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an amazing last day


View Namibia - 2017 on Ils1976's travel map.

Although we could easily have slept in now that our tour was over, the both of us set our alarm clock at 7 AM so that we could say goodbye to the rest of our group in style.

If I have to be honest, it was really tough saying goodbye, especially since we all got along so well and although we wished them all happy and safe travels, secretly the two of us wanted to join them, but alas, work didn't allow us, so we really have to come back to Africa one day and do the last stretch of this amazing tour.

As we waved them out, we went straight to the breakfast area to see what was on display. Although it was but a continental breakfast, all the things you needed to survive were present, se the two of us certainly didn't complain all that much.

Since we were on our own and the lodge was a few kilometers away from the capital city, there was not so much for us to do. The staff of the hotel recommend to relax for a day, but that is just the thing, the two of us actually don't do.

Instead of lying in our room all day, we decided to go for a morning safari and luckily the lodge provided this. Since we were the only ones interested, there might be a chance that it would be cancelled, but I guess they found out we were that eager, so they arranged our own vehicle with private guide and what a tour it was.

Although it was but 2 hours, we certainly saw loads of animals and we even saw a black rhyno up close. It was that close that we could even pet its back, but of course we were wise enough not to do that.

I guess it must have been almost noon when we arrived back at the lodge and with a whole afternoon ahead of us, we decided to look up some more safaris. I guess we were overdoing things, but when in Africa, you can't have enough safaris to go around. Am I right or am I right.

We tried to ask the reception of the hotel to help us, but they weren't game, so instead we looked up some farms in our guidebook and the only lodge who agreed to pick us op and had a few safaris available was Safari Guest Farm Düsternbrook.

It took us almost 1.5 hour to get there, but as we arrived, the staff of the lodge was very friendly and together with about 10 other people we got to know their 2 female cheetas and a male leopard a little bit better. Of course they were hand fed and in the beginning I was a bit sceptic, but when they told us they were orphans and they would have died otherwise, I guess I could live with the idea of it being a "tourist trap" and not seeing those beautiful animals in the wild.

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The encounter with those 3 beauties took almost an hour and afterwards, the two of us joint another group of 4 people on a safari in the surrounding area of the Düsternbrook lodge.

I guess we saw all the animals we saw the last few days except for the elephant but still, the area was so beautiful that I loved every minute of it and I was a bit sad when after 3 hours we arrived back at the farm. I must admit that I love the continent and its beautiful creatures in it and I can only hope that one day I can come back.

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Our taxi driver waited patiently for us all afternoon and when we arrived back at our lodge it was already way past 8 PM. We quickly went to the restaurant and had yet another yummy dinner and by the time we hit the sack it was after 12 PM.

It was an incredible long day, but I wouldn't miss it for a thing. I was just that glad we had the chance to see it all and with a big smile I went to sleep, knowing that tomorrow we really had to say goodbye to this more than beautiful country!  

Posted by Ils1976 05:07 Archived in Namibia Comments (0)

final hours on the African continent

After getting up very early in the morning for the last couple of weeks, it was such a bliss knowing that on our final day here on the African continent we could sleep in. Today we had no program to follow, no attachments what so ever, so we just enjoyed the quiteness of the moment, slept in and although we wanted to stay in bed a little bit longer, we also got a bit hungry as well, so in the end we decided to get up and go and check out the food.

Just like the day before, we noticed it was but a limited breakfast buffet with a bit of hot and cold thingies, but in the end we always find something to our liking so, with our tummy filled, we went back to our room and made sure we packed everything for our check-out later this afternoon.

We were lucky to keep our room till an hour before our leave to the airport and with just half a day left, we decided to have a walk around the premises of the hotel.

Yesterday we came across a few warthogs and today we were on the search for them again but no matter where we looked, they were no-where to be found, so instead we just walked towards the large lake of the lodge when all of a sudden Tania got stung by a tree. If I have to be more precise, it was a thorn of the camelthorn tree which was lying near the lake wondering which human it could hurt in a vicious way because that is the way of life for those thorns.

Tania was taking a picture one moment when another moment she took the thorn out of her foot and all of a sudden blood was gushing all over the place. This was just plain crazy! My instinct said that she needed to go to hospital, but for some strange reason the bleeding stopped. To me this looked so strange, but still hurting a lot, the both of us went back to our room, making sure she got first aid and a little bit later it was back on the road again ... we are just that though!

Maybe we were so convinced that we were going to see the warthogs again, but about an hour later, they were still not to be found. The only animal that we came across was a little scarab. I have to admit that they are interesting as well, but we expected to see some larger animals like we did the past week.

It seemed that our last day was going to be "big animal"less (I know, it is not a word, bit I like to invent those strange words) and as we walked towards the small chapel of the lodge we discovered some sort of adventure route. A few kids were running around with bow and arrows and as we were walking alongside the trail, we came across a few stuffed animals if you may call it that which they could shoot at. I guess for kids it was fun, for adults a bit less, but we did see a lizard hiding in the trees, so animal number 2 was discovered.

As we arrived back at the lodge, there was still some time to check out the pool. The last few days it was covered because of the cold weather but now with the sun shining, it was more than enough to enjoy the last sun rays.

By noon we got a bit hungry and ordered something small to eat and I guess it must have been about an hour later when we arrived back at our room. With a bit of time to spare, we washed away the dust in the shower, put on some warm clothes and we were ready for our departure towards the cold. It seemed our holiday was officially over.

We still had to wait half an hour for our taxi driver to arrive and once she did, she kept on talking about the country, her relatives and so on that by the time we arrived at the airport we were glad to have a bit of silence. Wow, that woman really could talk!

