Happy New Year

As is my habit, I could not sleep and was up at 6:00 am, showered, and out writing and reading by 6:45, leaving Ron to sleep in. No one but the staff was up at that hour. I had breakfast alone in the breakfast room after playing with the owner’s two bulldogs and dachshund. I found out she also breeds Persian cats and African parrots besides. The dachshund decided to join me for breakfast hoping for something to fall from the table. We were never introduced, so I am not aware of his name, but it was definitely a ‘he’. The breakfast buffet was full of choices of breads, cheeses, yogurts, juices, and a hot corn dish similar to Crème of Wheat in texture. When I was offered eggs and unidentified meat, I settled for a plain omelet that was cooked perfectly. The corn meal was too interesting not to try and was told to add hot milk and sugar to it. Mr. Dachshund never left my side, deciding I was his new best friend, the little beggar. He finally conned me out of my last bites of the omelet. Shortly after 10:00 am, we were in the truck and on our way again. With Dirk and Harm gone, we claimed the front seats, which is considerably more comfortable for my leg. When we were all on the truck, Bruce told us that Anna and Rikard Rasmusson had written us a letter and read it to us. They told of their adventures since they left our group and how much they missed us. It really made many of us teary-eyed that these two children would take the time and effort to write us a letter and get it to our pension before we arrived. We asked if they were still in Windhoek this morning, but they had already left. It felt like we drove for days, but it was only noon when we pulled into a B and B parking lot for a potty break. However, this was also the occasion our fifth flat tire. The break was much longer than expected. We never did find out for sure if they fixed it or not, but we drove the next hour to our next accommodation, where Bruce was going to call the company to have the tire repaired for sure. The truck only has two spares on the back; we have gone through them and had others repaired. This is Bruce’s record for flat tires on a trip. Arriving at Zelda’s Guest Farm (www.zelda-game-and-guestfarm.com) we received our rooms keys and again we were out in the suburbs of the cottages. The only ones farther away were Bruce and John. Although the room was spacious, it was hideously decorated with gaudy murals on every wall, including the bathroom. Alongside the toilet was a sign laminated with “A Message from Mr. Toilet”. This was really over the top. The sign bordered on gross. Even for a third world country, this place was 30 years out of date with the décor. We had until 7:30 free when we would meet for dinner. This place has a cat rescue, so there was an opportunity to watch them feed the cats if we chose to. They have cheetahs, a leopard, and a lynx who are in captivity since farmers have complained about their killing livestock. The choice was to keep them here or the farmers would shoot them. They go through a retraining program and at some point will be released into Etosha National Park. Tonight I had dish cleaning duty with Wilfred and we finished it in short order. Bruce had a fish dinner and vegetables, but had a vegetarian version for those four of us who did not eat fish. Ron was going to try to get a card game going, but the lounge was closed, so there was no where to congregate with light. It is interesting how inhospitable many of these larger places are for guests. Omo and Jean wanted to watch the news, but could not because the owner’s wife was watching her soap opera. This is a good size place with lots of rooms, yet they close the public meeting areas when the owners go to bed and the guests are left hanging. Our mileage today was 250 km, racking up 3990 so far.