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Pictures from There She Goes Again

There She Goes Again

Discovering myself, one trip at a time.

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Sun
2
Oct '11

Hanging with Oskar’s Herd

Up and out early again, this morning we’re on a quest to find black rhino’s.  Namibia has a larger black rhino population than any other country.  They’re still critically endangered but Namibia is doing everything they can to increase their numbers, and they’re succeeding.  The Government actually owns all the black rhinos.  Even private game reserves are only acting as Custodians.

We drive around for ages and don’t spot any tracks or rhinos.  Regan is really, disappointed.  I am still jazzed about the elephants yesterday so it doesn’t really bother me.  We saw so many rhino’s in Kruger I honestly don’t care.  I know the black rhino is different and all that but they don’t look that different and I’d rather see an elephant.

We finally get our Euphorbia and Welwitschia lessons. Euphorbia is everywhere in Namibia and we’ve been told repeatedly not to touch it, that it’s poisonous. When broken it produces latex which, if you get even a dab of it in your eye, will blind you. Regan told us about 17 Angolan mine workers who came to Namibia for work. They wanted to barbeque but couldn’t find any wood. They came across a dead euphorbia used the dried wood from that for their barbeque. In the morning 15 of them were dead. Only the ones who didn’t eat anything that had been barbequed survived. I’m staying far, far away from euphorbia.

Euphorbia Latex

Doesn't look like it could kill you, does it? It can.

Welwitschia plants are some of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen. That being said, they’ve adapted like no other plant. Some are thought to be well over 1000 years old. They get their water from the fog that comes in from the coast and grow some ridiculously small amount each year (I don’t remember the exact amount but 1 cm or mm comes to mind).

Welwitschia

Don't feel sorry for the ugly welwitschia. It's going to outlive all of us by at least 1000 years.

We’ve got lunch with us so when Regan asks if we want to go look for the elephants again we all respond with a resounding YES.  He says they’ll be in the same general area.  With the baby they won’t travel far, although they could if they wanted to. On our way to find them we come across a bunch of Oryx who don’t hightail it as soon as they hear the vehicle. Finally, a picture of something other than an Oryx butt.

Oryx

Why hello Mr. Oryx, it's nice to see your face for a change!

He’s right.  We drive to where we were yesterday and there they all are.  All 11 of them.  There are also four other vehicles here.  One is a minivan.  I can’t believe they didn’t get stuck in all the sand driving out here.  Idiots.  Regan moves into a good spot and we settle in for some prime elephant viewing.  We’re thrilled when they start moving and walk to the tree that is quite literally right in front of us.  I don’t think the other vehicles are very happy about that but hey, maybe the elephants remember us from yesterday and are glad to see us.

Elephants

This big guy is the one who walked directly toward us. And I shot this photo with my little point-and-shoot and it's NOT zoomed.

Elephants

Mommy and baby. He's almost mastered his trunk, now it's time to work on the ears.

Elephant teenagers

Boys will be boys. These two were having a great time wrestling.

When lunchtime arrives Regan drives us further into the area and we come across a running stream, full of fish.  This means the water runs all the time.  Namibia:  land of what you don’t expect.

Namibian stream

A freshwater stream - in the desert!

We had a lovely picnic lunch under a tree then head back to the elephants which are not where we left them. I’m bummed until Regan starts saying “Elephant. Elephant. Elephant.” As he’s pointing in various directions. We’re all saying “where, where? I don’t see an elephant” and then we spot them. This man has the eyes of an eagle. He and Todd would be a great together. No animal would go unspotted, ever.

Elephants

You can never take too many photos of a baby elephant. Especially when he's just walked underneath his Mom.

We finally bid our lovely friends goodbye and head back to camp for our last night in Damaraland.  On the way we’re roadblocked by a whole lot of goats.

Goatblock

This is only about a fifth of the goats that felt we were using their road.

We’re all so wiped out (who would think driving around looking for animals would be so tiring?  Well it is.) we decide not to do anything else today.  Plus we decide we’re getting up at 5:00 tomorrow so we can get to Etosha early enough to do a game drive tomorrow evening. Ilias makes us another incredible meal, using only a fire to cook everything. I have a stove, microwave and all sorts of gadgets and can’t cook for squat. Here’s a guy with no electricity, in the desert, using a fire and giving us elegant, delicious meals. Impressive.

Ilias and his fancy kitchen

Ilias, creating deliciousness in his fully equipped kitchen.

We asked Claudia to describe desert in Click and she was kind enough to indulge us. In case you don’t speak Click she’s telling us about our apple and raisin crepe. It was, as she says toward the end, yummy-yummy.

Home Sweet Home

My "house" in Damaraland. The lanterns burn all night to keep any uninvited visitors away.

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