From Ngepi Camp to the Meteorite
After our sojourn on the houseboat, it was back on the road through the last western section of the Caprivi strip, skirting the border of Angola to the north. We passed through nondescript towns and turned southwards, with the land becoming drier as we headed on.
We passed through yet another checkpoint on the road, at the so-called Red Line, where we were searched for fresh food and had our shoes and tyres once again disinfected. The Red Line marks the difference in Namibia between large, rich cattle farms to the south and subsistence farms to the north - put less gently, first world to the south and third world to the north.
At Grootfontein, a town in large writing on the map but in reality a small country town all closed up for the weekend, we turned off towards Etosha National Park with one important stop along the way - the Hoba Meteorite. At 54,000kg this is the world's biggest lump of space metal and it was found in the 1920s on a farm here. It arrived a while ago, around 80,000 years ago and must have made a hell of a thump. It was quite an impressive lump of metal (84% pure iron - and no rust, 15% pure nickel and the rest, bits of other metals), but as it just sits there and doesn't do a lot, five or ten minutes is sufficient time to spend with it.
Our camp that night adjacent to the meteorite was in what must be the worst campsite in southern Africa where we have become used to really pleasant and well equipped campgrounds. The cows had to be chased out when we arrived, leaving us to negotiate our way around their fresh cowpats - something not too easy at night; the water was stoked up with a wood fire for us, but soon went out; the shower (no roof) was only a dribble as the tank ran out; only one toilet (with no roof) worked and then that one didn't flush; there was no undercover area to cook and eat in, etc etc. Still, it was only one night!
And it poured!