Fish River Canyon

Trip Start Sep 14, 2006
Trip End Jan 09, 2007

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Flag of Namibia  ,
Monday, October 16, 2006

We drove across the border into Namibia. The border crossing went extremely smoothly and we were through in no time at all. Not many people use this crossing and only two other people came through in the 30 minutes that we were there. As soon as we left the small border town, the countryside was deserted and in our 1 1/2 hour drive to Fish River Canyon, we saw one other car. This was to turn out to be about average in Namibia. Our campsite and home for the next two days was extremely hot and dusty, and the pool turned out to be a gigantic hot tub. There were hot springs underneath the canyon - just what you need when it is 100 degrees!

In the afternoon, we hiked up the canyon along the riverbed, but it was extremely hot and sandy. Almost every "river" that we have been to in Namibia has just been a dry riverbed. There is only one river in teh whole country that has wate all year and most have it for only a month or two. Luckily the camp's kiosk was open and we could treat ourselves to some nice cold beverages after the hike. The kiosk even had some meat in the freezer; we cooked up a T-Bone with mashed potatoes and butternut squash for a very nice camping dinner.

The next day we woke up to a giant buzzing sound. Mark commented that the only other time he had heard such a noise was in Arizona when he cam across a swarm of "Africanized killer bees". (Here they are just called "bees"?) Indeed, when we got out of our tent we could see that the tree we camped under for shade had thousands of bees in it. Luckily, they seemed preoccupied and not very interested in us. We drove about 100 kilometers on dirt roads (alost all roads here are unpaved) to a place called Hobas, which had the best viewpoint of the Fish River Canyon. The canyon was supposed to be the second largest in the world (behind the Grand Canyon). It looked similar to the Grand Canyon but it had a few puddles in it instead of a rushing river. We hiked along the rim of the canyon and enjoyed more great views. We drove back to Ai Ais for one more night at the 100 degree hot springs campsite.

The next morning at our campsite, we were prepared for the bees. What made us nervous for a few minutes was the family of baboons that came to our campsite and got within about 3 feet of our tent. Luckily we soon discovered that they were more afraid of us than we were of them. We were able to get them away from our things.
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