Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Spitzkoppen day 1

Having been travelling almost every day for the last couple of weeks it was time to down tools for a couple of days and just vegetate or at least vegetate as much as I am capable of.

We hadn't yet decided whether or not we were going to stay two nights or three.  First impressions of the place would be that one night would be enough but in the end we decided to stay three nights and have two really peaceful relaxed 'rest' days before the long drive home which will be about 2000km over two and a half days.

Having said that it was a rest day I was up at 05:00 to go to a koppie just outside of Spitzkoppe which should have had fantastic views of the mountains.  The views were great but the weather wasn't playing ball and we had clouds, the first clouds that we have seen for two weeks.  At 05:30 it is still pitch black but I was determined to be there for the pre-dawn, finding the koppie proved to be quite difficult because there are no signs and the headlights on the road mean that everything else is invisible.  Finally found the koppie, funny to think that one could misplace a mountain, and then clambered up it in the dark with my tripod and camera case.  This camera case is wonderful in many ways but climbing a koppie in the dark isn't one of them.  Finally got to the summit and as day dawned ... cloud so no nice rays of sunshine illuminating the distant mountains and after waiting until 07:30 I gave up and headed for home.

At least getting home there was something to look forward to ... pancakes and coffee.  Washing up, putting the awning up and having a shower took us to 11:00 at which point we both hid in the shade of the awning.  Temperature was in the low 30's and we are still very close to the middle of winter.  This place must bake in summer.

With my new guy ropes I found that the central pole's guy ropes can be put onto the same pegs as the corner pegs but in the wind the pegs would slowly but surely work their way out.  It is definitely better to have a peg per guy rope and not to share pegs.

Having finished Moeletsi Mbeki's diatribe it was back to Steven Pinker, this time the "The language Instinct" which is pretty interesting but not what one would call light reading ... at all.

We spent most of the afternoon under the awning reading and having a few snacks until about 16:30 when we went out for a 90 minute drive around the entire mountain range and that was at about 30km per hour to give some indication of just how big the mountains are.

I managed to get a couple of photo's but nothing to write home about so we'll try again tomorrow.  The bird list continues to grow and we added a Mountain wheatear and a Ruppell's Korhaan.

Back at camp and after supper Caron was getting the coffee pot out of the box and found a mouse looking guiltily at her ... he had been having a fine supper on our bread so the rule that one follows in wild camps where animals are prone to trashing one's camp to get at edibles still applies here.  Food stays in the car and never in the tent.  We took most of the items out of the box and then tipped the box over so that he could get out but when I had it at about 30 degrees he tried to scrabble out but there just wasn't enough purchase so his legs were going ten to the dozen but he wasn't actually moving forward.

For some reason I am tired and we were in bed and asleep at about 21:00.

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