At this time we’re gonna jump back to Namibia for a comparison of green because all through R&R we couldn’t get over how lush and beautiful and alive the US felt. Our hike at Custer Park was abundant with moisture; returning to Windhoek felt like a bit of a dust bowl.
Namibia is lovingly touted by the locals of German heritage as the land of sunshine and beer. There is not going to be any beer in this post. Just the water that we carry with us. That is the only liquid anywhere around, except maybe a bit of sweat that builds up under our jackets in the winter morning chill. By 8:30 am, when the jackets are shed, that too is evaporated. Namibia is parched earth.
Here are some photos from a winter morning walk with the dogs along some trails just on the outskirts of the city. Aside from roaming cattle, we have managed to avoid baboon and warthogs, which is not a bad thing in our opinion. Bezi wears a backpack too and helps to haul water supplies for us all.
Usually at the start of the hike both dogs can’t get enough of the smells — nor enough opportunities to leave a few smells behind themselves. The trails go on for miles and miles and miles and you can easily get lost if you don’t pay attention or have a decent sense of direction.
Now that we’ve hiked these dry, dusty hills a few times, the dogs know when we are heading out. Wookie has developed the habit of racing to the watering dish and loading up her bladder for the challenge and we are thrilled. Dehydration for them too is a real concern here. Being 5,600 feet above sea level complicates things a bit as well. We know of one family’s dog that is suffering epileptic seizures due to this strain on its system. They no longer hike these trails and both of us are frequently turning some of the dogs’ kibble into watery soup at meals to keep them hydrated enough.
We wait now for rain that most likely won’t come for another 3 months. Everyone is hoping La Niña brings us a very wet and early summer. Since these photos were taken 6 weeks back, the earth has burnt and browned even more under Namibia’s harsh sun – it really is a new definition of dry. We still have September to get through which is typically Windhoek’s least humid month, percentages only in the teens. Temperature highs are back into the 80s – you can feel the heat climbing.
Our first fly of the season entered the house yesterday, a sure sign that winter is on its way out. In preparation I’ve been knocking down termite mounds along the fence line of our home – we don’t need to supply any additional troops for the winged swarms that will overtake the yard in the near future with the first drops from the sky. For now the dusty chunks of nest stir up in the strong winds and re-coat everything in its path with a fine layer of brown silt.
But those will be stories, I’m sure, for another day. For now I leave you pondering the story behind this, and with an urge I’m sure for a tall cool glass of delicious clear water. Drink up!