Saturday, November 11, 2006

In Melville, toward Namibia

We left Kruger today after a full 5 days of the park, a place teeming with death, the risk of death and life. We're back in Johannesburg, in a neighborhood called Melville, a hip and happening place with many used bookstores, cafes, bars and restaurants. It is a nice treat after 5 hot, dusty days of driving many hours to see the many animals and reach our accommodations for the night -- including a few mishaps like driving the wrong way, undoing in the afternoon the whole drive we did that morning, unrealized until we reached our original departure point. Of course at that point we never could not make it to our planned destination.

I attribute this to being in the southern hemisphere and therefore the light not quite the opposite but different from what we expect... of course that is my opinion, hee hee, not shared by my friend who does not let us off the hook so easily. I have no sense of direction, I admit fully, and practice seems not to bring improvement. And we both space out from time to time, going deep into the inner terrain where it's damn interesting and apart from all things concrete and worldly, including getting from point A to point B.

I'm ready to leave South Africa. For all its overcoming of the poison of apartheid and the ground-breaking, precedent-shattering move to reconciliation, I feel weary of the furrow-browed, long looks of suspicion, unopenness.

Tomorrow I leave for Windhoek, Namibia, and I pick up another rental car and drive throughout northern and central Namibia and the Okavanga Delta in Botswana for 2 weeks.

Namibia is a naturally harsh, mysterious and singular environment. For much of its history, the extreme environment was deemed inhospitable and insurmountable (to the outsiders).

Can't wait to see with my own eyes.


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