Oppi Koppi – Back to Namibia (05.01.2012 – 02.04.2012)
We left for Oppi Koppi again.The days had passed and with the New year we get a new visa for Namibia. We had to go back, because our van was still there. Hopefully Robi could get the papers. So we left early in the morning, but did not take the route to Dobe, because rainy season had started, so we were not quite sure if the road was properly. So we took the detour to Caprivi and back to Kamanjab. We made a stop over at Rundu for the night and arrived in Oppi Koppi – welcome us always heartily. We settled again at our old campsite, we feel already at home here. Things started to get bad – Robi has not got the papers for the van yet – so no money. Our business had not developed as hoped, so we were at a point, where we decided to give up and fly back. The plan was that Alexandra flies back home first, getting a job, while I had to manage the destruction of the car, and then fly back home with Tara as well. But wonder happens we got a donation from Alexandra’s father, so we could at least organize the destruction together and fly back home. But life sometimes is strange and when we had decided to do so, suddenly our business started to recover and had the prospect of earning regularly again.
Robi did not get the papers for the car so we tried Lars from the local garage and we had an appointment with customs for the destruction for the next week. They said, Lars had to cut the car into two halfs, then we get the papers of the destruction and our deposit back from the Carnet. Now we had stress because we had to take out all the furniture of the van within 14 days. We could do that in Vital’s garage. We like the couple very much, they became friends and we hope they can continue their dream of traveling again very soon. Thank you Marianne and Vital! When the customs officers appeared the car was already at Lars garage. They wanted Lars to put a chain around the front to tear it apart.
That worked not very efficiently and we learned that anyway we have to burn it. So Lars poured petrol into the car and lit it. It was a real pity – stupid laws – this car could have been used in local traffic or on a farm. We had to pay 1200 N$ (about 160 US$) for the custom, we got the papers and sent it by DHL to Germany.
Tara got tick fever again. So we had to go to Otjiwarongo (210 km) to Dr.Hartman, the vet there, to get her injections and the pills. All in all 1200 N$ (160US$), included fuel. On the way there we ran out of fuel and I had to hitchhike the last 20 km which worked fine, people in Africa are very helpful.
Building the Land Rover at Oppi Koppi
Back at Oppi Koppi we had to build our Land Rover. We had the furniture, which had to be adapted to the Land Rover. It was about 2 weeks work, sawing, screwing, gluing, we made quite a good conversion, which did not coast a penny. We have a cooking space, a bench to sit, a table and a sink inside. And for emergency we could sleep inside as well.
Next to Oppi Koppi we got friends with Anne and Rick, a retired couple, who had been traveling all their life throughout the whole world. They now had retired and build a house next to the lodge, because they were the former owners. Rick helped a lot with the conversion, we built a box for the rooftop together, we got an awning and a tent from them and we frequently sat together to have some dinner and wine and watched their old 8 mm films from their journeys. We like them very much because they are similar to us in a way and we could have interesting evenings with them. Thank you Rick and Anne.
And there was Andrea and Volker from Gelbingen Guest Farm. We knew them already for quite a while but somehow we did not get in closer contact with them. At one evening at Oppi Koppi bar, we came into contact better and Andrea invited us to Gelbingen Guest Farm, because the Internet at Oppi Koppi was broken and hers was working. We got there stayed overnight and she was painting the Land Rover together with Alexandra. In the evening we sat together with them had a couple of glasses of wine and got really friends with them. Andrea has a superb cuisine and fed us until we gained several kilograms. We could also visit a Himba village, which was within her compound. Quite interesting.
Thanks Andrea and Volker. One evening when we got home (Oppi Koppi) it started to rain and within minutes the gravel roads were flooded. There were little ponds on the road and we drove into one that deep, that the mud came in at the gear levers. The car stopped. With several trials we could manage to get out again, but our exhaust manifold was cracked. With last effort we reached Oppi Koppi in the middle of the night.
Next day we made a donkey tour, which is offered by Oppi Koppi to a hill with perfect sunset and then into the Locasi, the area where the Damara people live. There we visited the Disco – quite Interesting!!!
Now time was fleeting. The last weekend we spent at Andrea’s Place and on 02.04.2012 we finally left Oppi Koppi, sad good bye to our friends, knowing that we now will not meet them again for a long time. We will miss them.
See also Crossing Africa