Alora, the time has come, when my almost 3-week adventure with equip Italia is soon to be ended. I have much more time to explore Botswana, whilst the Italian caravan invades Namibia and flies out of Windhoek shortly after. It has been an extremely positive experience for me, the lone monkey and his zebra.
I learned a lot about cars and pasta, and Italian hospitality. We had some incredible experiences together, seen some breathtaking landscapes, had plenty of pasta and ‘Spritzer’, sat and joked around the open fire, but most important of all, we traveled together as one.
I certainly think so and reading the body language, the only language I clearly understood in between, so did each one of my adopted Italian family. Grazie moltissimo.
Although, there were a few times when I got a little annoyed, waiting on a decision to be made. I blame my fiery star sign for impatience, which never lasted for long. One of them was to decide which way to drive to ‘Tsolido, the mountains of gods’. There was an easy asphalt option or an uncertain track in wild terrain. My preference was obvious, but this track looked extremely difficult, a track better driven in convoy. The sun was heating the soft sand by the minute, time wasn’t on our side. It was late afternoon by the time the decision was made. We took the easy option, bummer.
During a coffee break, a group of young kids stared at Zimba.
Too cute to look at.
After taking a few photos, I went over to show them.
Their reaction was unbelievable as if they never seen a photo of themselves.
Which is most likely the case.
Whilst doing so, a bakkie with 3 young men and 3 women passed. They stopped shortly after and disembarked the vehicle.
Selling traditional jewelry, the women were hoping for some business. After some time, I gave in to buy a necklace made out of ostrich shells.
A little reminder on my way out western Botswana. I eventually arrived after sunset at this ancient spiritual site. The dust was so fine, that it laid in the air like fog, covering streets and savanna.
Something I haven’t seen before either. Too bad the sun had set already, as these would have been some incredible photos in fading sunlight. The hot air on the ground kept these fine particles in the air, or maybe it’s a ghostly appearance from the ancient past?
I set up camp within the Italian fortress, as our last night of togetherness. No one else was aware that we would part different ways tomorrow, I am actually not sure why. As I announced our last spritzer toast, a few surprised faces looked at me. I will get to Namibia in a few weeks time, not just yet.
As I got the fire going, Claudio thanked me for our journey together. ‘I really hope that we will stay in touch, and who knows, maybe one day we will drive together again through the African bush.’ Who knows, but I sure like that idea. ‘If you come to Italy, remember you always have friends there’. ‘But you are never there’ I replied jokingly. Even his youngest daughter Vittoria said she didn’t want me to leave. How very cute is that? After fasta pasta and presto pesto, it was showtime once again, the photos of the day. What I enjoy most, are the glaring eyes and excited faces. A truly satisfying moment. A happy gathering around the fireplace with a few gin tonics left us for bedtime.
For the first time in a while, I got up last. I will stay at Tsolido Hills for another night, before heading back to Maun tomorrow. The 3 Italian vehicles had an extra day holiday and stayed on as well.
I joined Claudio and the leaving Italian convoy for a quick tour around the ‘male hill’ to witness some ancient rock paintings.
An incredible achievement for very early humankind. The SAN people are believed to the first off the Homo sapien evolution. The cradle of human life started right here.
It was a happy atmosphere,
Maybe with a touch of sadness in the air.
One last coffee together, before… ooops. Claudio fell asleep behind the wheel. Ha ha, at least he wasn’t driving this time!
It has been a stressful holiday for him and charming wife Frederica. They have been leading by example, organising and cooking without any complaints.
Very well job done, thank you again. He then gave me a bottle off champagne and a bottle of Aperol, for one last giant ‘Spritzer’. How thoughtful.
Some last farewell handshakes and hugs, the biggest came from little cutie Vittoria, before they set off in usual dusty fashion.
Crocodile Giovanni left one of his ‘Dundee’ pants with me, which I gave to a local San-man.
That made him very happy he said.
‘Tsolido, the Mountains off gods’ is a mystical place.
Like ‘Ayers Rock’ in Australia’s red center, these hills can be seen from a long way out in the desert. Both sacred sights have similar ancient cultural significance to the lands earliest settlers. Called the ‘louvre in the desert’, it is well known for its 4000 rock painting in over 200 sites. People come from all around the world and it is not to be missed. I would have preferred to walk around this area, but spending time with friends was just as important.
First to see was a rock in the shape of Africa’s continent. How does that work out?
Most of the paintings were African wildlife. Giraffes,
a pack of wild dogs and
Surprising is a painting showing whales and penguins. These would have been seen out on the west coast on their nomadic lifestyle.
The Bantu settled in this area, farming and domesticating animals.
The Khoi-San used the caves as temporary housing.
A giant Baobab tree adds to the ancient feel,
some other trees looked rather spooked.
Dry and thorny, the flora around appeared like a barbwire fence around these hills.
A natural defense system.
Though, most plants and trees are used either for food, medical or practical purposes. Wildlife passes by now and then as well.
Even nowadays, ceremonies are still held by all clans around.
It is a dusty road to get here, but it’s worth the effort. Locals are extremely friendly, skies are clear and bright and the spirits are always high.
I joined Augustine and co for dinner. Italian cheeses and salami were brought from home and were absolutely delicious. Thank you very much. Bush TV was lit and it was a tranquil atmosphere all around.