Days 323,324

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Some pics got caught up in the 2 previous posts… however these few get us back on track for next post…

Days 323,324… Orange River/Western Cape
Day 323… We depart Fish River Canyon, it’s a 5 hour transit (275 km) to Noordoewer. Traditionally known as the Gariep River, the Orange River is the longest in South Africa (2200 km) with wine vineyards along parts of the shoreline. Its source is high up in the Drakensberg mountain range in Lesotho and it flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay in South Africa. The Orange River is responsible for transporting diamonds and creating the deposits that can be found along the Namibian coast. We get to pitch the tents on the scenic banks of the Gariep (Orange) River for our final ever night of camping… well… MY final night anyways. I fully intend to upgrade to a room tomorrow night. In the afternoon, 6 of us decide to indulge in a canoe trip down the Orange River. On the way i meet yet again my sandboarding pals and cruise down 12 kms of river, nice and relaxing… until literally the last 50 meters. At the end point before some shallow but tricky to navigate rapids, the wind picks up terribly and turns the last tiny leg into hell. I have to use every ounce of strength to steer… and the harder it gets the cranking i get. Eventually we get through and run again ground 5 meters from shore again grounded in just loose it. I get out and and stomp to shore straight to the bar for again grounded beer to calm the nerves. Haven’t been angry for a while and some steam needs venting. But that done i sit down to chat and enjoy our cook Mike’s yet again luscious meal of BBQ pork chops and baked potato. Yum.

Also, may i note… this is THE LAST TIME I CAMP IN A TENT… EVER with luck… for the rest of my life if i can help it. Screw camping! Not to discourage anyone who likes it or wants to camp… but i am DONE.

Day 324… Depart first thing the following morning to Citrusdal and take the opportunity to have some easy nice relaxing mountain walks around the surrounding countryside and various wine farms after we cross the border from Namibia to South Africa itself. We also have to change truck-buses as the number plates don’t translate to South African law. At the vineyard i upgrade and enjoy a beer at the pool while the rest of both groups  (my intrepid and sandboarding pals) take in the heady aromas, delicate fruity undertones and bodies of a wine tasting experience. After a final meal, we all do a heartfelt set of goodbye speeches in our final “blah blah” meeting, it’s been lovely, loved Botswana and Namibia with great people and tho the area has been through so much political war and fire… the people still have happiness and hope and and a good future ahead. Heck, even our guides/crew have enjoyed our time and we are one of the best and most memorable they’ve had. Nice. Then we return to the bar for drinks, music, dancing and a few games of pool before retiring 1 last time. Of note here in the bar is a taxidermied impala BUTT… as opposed to a head… and it is rigged to pour beer from the bum hole! Much lols to be had…

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