I'm not a natural blogger and I'm no techie. I'm an ultra trail runner by passion, and a journalist by profession - in that order of priority.In this blog I use the one to talk about the other - my trail thoughts, musings and meanderings about running mountains and trails.I call it rockhoppin', just because... well... that's what we trail runners love to do!
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Namibia, horizons of green desert
Cape Town and Namibia are contrasting worlds in so many ways, and coming home after even just two weeks there, takes some adjusting. During our week of exploring, we clocked up about 3 000km of driving, and I’ve never seen so few people. There was just no one about for miles and miles. I guess that’s understandable when you think that Namibia, with its surface area of 824 268km2, has just 2.2 people per km2. It’s three-quarters the size of South Africa and yet its population is about half a million less than Cape Town’s. Gets you thinking.
I’ve travelled in many countries, developed and developing, but I’ve never experienced one that felt so remote, so isolated, so empty. To me Namibia was endless space personified.
It’s also a land of contrasts. From the burning red dunes of Sossusvlei and the bleached white crustiness of Dead Vlei, to the lush green thorny bush around Etosha and the knee-high grass that coats the country from north to south since the heavy summer rains, Namibia is filled with visual contradiction. In the past two months there’s been flooding in various regions of the country, with roads and bridges washed away from the heaviest rains experienced there in 120 years. And yet Walvis Bay remains one of the driest established cities in the world, with an annual rainfall of only 10mm.