I was recently privileged to transport 8 guests from Cape Town for them to participate in a 10 day Horse-riding experience in Namibia! As I’ve had little contact with horses or riding and only once been by air to Namibia, the relative unknown added to my normal excitement at meeting and engaging with new people, buoyed me 🙂
This blog is the first of a few I will be writing as a result of this adventure as I ‘Took time to Wonder! As my official job was driving and not guiding this time, it gave me opportunity to take much more notice of the ‘journey’.
And Oh how this beautiful country opened herself for me to truly experience ‘Wonder’ in a very real way! This southern part of our neighbouring country literally doesn’t dress up! She just completely reveals herself, raw, naked, splendid, totally exposing her exquisite natural beauty. Her breath-taking allure was a far cry from the green, dense, fynbos and floral richness back in my home of Cape Town. The suddenness of change in scenery from what we left behind stunned me!
Our jump from comfortable, decorative, warm Olive Tree B&B accommodation in Springbok, across the border into stark desert surroundings was drastic! From warm air-conditioned, hot water bottle bliss one night, to a bedroll and stretcher under the stars simplicity, the impact on my senses was immediate!
As I gazed up to the Heavens, the milky way splashing across the black background, the billions of stars, constellations, planets and the odd shooting star and satellite stealing from the darkness, I felt my breath catch in my chest…….My heart pounded and I tried to absorb it all. The talk of scorpions and potential encounters with animals like hyenas or jackals from earlier campfire chats faded as I realised how extraordinary this display was. My own belief in a Creator soared as I surveyed this extraordinary beauty above me!
The next night was bitterly cold and I was glad our hosts had supplied us with such warm bedrolls…mine named Rhino 🙂 Ice had glazed over the vehicles, our bedrolls and anything left in the open. Climbing out of bed, with a small mat below keeping away creepy-crawlies was a struggle!
The following days I was transported to a place where my sense of ‘Wonder’ was awakened, the Fish River Canyon, hot mineral pools, distinct Quiver trees, miles of sand and rock, cliff faces, cool, clear nights and majestic sunrises and sunsets bringing a stillness that was tangible! As the camp fires, potjiekos meals and presence of horses and riders added to this unique ‘other world’ experience, I found myself so thankful for the opportunity to leave cares and technology behind and grab this amazing period to soak in the simplicity, yet expansiveness of it all!
To experience this all in the company of folks who had started out as passengers, as well as the crew of Namibian Horse safaris, all of whom had become closer to each other and to me, was a blessing indeed.
Its good for us all to ‘Take Time to Wonder’!