the airport we decided, while we still had the hire car, to drive the 40 Ks out to the airport and have one last try. Waiting to be served at the lost luggage counter we were not filled with enthusiasm, as we observed the two gum chewing, disinterested ladies who worked there. Eventually one came to attend to us and lazily punched our reference number into the computer, read the screens and then said no, the luggage was not at Windhoek. 

Dispirited, we were just about to leave, when she said, as an afterthought, there is another counter in the arrivals section we could physically check, if we wanted to, even though the computer said it was not there. We had to go through the hassle of security, to get into the area, however as we headed over to the counter, there in front, totally unattended, were our packs! The lady on this counter arrived and said she had had the luggage for several days but had no contact for us. How frustrating -  we had given our email address every time we had inquired. As to the fact that the computer said the luggage wasn't there - just a shrug!

Our luggage safely stowed in the boot of the hire car, we headed off to Avis to return our car and face the music for our broken windscreen and missing hubcap. We argued the point over the hubcap because we noticed that the other three were tied on with a type of twist tie, so they must have known that it was likely to come off. We suggested that possibly their workshop or a previous customer, had the need to change a tyre and the twist ties not replaced?. This was vehemently denied. The problem with hire cars is though, they retain your credit card details, so we do not yet know the outcome.

Avis dropped us back into the city at the central tourist office, but now we had a bit of a dilemma. We had too much luggage, our camping gear to return, and a long time to kill until our evening bus! Solved the camping gear issue by asking the tourist office if we could leave it there, then ringing the hire company and asking them to pick it up. Next issue to solve was we now had the new things we had bought and our original packs. So we took everything into the shopping centre and Heather consolidated the new pack purchased in Zanzibar, back into our "found" luggage. Avan took our double ups and unwanted stuff and donated it to a young shoe shine girl, who had earlier smartened up his shoes. She was a very happy girl.

We had booked our bus from Windhoek to Cape Town over the Internet before leaving. We had had a long day already with a 5.30am start in Swakopmund, the excitement of finding our luggage and now we had to kill time all afternoon in the city centre, before our bus journey of 20 hours. Lucky we like reading! Finally 6pm arrived for us to catch the bus and while buses came and went, ours didn't. Lots of people waiting and waiting and waiting. Eventually the bus came, and by the time we left it was two hours late! It was a double decker and "almost" comfortably, we cruised on through the night, on our journey into South Africa.

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