We found the Thrifty Car Rental kiosk inside the airport among all the other car rental kiosks. There we met again the tourist who had given us his pen to fill out the immigration form. A plane load of people, all required to fill in immigration forms and only one pencil between all. Note to self, next time, bring plenty of cheap pens, but for this time go the the supermarket somewhere and buy some.
Suddenly, we were all plunged into darkness as all the lights in the airport went out. Fortunately the guys credit card transaction had just completed before the power cut.
It did not last long, not even long enough for the eyes to become accustomed to the pitch darkness. Just a few comments and the light returned.
The Rep explained to the the group before us about the extra insurance for car punctures and windscreen damage. He also pointed out that car hire tyres were not allowed to have puncture repairs, it had to be a new tyre. He said that was because they could trust a new tyre but not a repair. Having ascertained that the group in front of us were staying in the Windhoek area he said they did not really need it, so they declined. He had started to multitask, and said to the other group that as we were going up country we would need it.
The group paid for the SatNav they hired and a little while latter it was our turn.
The Rep was a very chatty and friendly person and we were very much on a high of being at the true beginning of our grand adventure. We chatted about where we were going, and he said that the hire was with Your Safari. Then we talked about how much business they get through Your Safari. He said that you don't need a SatNav in Namibia as there are not enough roads to get lost. He gave us a set of maps. Time for the paper work. Did we want the tyre insurance?How much is a new tyre? About N$800. A quick calculation of 19 days at N$150, and we decided to decline. He said that we had big chunky tyres and that we should be OK.
He said he was selecting a car with Namibian plates, as they get allocated some with South African plates as well. That way we will get less hassle from the police.
Multiple signatures later we were sent outside to meet Henry.
Henry went round the car several times filling out the inspection form. We did the same, pointing out the chips in the paintwork.
We loaded the car, mainly filling the back seat, and placed the luggage in the pickup portion. Henry pulled up the tailgate and closed the canopy. We asked him how the tailgate worked as we had not used a pickup before. He showed us how to slam the gate. "Push hard drivers side", the jiggled the keys in the canopy lock until it was closed.
There was no talk through the car, the controls or anything like that, just the exit is over there. We were so excited to be on our way we jumped in and began our most adventurous journey. All was well with the world and we were happy.
35426 km on the clock.
The next article in the series is 'Trans Kalahari Inn our 1st night in Namibia'