Hot Stuff
on Sally in Namibia (Namibia), 30/Nov/2009 12:53, 34 days ago
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I spent my final weekend away before leaving Namibia at Kunene River Lodge which is up in the North on the Angolan border. It's a very restful campsite on the banks of the river Kunene with lots of bird life as well as the odd monitor lizard and a troupe of monkeys (the only time I've seen monkeys in Namibia). We took canoes out for a paddle on the river which was fun especially by late afternoon when the river was smooth as a millpond. According to the manager at the camp there are three types of crocodile in the river– crocodile, rockodile and stickodile. We had a rather close encounter with a rockodile in the middle of the river and were relieved that it was not its more dangerous cousin! There were plenty of stickodiles as well but luckily no crocs.My personal highlight was getting a fire going all on my own WITHOUT firelighters– clearly all those years watching boys make fire aren't entirely wasted. I think having lots of kindling and very dry firewood helped but still I felt quite pleased with myself.On the way home we were treated to some serious rainstorms, even having to stop the car on a couple of occasions. There were lots of depressed looking donkeys on the side of the road not enjoying the rain so I stopped to take a picture.I took over the driving and not long after found myself with a policeman standing in the road in front of me pulling me over next to an ominous looking speed gun. I duly got out of the car looking as contrite as I could and greeted him in my oshiwambo which was obviously so fluent he thought he could talk to me in oshiwambo! After he realised I was just a pretender we got down to business and he showed me a blank screen on the gun. He tapped it a few times then muttered something about the rain and gave the camera to his assistant to dismantle. Phew I thought, saved by the rain. Next he asked for my driving licence so I went and got that out of the car and then he told me that he should give me a ticket but as the rain had broken the machine he just gave me a little lecture about speeding and safe driving and I promised never to speed in Namibia again (easy to do as I won't be driving again!).I opened the door to make my getaway and his eyes fell on a brandy bottle tucked into the driver's door. 'What's that hot stuff?' he asked, after a second I realised that he wasn't hitting on me and was asking me about the alcohol bottle (hot stuff being Namlish for spirits). I quickly assured him that I wasn't drinking and driving and fortunately he let us go on our way. It was actually some gin that we'd put there the night before so the monkeys couldn't get it and we'd then left it there joking about how long it would take for someone to comment on it and think that Penny (whose car it was) had a bit of an alcohol problem. The answer was quicker than we anticipated!I'll definitely miss the opportunity to have weekends away in beautiful places when I am home. I don't think Woburn safari park packs quite the same punch as Etosha, the River Flit does not have monkeys and crocodiles and England in December definitely doesn't have sunshine and heat even when it's raining! But it does have houmous and McVities digestives so it can't be all bad.