BootsnAll Travel Network

July 19th, 2008 – Etosha National Park, Namibia

Today we woke up early to eat a quick breakfast and load up the truck for morning game drive.  Truthfully it wasn’t all that good.  We saw a few new birds and some male versions of animals we had already seen but nothing great.  When we got back it was time to sit out in the sun, read a book, and relax before lunch.  After lunch we had another game drive and a lot of the group did not want to go.  I decided that I would go for fear that I would miss the black rhino or the lion up close and personal, well not that personal.  After lunch though I relaxed a bit more, read my book, which is excellent and I am more than half way through thet 585 page book about Bombay, India and how crazy the city really is.  I also took a much needed shower, which was very nice and hot, thats three hot showers in a row, my luck has been good with that lately.


The highlight of the afternoon game drive was playing with the mud in the Etosha Pen or plain not sure the exact name.  Basically at one point in history, Etosha had a huge lake, but over time with the lack of water and extreme heat in the summers, it dried up and what was left was about 4 feet of mud, mixed with a very high concentration of salt.  We took the truck almost to the end of the road, got out and since we couldn’t stand in the mud even though Frank did by accident, we through rocks as high as wel could in to this seemingly perfect mud bath waiting on happen.  When a rock hit the mud, big or small it would splatter and thick pools of mud would fly in the air and make a really cool noise, things like this never get old.  I really wanted to stick my feet in the mud, but there would have been no way of getting it off, plus my skin was dry and chalky enough.  Being in the desert for the past number of days has really taken a toll on my body.  My skin has never been drier and coarser.  The water from the showers are so soft that it is impossible to get soap and shampoo off your body so when I come out of the shower I am never fully clean. 


Another highlight of the afternoon game drive was seeing the curry bastard, which is slowly becoming my favorite bird ever, soley because of the name.  I know I have misspelled the first name it might be curi or corrie, but nonetheless I love it for the second part of the name.  It happens to be a rather big bird.  We also saw a male impala with about 20 female impalas and it usually how the breeding happens with them, lucky guy!  Also we saw a Giraffe really close which was cool, but besides that no lions or leopards which everyone on the truck was desperate to see.  When we got back I went to the tourist shop to pick up this thin pamphlet type book about Etosha.  It should pictures of all the animals and birds in the park as well as a map and some history.  I also picked up a six pack of some Hunters Cider.  It wasn’t Savanna but it would do.  I had some Savanna in the truck cooler, but they were warm and I wanted a cold refreshing drink after the long day of driving through the park on terrible gravel and bump-filled roads.


When I returned to camp it was just in time for the sunset.  I brought two Hunter’s with me and went with some of the gang to watch the sunset at the watering hole and too if there were any animals there.  There were a few zebras but not much was going on.  The sunset was nice and the weather was even nicer, another great African Sunset!  After the sunset I went  back to camp and Sarah tought us a really cool card game to play, but I am unsure of the name in English.  Basically you played with a partner and each team has a secret signal.  We deal out all the picture cards and aces in the deck and one six.  Everyone is dealt four cards and one person is dealt five.  The one with five starts and passes a card to their left.  The object of the game is to get four of a kind in your hand.  If you get a six at any point you can’t pass it for one full turn.  When you or your partner gets four of a kind the secret signal must be relayed and then the opposite team player must slap their hand down, then your partners who made the signal must come after.  If the other team gets their in between the other’s teams they get the point, if your team gets both hands in on time you get the point.  You can get points for correctly guessing the other team’s signal, but if you are wrong, you lose a point for guessing.


The game was so much fun and extremely anxious at times.  Hannah and I had to change signals a few times but we held our own for most of the game.  In the end we lost in Sudden death 14-12 after I blew an easy point and jumped the gun going for my hand slap.  Also before dinner we played hearts but that only lasted for one round.  Then after dinner we played the game Sarah taught us.  After the game several of us went to the watering to see what was going on.  We saw a family of three Rhinos drinking and had just missed a pack of Hyienas!  Damn, but it was cool to see rhinos even though I still haven’t seen them during the day which would give me a chance at a decent photo of them.


Since we had been warned that day about making too much noise and Nomad, the company had been fined a steep 1600 rand for four of us sleeping outside the night before, everyone was in their tent at 10pm.  Since Rob was sleeping in Carolina’s tent, I got the tent to myself, which I was happy about.  Tonight the only snoring that would be occuring would be coming from me and not Rob.



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