All in Africa

At sea, Sweden, Wednesday August 7

Following our train journey on Sunday, tiresome to read about I’m sure, and tiring to experience, it was with real pleasure that we found our boat moored in the midst of a flotilla of tall ships on the Aarhus docks. The whole area was filled with masses of people, vendor’s tents and tall ships at their moorings. The harbour in Aarhus was the final destination of the annual tall ships race which begins and ends in different venues each year. This year’s race began off Bergen, Norway and after 8 day’s hard sailing, finished off Aarhus, the fleet then mooring in Aarhus where a Tall Ships Festival was underway. We joined at the tail end, many of the ships having already left by Sunday afternoon but Blue Clipper and a number of others were still at their moorings…..

Into Jordan 17/10/16

Windhoek like Swakopmund was modern, bustling and clean. We had skirted it when we arrived and drove from the airport to Africats, our first stop in Namibia, the road to which passed through the outskirts of Windhoek. At that time we had the strong impression of its German cultural heritage, many of the older brick building being designed in a recognizably germanic colonial style. On our arrival today, the centre of the city strengthened this impression with graceful old neighbourhoods filled with colonial homes and a thoroughly modern CBD with stainless steel and glass skyscrapers.

Our hotel for the night, the Olive Exclusive Guesthouse, so named not to confuse it with a rival property next door, the Olive Grove Guesthouse, was charming and need I say, not exactly exclusive as it accepted us, scruffy, dusty and the worse for wear after 2 weeks on the road. Very, very large and modern suite and a wonderful restaurant on the property, our only regret was that we were there for only one night. Dinner in the restaurant, a long hot shower, a good nights sleep and off to the airport next morning for our flight to Amman, via Jo'burg and Dubai...

Out of Namibia 14/10/16

In my last post we were heading from Swakopmund to Sossusvlei after a surprising and interesting three days exploring the coast. As usual, a 6 hour drive over gravel roads but before leaving I made sure that we had our route set in my portable gps linked by bluetooth to my iphone and the Tracks4africa app. Road construction and detours out of Swakop so our usual three way discussion ensued, V with her paper map, the gps with its inflexible and naggingly annoying one-track mind and me with the steering wheel and a very short attention span. Finally got ourselves sorted and on the right road south to the &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge.

Not a particularly memorable drive, gravel road and desert so with a brief stop for lunch in Solataire (sic), we pushed on, arriving in mid-afternoon. The lodge, like all &Beyond properties, a stunner, on a rocky rise overlooking miles of flat desert to hills and very large dunes rising in the distance.  There are 12 individual self-contained stone units scattered over the ridge, each with its own deck looking out over the infinite desert views, somewhat reminiscent of Doro Nawas, but there the resemblance ended. Instead of desultory service and a rundown air, the rooms and the lodge were spotless and sparkling, service was pleasant and attentive, rooms luxurious and food some of the best we have had. Only drawback is the 1 hour drive from the lodge to the gates of the Sossusvlei Reserve and a further 1/2 drive from the gates to the beginning of the Sossuusvlei dunes...