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  • Writer's pictureJoanna

The Single Supplement

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

Ahhhh... life on the dusty road. Everything I own is either dirty, covered with sand or inundated with dirt & dust. We were up and out of the camp by 8AM... with the promise of another long drive ahead of us... again.

This time though, we were preparing to leave the desert for a few days and our destination for the next couple days was Swakopmund - a coastal town known for its extreme sports. Most of us were excited to hit this town for a two main reasons;

  1. Laundry

  2. A bed - bliss... we were leaving the tents behind for a couple nights

When I say, ‘most of us,’ I meant ME. I was ecstatic.

In desperate need of clean laundry and comfortable bed... I was also getting tired of having Dune 45 filling my tent each day... and I was getting a little sick of the daily set up and tear down.  ... in saying this, I realize it’s only been a week and I signed up for 20 days of camping. Maybe someone needs to have a chat with me before I make a decision like this again. David made a comment that the accommodation in Swakomund, we might be sharing... in a dorm. Not super impressed with being in a dorm, considering I paid quite a bit extra to this tour for the “single supplement” but right there and then, I silently prayed to the Namibian Desert Gods to please ensure that I didn’t have to share a room with British Humour and Whaaaaaat?

It took a while to leave desolate behind... and there was a lot of bumpy& dusty in our day. We stopped a few times for photos and pulled over at the Tropic of Capricorn. Made me wish that I had brought some stickers with me, as the entire sign was covered in them. Once we were on the coast, and getting closer to the Swakopmund, we stopped at Walvis Bay to see the flamingos. Malinga gave us a half an hour to really take in the beauty of the pink birds, but after 10 minutes, most of us were back in the truck , shivering... and ready to go.  It was cold at the ocean.

We weren’t in the desert anymore.

Between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, we did make one very important stop. Wait for it... Wait for it... The Mall!

We were given 1 hour at the mall, to get supplies, shop, stock up... have lunch. I shopped... but actually only bought two things. The other day, during one of our dinners, Whaaaaaaaat? approached me with MUCH concern, worried that she wasn’t able to help with washing up after each meal because the soapy water was hard on her delicate finger tip I wish I had that problem. Of course, I suggested she ask David and Malinga if they had rubber gloves somewhere in the truck. Revelation.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh!... and off she went to make the inquiry. She came back almost immediately to report to me that they didn’t have any gloves. They suggested that she do other things if her fingertips were such a problem. She was content with that answer, but I assured her that if we were in a grocery store or dollar store anytime soon, I would pick her up a pair.

... And that is exactly what I did.

A cheap pair of yellow rubber gloves. I was quite proud of myself for remembering and I knew that Takako would be touched. When we were all back at the truck, I approached her, with her present behind my back and a big smile on my face. “I bought you a present!” I announced, beaming with anticipation at presenting her with her little gift. “Whaaaaaaaat?” I whipped out the gloves and presented them to her. She looked at them with pure disgust and with full distain in her voice, said “No! I do other things.” She wouldn’t accept them, let alone cast her eyes upon them. When I tried to explain that I told her that I was going to buy them for her, she simply replied, “You do dishes. You wear them.” Gloves gone. In the garbage. Gift #1... shit.

For my next party trick, I bought Malinga a new potato peeler. The one for the truck was horrible to used and I simply could not tackle one more carrot or potato with it. He loved it. He even said thank you. Gift #2 restored my faith in mankind. I told David and Malinga the story of the rubber gloves and David went and retrieved them from the garbage. Malinga is going to pretend that he got them for Whaaaaaaat? and she how she reacts to him.  Swakompus is known for its extreme sports.

  • Skydiving - that was ticked off my bucket list when I was 19.

  • Bungee Jumping - I think that I’ve made it clear on how I feel about this.

  • Scenic Flight - I’d have to get another job when I get home... well out of my financial league as a solo traveler.

  • Quading in the Desert - definite maybe...

  • Sand Boarding - ... nope...

  • Dolphin cruise, camel rides, village tours, go-carts - ... boring.

Had I hindsight, I would have been all over a dolphin cruise.

Claudia chose nothing because...

And get this...

She likes to kayak... and kayaking wasn’t available.

She gets more odd with each passing day.

David pulled us in to the Swakopmund Activity Centre as soon as we arrived in town. Inside, we all sat down and watched a brief video on what was offered for the following day.

I chose quading in the desert.

I signed up with Sandros, Pascal and Yu. The Spanish and Park did a special combo of quading & sand boarding... not for me.

The Activity Centre was pure chaos. Three girls working a long counter and then 10 deep with bodies shoving their way to the front to either register, pay, ask questions, etc, etc... There were no line ups... it was survival of the fittest. 

Once we had all made our final decisions and signed off on the waivers, it was off to the backpackers. No, do not get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for backpackers. I love the way they, along with International Hostels, make it convenient for people to travel the world without a large financial burden on their shoulders. I spent the majority of my 20’s and 30’s enjoying everything they had to offer... but in my late 40’s, I just don’t want to share a room or a toilet or a shower anymore. I’m just not in to backpackers anymore. I want the complimentary sherry. I want the Pretty Woman tub. I want the mini bar. As I made my way up towards Malinga at the front desk, made my final plea to the powers above. Please. Please. Please.

As soon as I reached the front desk, I saw our names together. Claudia and Joanna. My heart sank and disgust took over. NO!!!!!!!!!  The powers above can f#$k off.

Malinga gave me an apologetic look. I glared at him. You’re not my favourite tour guide anymore” I said. “You suck”

I was going to die.

Claudia was right behind me and when she saw that she had to share accommodation with me, she refused... left, right and centre. I knew if I left it well enough alone, British Humour would take care of it.

While she stood at the front desk demanding another room, I quietly unpacked... minding my own business... with a big smile on my face. The kids kept running in to my room in bouts of laughter that this had happened. I had a feeling that I was going to have a double bedroom to myself for the next two nights. 

I was right...

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