Friday, 7 April 2017

Namibia 2017 Part 24. Only 24 hours from home.

What a fabulous day we'd had for our last day at Swakopmund. Those that had warned us off from staying longer really have misjudged what's on offer locally. We could have gone on all sorts of activities from Go-karts to Camel rides, Dune boarding to hang gliding as well as the trips we did take. As for the weather? It was actually pretty good, better than we'd experience for most of the trip with sunshine most of the day.
Our apartment in Swakop had probably been the best value of any place we stayed and despite the fact they only had a smallish garden there were a surprising number of birds visiting, some were "lifers" too.
The Orange River White-eye
Orange River White-eye  Zosterops Pallidus
Cape Sparrow
Cape Sparrow  Passer Melanurus
Common Waxbill
Common Waxbill     Estrilda astrild
Others gave the best photo opportunities I'd had too.
House Sparrow
House Sparrow  Passer Domesticus
Laughing Dove
Laughing Dove Spilopelia Senegalensis
Cape Wagtail
Cape Wagtail  Motacilla Capensis
and I'm sure that if I'd spent more than a few minutes trying I could have got even better shots too.
Dusky Sunbird
Dusky Sunbird  Cinnyris Fuscus
Too late now though, it was time to go.
We'd allocated a whole day to journey back to Windhoek and an overnight stay at our initial B&B before catching the flight back to the UK the following day. Rather than take the fast route I thought we could take the more scenic (?) C14 and C26 route rather than the B2.
It appeared few others choose this route!
For the first 100kms I doubt more than 2 cars passed in the opposite direction and in a journey of over 300kms in total perhaps no more than two dozen in total before reaching commuting distance of Windhoek.
The scenery was very varied through desert ( with an iPad)
Route C14  Namibia
and with my Olympus Tough.
Route C15  Namibia
You travel over the mountains before reaching the somewhat parched farmlands beyond ( and our last sighting of game, albeit farmed).
Game Farm  Namibia
Until you get to greener pastures. 
Green means rain and we were about to get some!
Highway to Hell!
The rains in Namibia were badly needed so welcomed by us once again. All the wildlife benefited.
We had one last photo stop when I spotted my final new bird for the trip.
Southern Pied Babbler  Turdoides Bicolor
A rather bedraggled Southern Pied Babbler
Southern Pied Babbler  Turdoides Bicolor
and that was it.
Driving over the gravel roads our vehicle was totally bespattered with mud so we treated it to a car wash on the outskirts of Windhoek before heading back to the Sunshine Guesthouse and another evening meal at Joe's Beerhouse.
It was at Joe's we had our second remarkable meeting of the trip. Whilst staying the 4 nights at Etosha Village we met a lady that we recognised from our stay in The Gambia last November but here at Joe's the chance meeting was even more remarkable. We had called for our bill and were about to leave when I recognised the couple who were walking within 2 metres of our table but they hadn't noticed us. It was my son's "Best Man" and they had arrived in Namibia that day. Even stranger was he no longer lives in the UK but had been for a home visit the previous week and had been at my son's house a couple of days previously where he had been told we were in Namibia. Together they decided there was little point in trying to get in touch as we would no doubt be somewhere too distant to meet up but here we were , just a few feet away!
It's a small world sometimes. We spent an hour chatting before we headed home to bed and the airport the following day.
A lovely way to end our trip.

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