Meeting up at the joining tour group hotel was a tad interesting. I had one of those ‘oh shit I’m too old for this’ moments. The taxi drops me off and music is pumping from the hotel…kids are walking around bare foot and carrying skateboards. I get to the counter and there’s ear plugs in a candy jar. I’m thinking what the hell kind of place is this? They check me in and walk me to my room. When I open the door I finally realize this is not a hotel but a backpackers hostel. My room has two bunk beds and a shared bathroom. Oh dear lord! I am far too old for this. I haven’t stayed in a youth hostel since I was back in Australia. I was far younger and more tolerant back then! But that’s ok…gotta roll with the punches. Turns out they put me in the wrong room and I do get a private room with one of the other girls on my tour.
Meeting up with the group is always interesting. You meet up as total strangers and by the third day in we are probably taking a pee in the bush next to each other. Relationships on tours form at warp speed, but the first ‘hello’s’ are always a little nerve wracking. This time there’s a real mix of ages. I’m guessing anywhere from 21-60. I don’t feel like the granny on this trip this time! This group has an abundance of Canadians. And if you can imagine a father/daughter duo from Edmonton of all places. We also have people from the UK, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Germany. My roommate’s name is Stef and she is from Germany but I just tell her she’s from Douche Land!
Today we drove up the west coast to a South African town named Lambert’s Bay. Driving down our highways at home we pass by cows, horses and hay bales..not here…the first crazy thing I saw were flamingos. Tons of them. And when they fly one behind each other and swoop around, it truly took my breath away. We also saw ostrich and springbok (well I think they were springbok). I really do slap myself to make sure this is real.
We made a pit stop at this odd truck stop. As you walk in it was like an eclectic mix of knitted goods, souvenirs, pop, birds and monkeys. I thought someone might have slipped me some drugs and I was tripping. Out the back were cages and cages of macaws and other parrots. Although the signs that were plastered everywhere told us that we shouldn’t stick our hands near the cage I really couldn’t resist. I had a couple of the parrots entranced with my bird whisperer magic and they had me rubbing their necks and heads.
And the birds just kept coming. We made a stop at Bird Island where there were literally at least 20 000 Cape Gannets. These are massive 5lb birds swooping and huddled in one small area. The smell was intense and this would not be a place for anyone that’s afraid of birds.
… I wrote this yesterday and today spent the day traveling into Namibia. Can I tell you the temperature was 45 Celsius!!!! I will give you more tomorrow, if I don’t melt