The real adventure just started, but I didn´t know that, at the moment I crossed the border.
But first things first… For a long time already I wanted to kayak the Oranje river, which is the border between South Africa and Namibia. As I was only travelling with my backpack, I thought it would be a good idea to book a 5 day tour on the Oranje. Normally I am not a big fan of taking part in group tours. But there was no other option, if you do not travel with your own kayak.
To get to the border I took the Intercape bus from Picketberg to Noordoewer, which is already on the Namibian side. The ride was comfy and Intercape played 2 nice movies. The seats can be leaned backwards, so you nearly feel like lying in a bed. Even the feet can be rested on a little extension of the seat. So I was quite relaxed when I jumped off in Noordoewer. It was already dark. The busdriver asked me, if someone will fetch me and everything is ok. “Yees! Sure they will just arrive and fetch me, no worries! Thanks a lot!”
It couldn`t be darker, only the spare lights of the border posts enlightend enough to see. So I thought, ok well, this is Africa and waited half an hour, sitting on my backpack. One hour later I tried to call the number I got from the River Rafters. No answer, the phone was off. It was already 9pm and now I started to worry a bit. I knew the camp was around 10ks from the border post. But I didn`t dare to walk there in the absolute darkness. The cars cannot see me and anyway, will there someone be at the camp? Lonely girl lost at the border post in a foreign country… happy days. After 2 hours waiting I went into the customs building and asked the woman inside, if they could call the number of the company, as I cannot get hold of them. They were supposed to pick me up at 8pm, but no one came. First she told me “Sorry lady, but we are no public centre to make free phone calls.” When I asked her, (now already frustrated) if I should then sleep here in front of her office, she looked at me, laughed and then took the receiver to dial the number. No answer either, so my phone was not broken. No one available in the office (no wonder it was already 10pm). Ok now we have to make a plan, so the nice lady called a colleague of hers. He was a former river guide, before he started to work at customs. He came from his home. He drove me to the camp. But no one was there. LOST… Ok now this story gets really a little bit strange and even a little bit scary. Why is there no one at the camp? They knew I was arriving and I already payed to stay there for the night?! So the man drove me to the next camping ground, to Felix Unite. At least there was some security, who let me in. I was allowed to stay the night at the camp site and speak to the manager the next day, to find out what was happening here… You can guess I didn`t really sleep, too many thoughts were running circles in my head.
Stay tuned, the rest of the story will follow soon!