Bumpy rides and little shocks

Trip Start Jul 19, 2009
Trip End Oct 25, 2010

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Gekko backpackers

Flag of South Africa  , Northern Cape,
Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm going to have to cover this in jumps and spurts, bits and pieces and then wait for the unlikely event of a possibility to send it off.
Second day and on our way to Springbok, near the Namib border. A journey of approximately 500 km, but the amount of kms to cover gives no indication of time on the road. We are told to expect anything from 10 hours.
The truck is more comfortable than it suggests, but no aircushions or air conditioning, and the roads are bumpy, to say the least. 'Free African massage' says Eddie, our black guide, that and Áttack!' He seems to like the idea of us attacking: food, hikes, tents (which are also to be destroyed) and ja, that too.

We have now stopped for lunch, I'm going to take a picture so you can see what it is like.
What you won't see is that it is cold. 'Warmer ín Germany now,' says Joseph, and he is probably right.
Unusual for this time of year - heard that one before. Now it has started to rain on top of the cold.
We are told we can buy blankets at Springbok. Welcome to Africa.
Katie, our (white) cook is reheating last night's spaghetti for lunch - everywhere I go I get fed spaghetti - I'm beginning to think it's Africa's national dish.

So, today will be spent mostly on the road. Yesterday we made it as far as Citrusdal in the Ceder mountain region, 250, 300 km north of Cape Town.
The place was beautiful, wild and rural, I must be getting boring, but it really was. We went for a hike with a local man Skokki (= little shock.) He explained about nature, the plants, insects and animals, how they were used in his tribe, casually picking up big shiny beetles, poisonous spiders, beautifully patterned catapillars bigger than your finger. Tortoises, a scorpion and a snake. It was just a little one and he felt he let us down and kept jumping up the rocks like a young goat, turning stones hoping to find us a more impressive one.
But I was impressed anyway, loved the stories he told in a sweet, childlike way, his face glowing in wonder as if he himself was still in awe of it all.

I later joked to Eddie, who was quite put out by all the attention Skokkie was getting, I'd like to adopt him and bring him back home with me.
'He'd go with you like a shot' was his answer, ''but he is 45 year's old.'' Hmm, a bit late for adoption I guess. But I can't believe that man would ever want to leave this part of the world where he is one with nature, he would just shrivel up and die in a city like Amsterdam.

Back to the picnic site and we are leaving now, just as a watery sun appears.
The group, 9 of us, 'nice people,'as Eddie addressess us, a little subduded. 3 couples, German, Dutch and Spanish - they have a 3rd girl with them. Then Alice, by herself, from Australia, and me. Ages between 25 - 35 years, I guess.
Seems like a nice enough party - let's wait and see.

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Irene on

Dear Kate. i was getting a bit worried about youm but glad to hear you're allright and travelling with a group, Sounds like fun. I'm still in Greece come home on monday and Peter is having dinner with us that night. Take care, love Irene

Rui on

Now you make me feel much more better feeling you more secure travling with a group!
And as Eddie's natural place is ok for him, i expect you return quick to your natural place.
Thanks for share this incredible adventure in you blog.

Take care with you


Patsy on

Phew! you had us all a bit worried there but being you, you've come through again. In safe(r) hands now. Enjoy - love P

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