Check in went relatively smoothly and since we still had to wait for a few hours till our departure, me and Tania wanted to grab something to eat before we went on the plane, the only sad thing is, Windhoek airport is so small, there was only one food joint and it was packed with people. If we wanted to order something decent, we wouldn't got served before our boarding time. What to do, that's always a question of course. After a walking around for a bit, we decided, we rather eat something small than nothing at all and after waiting for almost an hour, our toast arrived.

Since we didn't had all that much time left, it was a very quick dinner and as soon as we were finished, we jumped into the store next door to buy a couple of bottles of water, which we surprisingly enough had to hand in again about half an hour later when we had another security check at the gate.

When everyone started to complain about what I call a business like any other, they said it were airline regulations. The airport had nothing to do with that .... yeah right!

This my friend sounded so fishy in my book that I asked the stewardesses when we entered the plane and guess what, they knew nothing about it. Upon request they asked the airport and love and behold. It was a new regulation of the airport. Thanks for letting all those stupid tourists buy water they can't use and which can be sold again when the flight is gone. This was just so dishonest, but what can we do about it, in the end the airport always wins I suppose.

As we left Namibia behind us, it was smooth flying all the way to Angola where we arrived about a few hours later. I must admit that I am not so sure about the hours since it was already late at night and I was a bit sleepy.

I remember touching ground in the country and I was a bit curious how things would look at the airport but because of the late hour, nothing much was there to see, so I quickly enough closed my eyes, hoping when I opened them again, I was almost home!

Posted by Ils1976 05:07 Archived in Namibia Comments (0)

back home again


View Namibia - 2017 on Ils1976's travel map.

For some reason I slept quite good on this flight. I first thought it was going to be a nightmare, but somehow during the flight I managed to sleep just a little bit, which is a good thing in my book.

The stewardesses woke me up for breakfast and although I usually don't have so much appetite, this time around, I asked for a cracker and some cheese to eat. Believe it or not, that is much when I am flying. Usually I stick to my cup of oatmeal I bring along from home, but since the flight was nice, I thought of doing something weird and I went for breakfast!

With still about 2 hours in flight, I went for a movie to watch and before we knew it, Schiphol came in sight.

I don't exactly know what happened, but the landing went smooth, for some reason we were the lucky ones to go straight out of the plane in mere minutes. Customs was no hassle at all at 5.15 AM in the morning and upon arrival at the baggage belt, our luggage was already waiting for us.
The both of us didn't hesitate one bit, we grabbed our bags and made a run for it straight to the train station. It seemed we both had the same thing on our mind ... going home as quickly as possible.

Upon our arrival at the train station a few minutes before 6 AM, we suddenly noticed the international train to Antwerp was cancelled. No reason was given and there was no-one to be found to give us an explanation. What the heck was going on here, coz it was the only one cancelled ??? We were a bit puzzled about the whole thing.

After running around for a few minutes, we suddenly saw a desk with someone behind it and as we asked what was going on, the person said not to worry too much. The next international train at 7.06 was going to leave for sure and we just needed to relax and go for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat.

Easier said than done to be honest coz at 6 AM in the morning, nothing much isn't opened, not even Starbucks!
We were walking for more than 15 minutes when suddenly we noticed a small supermarket opening up shop. We both ran for it and went through the racks to see what was on offer and in the end we went for a cup of oatmeal which was instant, but tasted really good so early in the morning.

It must have been almost half an hour later when we went back to the train station only to notice that our train home was once again cancelled. This was just too weird to be true and although we were thinking of calling our relatives to come and pick us up, it was still 7 AM in the morning, we didn't want to wake them up and be all worried, so instead we went to another office that was opened and asked what was going on!

Just as an hour before, it seemed we didn't needed to worry to much. Not much was going according to that person. We could easily wait for another hour and take the next train back to Belgium. Yeah right ... not 2 times!

We were thinking of taking the Thalys back home, but the price of the ticket was huge, so instead we asked for the first train in the direction of the Belgium border and jumped on it about 10 minutes later.

All warm and comfy, we were en route to Roosendaal, where we arrived about an hour later but sadly enough we had to wait for another hour because guess what, the international train that would have left Schiphol at 8 AM was cancelled as well!

Not amused at all, but glad we took this train, we waited out our troubles in a nearby hotel, which had a wonderful breakfast for offer. It seemed we did nothing else but waiting for trains and eating this morning, but in a way it made the time go faster and before we knew it, we were on the slow train to Berchem, where we arrived almost an hour later.

On the train towards Belgium, a conductor came along and when we outed our troubles to him, he just replied that major works were going on at the track and therefore they cancelled all the international trains till 10 AM to Belgium.

WHAT THE HECK!!??

Of course there is nothing you can do about it, but is it that hard to give a little bit of information to paying customers. I can probably go on and on about all of the things that go wrong in our oh so modern society, but I guess that is not all that good for my health ... but still, how wrong can this be!?
It must have been a little later than 10 AM when we finally arrived in Berchem and as I said goodbye to my best friend and travel buddy, I had to do the last leg of the travel all by myself.

As usual they were also working on my track towards my hometown, so instead of going by train, I had to take a bus and another train ... this was really traveling in my own country, that's for sure!

By the time it was 12 AM I was back at home. Strangely to know that it took almost 6 hours to go from Schiphol to my home using public transportation. When going with a car it is only 2 hours and still the government promotes using public transport ... I must admit that I really have to think about that one on my next holiday!

I was just so glad to see my family again that all the misery of the morning just flowed away ... it was just that good to see a friendly and familiar face.
Although we had a few fun weeks and I must say that I loved every minute of it, I was glad to see my relatives again.

Africa really delivered and I am already looking forward to my next visit, whenever that will be, but one thing is for sure ... AFRICA, I'LL BE BACK!!!

Posted by Ils1976 05:07 Archived in Belgium Comments (2)

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