CHANCES ARE YOU WILL PASS through Namibia’s capital, Windhoek a few times. Although with far more to see and experience in the countryside, you’ll soon find yourself on the wide open roads or rails, passing through small towns and stunning landscapes.
You’ll probably find yourelf some place you hadn’t planned on visiting, or even heard of before.
Namibia's capital Windhoek isn't a bad place, but it's not why you come to Namibia.
There's a lot of open space between it and the places you want to be.
The ever changing landscapes fill the places in between with arid beauty.
Tiny towns give are a window into German/Afrikaans hospitality.
Railway travel gives a view of rural African disadvantage.
Deserted farm houses crumble away.
The long-forgotten tower of a German fort protects the inforgiving land- from what?
Warm and dry, good roads with light traffic makes for great motorcycling.
Help though can be far away when the inevitable breakdowns occur.
Similarly, with few people and vehicles and fewer towns, hitch-hiking sounds like a bad idea.
However, with few places to stop, drivers are usually travelling long distances, and are pretty welcoming.
Away from the main roads, traffic can be extremely sparse. We were stuck at this junction for 24 hours. Luckily we could get a meal here and camp.
In that 24 hours, 9 vehicles passed. 6 turned off. 3 drove straight past. Our only shade was a road sign.
Our ride the next day was short. "If you're still here tonight, come in," said the farmer. It was about 10am.
Luckily we made it to Luderitz that day, the dunes coming into sight after a few more vans, cars and a truck.
Time slows down on these backroads. Farmers travel by donkey wagon.
Lizards became our entertainment.
Roadside succulents as well.
The hospitality in little Maltahohe was pleasant, and the omelette breakfast typical huge, but we broke one of hitching's golden rules: start early. Oh well.
Leaving Luderitz was easier- friends had a car!
Fish River Canyon to the south, Windhoek north, our small part split at Seeheim. This medieval looking hotel had a haunted singing dancing Santa and other Stephen King creepiness.
A freight train passes the Haunted Santa Hotel- a welcome sign of human life. (The oryx steak was good though.)
Our penultimate ride in Namibia was a sleeper train from Windhoek to Keetmanshoop, en route to Cape Town.
After the days of chancing it by the side of the road, opening the window and watching the African countryside rattle by was luxury.
It wouldn't be travel without random, unplanned and often unwanted things popping up.