It’s gonna be bumpy

It’s gonna be bumpy

from Windhoek to the Namib Rand Nature Reserve

This is a common statement made by the bush pilots. Often younger than their aircraft, and sometimes accompanied by a soup spoon.

The vintage 1985 Cessna would classify as an “oldtimer,” but the pilot just laughed and reassured me that it’s no problem to obtain spare parts. Then why did he have a soup spoon in the cockpit? He answered with a shrug. He trusts the spoon more than some of the dials on the dashboard. That’s why he’s added a scale along the handle. I decided not to pursue the matter.

Today on the flight from Windhoek to the Namib Rand Nature Reserve the prophecy of bumpiness was truly fulfilled.
But the breathtaking scenery unfolding below us more than made up for the discomfort of the unsteady flight. At first there were a few farms, some cows and goats, but soon all signs of civilization dissipated and the colors changed from green to ochre and tones of orange. The gentle rolling hills gave way to jagged mountains and directly behind the mountains, the beginning of the Namib.

The landing was as spectacular as a rollercoaster ride. Once on the ground, it took awhile before my legs were steady enough to carry me again. Unperturbed, the oryx antelopes near the landing strip watched us with complete tranquility.


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