The Plateau

So it’s Friday night in Opuwo and I’m hanging out with Ed and Jeff from Peace Corps.  We get in some games of poker…I’m terrible…and beer pong…can’t lose.  They say they’re going out to the plateau tomorrow to do some camping so I’m naturally in for this.  It’s just outside of town and I see it every day I walk out my door.  Whenever I see a mountain/hill enough times I naturally have to climb/hike it.  We’re leaving by 10am, which sounds reasonable.  The night ends up going later than originally planned and Ed and Jeff have literally high tailed it out of the bar.  I get some sleep after a late dinner.

I wake up and contemplate just laying in bed all day with how good it felt.  No.  Must get up.  I head to Ed’s around 10am and sit around for an hour as he and Jeff get ready.  They’re locals already.

11am we’re off and walk through a part of Opuwo that I haven’t seen yet.  I’m amazed at two things.  One, why I hadn’t seen this part of two yet considering how small the town is.  Two, how much poorer this part of town is…I’ll try and get some pics some time.  

We head out of the town along the road.  The three white guys with backpacks.  Staring is at a maximum.  Ed serves as the guide as he has done this once before.  We just pick a path and head into the bush.  Goat paths everywhere, but they often lead us astray.  We are forced to make our own path.  See one snake as we walk through the high grass.  We discuss the misfortune that a snake bite would bring.  I’m the only one wearing actual shoes.  

The hike up the hill took about an hour and a half which was much quicker than we anticipated.  So much so that we really had nothing to do.  We found a campsite with few rocks.  You see, this is because I have no sleeping pad so the ground is my mattress for the night.  We build a big fire.  We sit around for a while.  It is now about 1pm.  Ed does have a Playboy, Christmas 2001…I laugh.

Ed and Jeff brought about 3 pounds of meat and veggies each.  The spent the afternoon figuring out the best way to cook their food while admiring miss December.  Again, I laugh.  They can’t quite figure out the best way to cook the food and be able to get it out once it is done.  Handles, rock cooking, tshirts are all discussed.  About 2 hours later they both eat more than is healthy while I enjoy my trusty tuna fish steaks.  Lemon Peppercorn is much better than Mesquite, but still not as good as Ginger Soy.  They both pass out by the fire.  

Marshmallows come soon thereafter and we enjoy Kraft’s Coconut and Banana Cream marshmallows.  I’m still not sure why they don’t just make plain marshmallows here. 

We enjoy a sunset.  I fall asleep by the fire.  We end up all going to sleep at 7pm.  I’m amazed I can fall asleep.  The night was good, thicker sleeping bag made this more enjoyable than my night in Onjuva.  The ground was hard, but surprisingly good on my back.  I woke up at 2am feeling refreshed as it was a normal night sleep.  I went back to sleep and got up around 7.  Jeff made a great point, waking up while camping is great.  Love the early morning crisp air.

We packed up.  Found our goat path and were back in Opuwo in about an hour and a half. It was before 9am and I had already accomplished more than I usually do in half a weekend day.  I later confess that I forgot my sunglasses at the campsite, Jeff had done the same thing.  They’ll be there for next time.

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