Day 17 –
S: After the crazy day yesterday it was obvious that we were going to stay here more than one night. So today is a lazy day. Most of it sitting in the shade, looking out over the river and blogging, stopping now and again to take a photo of a bird. L: I finally managed to get a quick shot of the Scarlet-Chested Sunbird which is not commonly seen here.
S: Sarah has some Rock Pythons that hang around her water bath so we will look out for those and we saw our first crocodile in the wild this morning swimming in the river.
One of about five meters long has been spotted here already this year. So, no swimming! L: Which is a pity as it is really hot. I still get the creeps thinking that they are just down the embankment from where we are camping. The owners have fenced around some of the camp and the rest has logs and brambles and branches cut from thorn trees to keep them at bay……..We hope. Their little Jack Russel mix named Poker runs all over the place with the snakes around and the crocs close by so they must feel safe.
The afternoon just got hotter by the hour and even though we had our awning up, we were forced to move with any shade that showed itself. It is torturous to hear the river water flowing past us and know that we can’t even put our feet in for fear of crocodiles……We have now seen and photographed 3, all of varying sizes.
Ok, we can’t resist it anymore.
We have new neighbours, German-speaking from Windhoek. Really friendly people, 10 adults with 6 littlies between them. S: One aged five and the rest under three, I think.
L: When 3 of the guys and a little boy went down to the beach to fish, I persuaded Steve to keep “cavey” for me while I threw my line in…….
Hey, I must admit, I was really wary especially when I saw the croc on the rock with his mouth open and smiling……..! Yes, I know Steve, he is small, but he came from a big Mommy and Daddy. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. (Ha ha, when going through our photos, that is exactly what we found, another croc that we had not spotted).
I was rewarded after a few casts, (S: and a few times of me having to retrieve the line from the rocks under water), L: Well, I wasn’t going to use my feet as bait, thanks. I caught a 12cm long little pink fish!! We later poured over the fish books that Sarah and our fellow campers had and found its name – a Thick-Lipped Happy (or Thick-Lipped River Bream)
Just a little side note, we feel is worthy of mention. We have been using meat from Namaqua Meat Market, in Swakopmund. Don’t know where else you can find it. Wow, it was all so reasonable and so tender no matter how you cook it. We bought mostly game, but the beef, fish and biltong are all really mouth-watering.
So we cooked up our Kudu steak, with padkos for the next day and I made couscous with mushrooms and veg. A great meal and so easy to make. One of our neighbours, Herman, chatted to us and warned us that the adults would be a bit rowdy playing games, but it was really peaceful (probably cos all the kiddies had gone to bed, which they were all enjoying).
We slept like logs or maybe that should be like our resident “croc on the rock” which hasn’t seemed to have moved all day and now the whole evening.
Day 18 –
How lovely it has been to sleep with the sides of the rooftop tent open, except for the mosquito-netting closed up as we are mindful of being in the malaria areas. Two really warm evenings here at Syncro (not sure why Syncro is spelt that way instead of synchro).
We were up fairly early as all the little ones were up and when I went off for my shower I gave a lion’s roar! which chased all of them out of the bathroom. It reminded me of how many times we had to tell our children and their friends to come out of the ablution areas any time we were camping.
It has been one of the best campsites we have stayed in so far, spacious site, warm water from the “donkey” and well-serviced bathrooms etc. We are more than happy to recommend this one.
We set off for Marble Hall Community Campsite run by the locals which is only 92 kms away, but on really bad roads. By 9 am the car temperature gauge was reading 30 degrees and as we ascended so did the temperature, reading 43 at 10.30am and, a whopping 61 degrees at noon. We are not sure what an actual reading should have been, but it was hot and airless.
The roads are horrendous, Sarah and Ryan we really feel for you driving the 8 hours in and then back on the same day when you do your shopping for Camp Syncro – I think I would seriously start stretching those 2 weeks to a month or so. Strength.
S: Our route out is south as we have to do a circular route now before heading north again as it is near impossible to navigate the pass the other way around. So it was back down through the valley with the Marienfluss mountains on our left hand side this time. It is lovely travelling through this huge grassland dotted with trees on a two track sand road. The trees eventually get more numerous and the track changes to rock so the going gets slower.
We turned left at Red Drum, and then the road got a bit bad. It is only a short section, but you need to choose your line and take it real slow in low range four wheel drive. Red Drum is the Jan Joubert memorial, but I do not know the story behind it, but I am sure Google will sort that one out.
L: We arrived at Marble Hall feeling really hot and bothered and were shown the campsite for
N$60 per person. We had seen that they advertise self-catering places and were shown to The House on the Hill – oh, my word, I nearly cried when he said N$300 per person per night as it is amazing and I just did not want to leave, but thought it was way over our budget. Steve insisted that we stay as we have camped for 17 days straight and he said that I deserved a break from the tent. He really does!! as most times he does all the setting up of camp while I plan and make the meals and sort things out for the day. S: It was midday and I really did not want to put up the tent in that heat. Also it was too far to get to Opuwo in one day so we had to break the trip and this was the only place to camp, unless we wild camped.
L: Wow, what a blessing. We have taken a few photos, but you really cannot describe how lovely House 1 is. It is chunks of off-cuts of marble set in rough cement, but really quaint and the bed’s headboard is made from old steel oil-drums as are the doors and carport. Yes, I know, that sounds strange, but the decor and everything else just works together. There are two bedrooms with extra mattresses too and it is “home” for one glorious night!!! Oh, and then there is a bird bath with 5 or 6 different types of birds splashing in the water. How lovely.
We went off down the road to the abandoned marble mine, how bizarre is that? Everything is just left as though they went home for the day and never returned. Not sure of the story here.
Back to the house and we took advantage of being parked in the shade and sorted out the black ammo boxes of food, even managing to stow a bit of wool in one to give us extra space on the hammock. Not sure if we have mentioned that yet. We have a hammock, that Steve constructed (though my idea) which we have used on previous trips which is strung up against the roof of the car along the whole area of the back seat. It is wonderful to store all the bedding, and now wool and anything else that you need daily, but don’t want on top of the clothing suitcases etc.
Now we are watching the sun set, catching up on the blog and pics and expense sheet and any other admin before we make a potjie for supper. Having a lounge suite is also a real treat as well as a solid bed for later. Lucky us!!!