The Transnistria parliament building with a statue of Lenin out front. In the city of Tiraspol, Transnistria. Photo taken December 9, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

From camping...to this!

Our couchsurfing host Antoinette was off early to work yesterday morning, but we were up at the same time and we said our goodbyes. Hopefully we'll see her again before we leave Namibia. Thanks for having us Antoinette, we had a blast with you and your friends!

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.

The menu.

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!

Yummy!

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!

27 comments:

  1. quite a change in sleeping accommodations, don't get spoiled now...

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    1. A big difference for sure! We'll try not to get too spoiled.

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  2. Looking great you will get spoiled, enjoy it while you can.

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    1. You can count on us enjoying it, this is true luxury.

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  3. Because we are in traveling mode, I just had an opportunity to catch up on your blogs. I am enjoying them very much and look forward to what lies ahead for you two! Continued safe and happy travels and keep those great pictures coming!

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    1. Thank you so much Paula. So glad that you are enjoying the posts and pictures. I know what it is like trying to follow along on blogs when you are traveling, we are having the same problem.

      Hope your travels are going well too!

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  4. NIce to be able to experience all aspects of travel and accommodation on this journey. I am impressed with you meal service re the gluten free soup. Just enjoy it to the fullest.

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    1. Thank you Contessa. We are impressed with the meals as well, although I don't think they totally understand the gluten thing, but they are so helpful and are trying to arrange alternatives on some of the items. Can't ask for more than that!

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  5. Bet you will sleep better than in a tent! Food looks great!

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    1. Yep, although the tent was pretty comfy, it was only when it was windy that we didn't sleep so well. The food is delicious!

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  6. Hope the rain continues for those folks. Gorgeous accommodations. I'm pretty sure you're really going to enjoy them.

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    1. In some areas they are already getting rain. I hope the areas that really need will be getting some too!

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  7. You're certainly "roughing it" now! :cD

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    1. Yep, a really different concept for us. I think we could get used to this quite easily!

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  8. Howdy R&K,
    Fancy digs, OKAY !!! Great the chef can accommodate Ruth's health problem..
    Have really enjoyed the trip, so far, and think we'll like the 'fancy' part... I won't
    be the same without the bird's nest, the wind or the lion's prowling about camp...
    Just hope the 'company' people don't 'horn-in', for the advertising !!!
    Be calm, relaxed and have a HAPPY DAY !!!

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    1. Thanks Butterbean, they are pretty fancy and food is delicious. There are still the birds' nests and the wind but we can sleep tight. We never did have to worry about the lions though.

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  9. roast springbok..what is it close to ...like beef, elk, etc?

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    1. Springbok are in the antelope family so I would imagine they would taste similar to antelope or deer at home.

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  10. What? No worms on the menu?
    Enjoy the luxury!
    Grace (in Tucson)

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    1. No, they didn't have them on the menu, we disappointed about that, lol!

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  11. Looks like a pretty fantastic dinner! And the accommodations look pretty great too!

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  12. Very cool!. Boy are you guys being treated as royalty. Enjoy it!

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  13. Gorgeous room! What a bed! And what wonderful service to accommodate gluten free. You've definitely moved up town by moving out of town.

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