Often on this trip I have wished we’d done a self-drive through Namibia; hired a hefty jeep and road-tripped our way up the Trans Kalahari, fully loaded with snacks and supplies and a tent to fix to the top of the wagon.
However, our trip to Spitzkoppe, so thoroughly exceeded our expectations that being in a group (of now 24) actually enhanced the experience by a mile.
For the first time in several days, the clouds cleared and a magnificent sunrise heralded brilliant blue, cloudless skies. We were driven south until rocky hillcrops started to appear, the road turned to sand and our final destination, the bulky mountain, Spitzkoppe (meaning sharp head) rose impressively, glowing copper in the sunshine.
The afternoon was free to explore as we wished. Excited to stretch our legs after days of truck travel, we scrambled up rocks, took pictures under a natural bridge and did our best to avoid scorpions and snakes.
At 430pm a guide arrived to take us oto the 4000 year old san bushman cave paintings, pointing out various flora as he did so. One plant, more deadly than the spit of a black mamba, was so toxic that 24 men who had used its roots as firewood to cook their meat had all died on the spot.
The moon was already up and we were back in time for sunset. A group of us loaded ourselves up with beer and g&t and climbed to the top of a rock hill. I couldn’t tell you how far the eye could see but it felt like we were looking out to the curvature of the earth. Incredible.
We sat, chatted, drank, took some silly photos whilst Doug nearly had a hernia over our antics (he no likey the heighty) and the sun sunk quickly, a burning orange orb, casting us into silhouette.
A chicken poiky dinner was ready on our return, homemade lemon meringue pie for pud and campfire guitar for digestif.
Under a starry African sky we lay our sleeping bags, curled up next to a rock, gazing at the stars, feeling like the luckiest people among the planets.