Tsauchab River Camp

 

Tsauchab River Camp was the accommodation for our second night in Namibia. It was easy to find, well signposted, just off the road we were travelling on. I was going to use  the phrase 'off the main road', but that would give the wrong impression. Only road would be a closer representation. It was just as well it was easy to find because we were late for dinner. The delay to the start of our days travel due to the car keys problem had the predictable impact of late arrival at our destination for the day. What we did not know was the impact that would have.

 Dinner at this remote spot is at a set time. Where all the guests sit down to eat at the same time. In this case 7pm. We arrived after that time. Oh no, no dinner!

We were lucky, dinner was held for us. Put back to 7:30. We just had time to drive to the cabin, and back again for dinner. It was apparently important that we see it before darkness falls. The cabin was a mile away from the reception. In Europe that would represent a huge number of cabins to be that far away from the resort centre. Not here though. Low density, in the extreme, with only xxxx cabins on that bumpy road. Beware the rock sleeping policeman part way along the track. Yes, it did make a difference, to go there, and then straight back for dinner.

Metadata

Well, that reflection is not totally accurate. Let's look at some facts. According to the SatNav our trip from reception to our chalet started at 15:46:55 and we arrived at 15:53:25 with an overall distance of 1.05km. However, the SatNav records time as UTC, or as we still call it GMT. Therefore local time being GMT +2, our trip to the chalet was from 17:46:55 to 17:53:25, nearly 6pm not after 7pm. We also tried to remember to take a phone photo of our departure and arrival odometer reading. The phone gave the photo a time stamp as well. Such details are transferred to our Trip Itinerary - Travel and this leg is here. Our arrival at reception was odo 35781 with a phone time of 17:39. The SatNav, just outside the entrance was 15:35. David was also wearing a Garmin Fenix 3 HR watch which, when the GPS was turned on, also recorded tracks. According to the watch we arrived at 15:34:48, the temperature was 33C, the elevation was 1194m, and David's heart rate was 60bpm. His heart rate is of no particular  relevance here, just another piece of metadata. Other sources of information are from the photos we took. All are time stamped, and some GeoLocated with automatic GPS. Again there is a need for some caution around the adjustment of time, but the raw data is there for the calculation to be made. The moral behind all this? If you are contemplating doing a trip like this, or indeed many others, think about which devices would be good to take to help you record relevant data about your trip.

Back to our arrival

We turned through the gate and immediately noticed the artwork and sculptures lining the drive, as shown on the Tsauchab River Camp website. The car park continued the theme. We parked in the full sun, which was beginning to weaken.

Bird on sign

 From wrench to bird

Click on the image to see...

Ok it would be better if it just jumped out at you from the page, but I tried that and just could not get it to work on this page.

Oh yes, we parked in the sun, and went into reception, noticing some of the art work all around. There were still a couple of people in the small blue pool. We were greeted, not my our intended host, but apparently by a the neighbours. Husband and wife who had jumped in whilst the owners had gone to Windhoek for the day.  We were given a glass of homemade lemonade each, but it had something else in it, not alcohol, but something that made it that extra bit special. Given a large key and fob, and directions to our chalet. Turn left at the bird spanner sign and right to 'Spotted Dikkop'. About a kilometer away. The owners like to provide a feeling of seclusion and space.

We forgot to ask and they, being stand ins, forgot to tell us about the dinner arrangements. At Trans Kalahari Inn, our only other experience, dinner was variable both in time and menu.

We duly set back off it the car, suitably refreshed by the lemonade and very happy to have arrived at our second location. Truly out in the wilderness, surrounded by mile after mile of dirt and gravel roads. Statistics of the journey can be found here.

There are something like 14 chalets scattered along the length of the site, close to the dry river bed.

We found our sign and our chalet.

Spotted Dikkop chalet sign

 Our Spotted Dikkop Chalet,

 The grit around the chalet is freshly raked or brushed, probably every day. You can see our new tyre tracks in the grit. That is not the main benefit though. It is the footprints that are the real win. David has a look around the perimeter before we unpack.

Long shadows at the chalet

 Before we unpack and have a look at the inside, lets have a look at the car after half a day on dirt roads. Another tip, leave the quarterlight, at the back of the cars canopy, on both sides, open an inch or so when on dusty roads out of town. Why? The shape of the car creates a slight vacuum at the back of the car as it moves through the air. The low pressure pulls dust into it and the back of the car. Having the quarterlight open releves that low pressure and reduces the amount of dust pulled into the back canopy. Having said that, it does not stop the problem altogether. Also, the quarterlight vibrates closed as you drive alone the deeply corrugated roads. So lets look at the back of the car and the state of the luggage.

Canopy and dust

Luggage after half a day of dirt roads 

 

 The Chalet - Spotted Dikkop

Here David and I have different opinions about the inside of the chalet. Before we go into that, I will describe the chalet.

Outside there is a braai and a sink ready with a stack of wood for a BBQ. A veranda with chairs and table as seen in the photos. Inside, it was basically one space albeit gently divided into three distinct areas, without doors or corridor. The first area, immediately inside the door could be considered a small sitting area, with a table and comfy chairs. A dividing wall behind the chairs gives the illusion of a room, but the wall does not meet either side wall, providing a walking route either side to the bed area. At the end of the bed area, in the centre of the end wall is a door sized gap. Through the open gap to the left is the toilet, and to the right a shower. Without doors on either.

There are widows which are openable, with a 

 

 

Water tank above chaletWater tank and tree above chalet

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