Grootfontein - Waterberg
I slept quite well, but Lesley had an almost sleepless night. She got cold and it seems the excitement of the day and evening kept her mind awake. Or maybe the medicine man used a different kind of powder for her...
It’s 7.3O when we arrive at the breakfast table. Jörn cuts us fresh water melon and laughs when he hears the night was cold. “You Europeans, you come from cold temperatures and then you are cold here in Namibia ...”. Jakob urges him to make a marketing plan for the bush camp. “You have two communication specialists at the table,” he adds. Meaning us. We end up writing our email addresses in the business book, but I have a feeling this outback guy isn’t really up for marketing. He needs to get back to the farm as his parents are going away for a long weekend and he hugs us goodbye.
We should get going, but it takes a little while longer before we actually get a move on. We ask Morris and Edna to pose for a photo with us. “I’m the man, so I’ll be in the middle,” Morris smiles - though standing next to him I feel like a giant. Then our luggage is fetched, once more we check our roadmap for the next destination and we wave our wonderful hosts goodbye as we tackle the sand road again to reach the main road.
We are heading for Waterberg Plateau which promises to be another beautiful setting with the plateau rising high above the plains. It’s our last real drive on the roadtrip (the drive to the airport won’t feel the same) and we follow the local D-roads. It’s clearly a farming area, many catlle farms. We even have to stop quite a few times to open and close gates. It’s a long drive and the directions on our roadmap don’t seem reliable. We reach the end of the final gravel road we are supposed to follow, but there’s no sign to the guestfarm. This might be a good time to get the satellite phone out and call the farm for directions. As soon as we get out the car and point our satellite phone to the sky to get connection, a car pulls over and the driver asks if we’re okay. We ask him if he knows the Waterberg Guestfarm (he seems to be from around here). “Wait a minute, we will park the car and help you.” Then a second car stops: “ Are you ok??” Soon we are causing a little traffic jam on the otherwise so deserted road. This car also has local passengers and they can give us the right directions. It seems our road description indeed was wrong, but luckily we are very near.
It’s not a nice feeling being ‘lost’ on the Namibian roads, so we are relieved to see the sign to the guestfarm. We are welcomed by Helga at reception, again with a bright smile. “Hello, how are you?” “Fine, how are you?”. The guestfarm is actualy part of a real farm, owned by Harry & Sonja, whose family have owned the farm over 100 years. It’s located at a little distance of the Waterberg and so we get a nice view on the actual plateau. Behind the guestfarm are more mountains, so we feel we are right in the middle of it all anyway. Bringing the guests together is a houserule here. No seperate tables in the dining area, but a large table. “Everyone eats together,” Helga explains. “ We start at 18.30 with drinks around the campfire.” Not bad, I can live with that.
We have a small lunch at the bar and then relax the rest of the afternoon. And we make new friends: first a small dog comes to meet us and lies at our feet. Then a giant dog joins in, I’m guessing a ridgeback. They clearly are farm dogs, used to walking around the place and hanging around the people here. Later in the afternoon, more guests arrive and we get to meet eachother around the campfire. We start a chat with an Italian couple. They’ve been living in Luxembourg for 30 years but are from Rome. Our chat is interrupted when a guy named Johan introduces himself. He works on the farm and always eats with the guest. He gives us a long explanation about the farm and his job, leaving no room for conversation. There’s a gong from the kitchen when dinner is ready and unfortunately I end up right next to him around the head of the table. He’s not very subtle. “Is that a wedding ring?” “What’s your age?” “So you’re travelling with a friend? You’re not married?” ... Desperate male alarm! As he continues to drink his red wine, he’s very close to asking my room number despite the fact that I’m not exactly encouraging him to ask these kind of questions. He has too much to drink and starts to speak in Afrikaans about his ex and how she cheated on him and all women are the same and blablabla ... By now Lesley is in a more interesting conversation with her Canadian neighbours and I desperatly look at the Italian man who sits opposite me. Johan ends up spilling his glass of red wine over the man’s shirt. At the end of dinner I gladly get up and take some distance. I joke to the Italian couple that I will put a barricade at the door tonight.