A direct transcription of my journal from 2-24 to 3-13 while I was in Namibia. And additional comments I have will be in italics, otherwise it’s just as I wrote it at the time, bad punctuation, run on sentences and all.
We didn’t really sleep, since we got back so late from picking up another camera for John, and things I forgot, like memory cards and my headlamp. Whoops. When we got back we downloaded a bunch of podcasts and audio books, and I hope my ipod holds up for the whole flight. Around 1am I felt really sick and spent over an hour convinced I was going to throw up, but eventually felt better. John thinks nerves, but who knows.
When we got to the airport and checked in, we needed to change seats so we could sit together, and discovered that we’re actually on two different flights for the second part. Both are pretty full, so John is going to try to standby for my slightly earlier flight, so we’ll see how that goes. Not the end of the world if we can’t. I’m really hungry and excited about airline food.
Still on the plane. So far good food. I got to watch a couple movies that I had been wanting to see. Even with the xanax I only got 3 hours of interrupted sleep, but I was expecting that so it’s fine. I don’t sleep on anything that moves. Nothing works, except I suppose the xanax helped me for a little. Breakfast soon. Choices- pancakes or scrambled eggs. I got scrambled eggs. They were good, with little button mushrooms and bacon.
Yep, two separate flights, which is fine. We have vague plans about how to meet up for the third leg, hopefully that goes smoothly.
The Johannesburg airport was pretty confusing. We got lucky and had a porter walk us to check in, and past everyone else in line. And then a two hour wait to board my flight. To get to the plane we all piled into a shuttle that was like a bus version of a tram thing, super low to the ground and lots of standing space.
We only have an hour in Cape Town which is a little unnerving, but should be fine even with having to check in and all.
Other than that, I am hot, tired, and regretting not bringing jeans. The only time I regretted this. I was just feeling weird and sloppy traveling in pajama pants and a button up flannel. But packing wise, and sitting on a plane for that long, it made sense.
I’m on another giant plane with the middle section. It sounds like they’ll be serving us lunch, hooray! While we were taxiing I saw a really pretty bird, though it was farish away, it seemed blue and something like- drawing of a bird. I wish I could have seen it better.
I was stupid and left my ipod and sleep mask and anything else to entertain me in the overhead thing and now I feel like it’s too late. I was in the window seat, and felt too shy to ask the woman next to me to move. Either I am the model of thoughtfulness, or I need to get over it and realize it’s not a big deal and she should have been fine with getting up for a second. I have a screen to stare at, but no headphones, and it seems like no control. And I definitely can’t sleep. Oh well.
My flight was fine, I was next to a woman coming home from two weeks at an ashram in the Himalayas. I kind of want to come back and visit Cape Town, the tabletop mountain and beaches looked interesting.
The airport again didn’t have much by way of signage, but I figured out hot to find checkins. I got there about 2:20 and checked myself in and got John a seat next to me. He showed up at 2:54 (our next flight was at 3:45). He actually made really good time since they had taken off late because of a soccer team taking forever to sit down.
I think that they way overestimate flight times since we didn’t start boarding until after 3:30, but managed to land 5 minutes early. It was the first flight that didn’t have stellar food, just what you would normally expect from an airline. But- they did have curry flavored Lays, in honor of the cricket world cup.
It was a small plane, so we got to walk down the steps and across the tarmac, like in movies. It’s the rainy season so there were all kinds of great blue grey clouds, and it was really windy and green everywhere. We stood there looking around for a minute and realized that behind us in the storm clouds was a rainbow. So I was happy. We ended up getting 5 rainbows over the course of our stay. It was pretty great, I never see that many normally.
Passport inspection and customs was fast (in both South Africa and Namibia, if you had nothing to declare, you just waltzed right past customs, no pausing or giving them your form. Weird.) and we found our driver right away. Changed some money, picked up one more person, and headed off. The other guy talked to us about Namibia and Sarah Palin and Libya and who we thought might be president next. He kept turning to look at the road, and back at us, so it was a little hard to hear.
We dropped him off in the hills and then drove to the hotel. It’s nice here, good air, not too humid. The hotel is really nice, we didn’t really have to check in, just confirmed who we were and went to our room. Ferrero Rochers as pillow mints, yay.
Breakfast was good, standard granola and yogurt and breads and cheeses and such. Really good yellow scrambled eggs. And now we’re trying to figure out what to do today.
Most of the other people at breakfast had just come from the last expedition, and we talked to one of them after. She said the people on our trip are all American and British, apparently a bunch of BBC people. I’m a little disappointed, I wanted to meet people from all over.
I watched a frog in the pool for a while, and the house dog while we waited for the taxi to go down to the city center. We ended up in a mall for a while, which was surreal. There was a Woolworths. An interesting, but not terribly exotic or anything, mix of people and dress. Rap seems somewhat popular. We found sunglasses for John, and eventually made our way to the craft center. It was nice to find a place that actually makes it’s stuff locally and not in China. I didn’t see everything John got, but I picked up a painted ostrich egg, a soapstone hippo, and some nice salad servers.
I’m trying to remember to write what I think of stuff, and not just a list of what we did, but it’s hard.
I like it here. It’s very pretty, I’m happy that it’s summer right now. The taxi drivers are nice and talkative and no one’s tried to rip us off. I kind of can’t wait to get out of the city, though. And now we’re back at the hotel, and there are other people from the trip, so I’m going to stop being antisocial and talk to them.