And then, Namibia Car Rental was right on time to pick us up at 9:00am.
We were driven the short distance to their office in Windhoek where we were given detailed instructions in the operation of our transportation for the rest of December...a Daihatsu Terios 4 wheel drive!
It's got a tiny 1.5 litre gas engine, and a 50 litre tank. Based on yesterday's 400 km drive, it seems to be pretty fuel efficient.
We were on the road by 10:00am.
What a difference to the first time we drove out of Windhoek! After almost a month in the country, it now almost feels natural to be driving on the opposite side of the road to what we're used to. And because we had done most of this route on our first day, it all went by faster than we expected.
Fantastic wood carvings.
On the outskirts of the town of Okahandja is a huge strip of tents with people doing wood carvings. Many of the items are amazing. We didn't stop and look around because we knew we had a long drive, but we had to get a pic of this elephant from the side of the road. Couldn't fit it in the vehicle unfortunately!
Himba lady making a trip to town.
Going through the town of Outjo, we spotted this Himba lady with her child. You don't normally see the Himba this far from their native territory which is the far north west of Namibia. We were speaking to somebody yesterday who said the Himba are having to wander further due to lack of food this year so far. Hopefully that is changing because the rainy season has begun. It is curious how some of the Himba are doing some things more modern (notice the umbrella she's carrying) yet in other things want to maintain their traditional ways.
We arrived at the Gondwana Collection's Etosha Safari Lodge at about 3:15pm. We had been through a good rainstorm along the way, and things in general look a lot greener. Hopefully the rainy season that is just beginning will be a good one for the Namibian people. They sure need it.
We were welcomed by Assistant Manager Simon and Receptionist Monika. It meant a lot that they remembered us from our quick visit when we stopped in here on our way out of Etosha a few weeks ago!
Here's a little preview of the luxury we've got ahead of us for the next three days...!
From camping...to this!
We had a great buffet dinner last night. It rained during dinner, but we were comfortably under shelter and the temperature was just right.
Ready for dinner.
At N$220 ($23.76) per person, dinner is a little on the pricey side. But it was totally delicious, and a welcome treat for the both of us, especially Ruth who gets a break from her normal cooking duties. I especially enjoyed the roast springbok, but the grilled pork ribs were delicious too!
They were great at pointing out to us which items contained gluten, and when they told us that the spinach soup contained gluten, they specially prepared a tomato soup for us that had no gluten! Really excellent service!