Monday, June 8, 2015

Windhoek and Daan Viljoen

Windhoek, Namibia,

James here...

We've been here about 48 hours now, although it seems that we've been on the road far longer. The journey here was uneventful but looooooong.  14 hours from Seattle to Dubai over the North Pole, then 8 hours to Johannesburg, then a quick 2 hour hop to "Vin-took". Add in a couple of layovers plus airport transfers (thanks, Angela!) and it was about 36 hours door to door.  We were surprised by an unexpected, and very welcome, upgrade to business class on our Emirates flight to Dubai. I'm not sure why we were chosen. The gate agent mentioned something about us looking like nice, well-dressed people so he was obviously referring to Janet ; ) Regardless, the lay-flat seats were a luxury on the long haul to Dubai. 

Incredible weather here. It's winter and the dry season as well. Nighttime temps plunge into the 30's due to the lack of cloud cover and our 5000 foot altitude, but give way to bluer-than-blue sky and 75 degree sunshine during the day. This is actually our second visit to Windhoek, having made a quick overnight trip to a small national park just outside the city. Janet and I did a bit of an off-course walkabout yesterday, but managed to spot almost all of the park's major animal species - kudu, oryx, baboon, zebra, ostrich, warthog. Only the giraffe eluded us, but I'm sure we'll have other opportunities. No dangerous animals at the park, none of the "big five" as they say, although we did have an eerie Planet of the Apes experience with a small baboon troop as we hiked back to our round, thatched-roof chalet at dusk.

We start riding tomorrow. More to come...

Baboon at dusk, Daan Viljoen National Park

Mountain zebras at Daan Viljoen National Park

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