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Capul ce se pleaca.../ We Get Pwned

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Su Shi

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[still] Namibia 14-24/02

Damaraland

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Pista de pietris serpuia prin una dintre cele mai aride si pustii regiuni rurale din Namibia. Triburile bastinase de pastori Khoisan (Hotentoti) si de vanatori-culegatori San (Bushmen) fusesera alungate de aici de diversii aventurieri si colonisti albi cu mult timp inainte ca macar sa auzim despre acest loc. Fragmente de sate risipite in [cascat prefigurand un adjectiv previzibil] vastul teritoriu. Din cand in cand un barbat Himba insotit de o turma de vite aparea in orizontul incins, un accident in necuprinsul de ocru, alb si albastru. 

The gravel road unwound through some of the most thinly populated and driest Namibian countryside. Long before we ever learnt about this place and dreamt of riding our bike across, its native nomadic inhabitants, the hunter-gatherer San (Bushmen) and the herders Khoisan (Hottentots) had been almost entirely chased away by white settlers, missionaries and venturers alike. Leftover villages were scattered in the [insert yawn here for the predictable adjective] vast territory. From time to time a Himba man with his cattle would appear in the horizon, a speckle in the infinite stretch of ochre, white and blue. 

Pe masura ce orele se scurgeau, potecile au incetat sa mai coteasca in vegetatia salbatica, inspre vreun catun pierdut in grohotis: eram in sfarsit singuri, sute de kilometri intre noi si prima asezare locuita. Acesta era tinutul Damara, una dintre cele mai neospitalier de aride regiuni din lume.

As time passed by, the occasional paths stopped turning into the bush to indicate a village or the remains of it: we were finally alone, hundreds of miles between us and the next human settlement. This was Damaraland, one of the driest environments on Earth. 

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Un cameleon ne-a taiat calea, asa ca ne-am oprit sa-l observam mai de aproape pentru o clipa (scuze pentru manipularea-surpriza)

A chameleon crossed our path, so we stopped to check it out (sorry for the man-handling little fella’). 

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Deasupra intinderii sterpe se desfasura plat un gradient de albastru. Tufe inspinate, manunchiuri de iarba si acacia uscativi impestritau pamantul rosietic ca tuleie de par pe un chip nebarbierit. Am condus prin aceasta cacofonie minerala ore in sir, noi si Tenerele, o creatura straina, singurul obiect in miscare care intrerupea vidul. Nici o coliba tipica din chirpici, nimeni pe drum purtandu-si bagajul pe cap, nici o femeie ghemuita langa pista in asteptarea unei masini de ocazie. Nimeni. Apoi, dintr-o data, bronzul pietrisului s-a estompat intr-un alb stralucitor si pamantul s-a incovoiat de la zero la 1600 de metri: treceam prin Cheile Khowarib.

Above the barren veld rose a flat gradient of blue. Thorny shrubs, tufts of grass and acacia trees swarmed the reddish earth like stubs of hair on an unshaven face. We drove across this sameness for hours, like an alien craft interrupting the astonishing vacancy of the veld. No typical African mud-and-dung huts, nobody walking with their stuff on their head, no women crouching alongside the road, waiting for a lift. No-one. Then the gravel lost its tan and shone white in the midday haze. Luring us to push on, the Khowarib Gorge, where the land suddenly swelled from zero to 1600m. 

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In anii ‘20 Namibia a iesit de sub tutela Germaniei si a fost anexata - pana la independenta din 1990 - uniunii sud-africane. Populatia alba a crescut peste noapte, numerosi sud-africani instalandu-se in vastele ferme, circa 6000, concesionate sau alocate de catre guvern in perioada apertheidului. Triburile bastinase - ceea ce mai ramasese din ele in urma genocidului de la inceputul secolului - au fost nevoite sa supravietuiasca in una dintre cele 10 “rezervatii” pentru “nativi”. La nord Kaokoland, actualmente Kunene, unde traiesc Herero si Himba; in sud est la periferia desertului Kalahari etnicii San; in Namib subgrupul Topnaar. Iar pe platoul central, in aridul Damaraland, etnicii Damara, unul dintre cele trei grupuri cu dialecte articulate de clickuri. Damaraland nu este declarat oficial zona protejata, dar aici supravietuiesc cu adevarat in libertate zebre, antilope Springbok, Oryx, Kudu, girafe, suricate, numeroase specii de pasari si reptile. Ba chiar elefanti si lei de desert, spun zvonurile… undeva in teritoriile izolate dinspre ocean. Extenuati de arsita, am schimbat priviri uimite cu animalele care ne taiau calea, si de data asta, spre deosebire de Etosha, aparitiile durau o clipa. Aici un vehicul motorizat nu e o prezenta obisnuita si pe orizontul din spatele zebrelor nu am vazut profilandu-se silueta betoanelor si a gardurilor electrice. 

In the 20s Germany had to let Namibia go, so the country went to join the Southern-African Union. Until the 1990 independence some 6000 fenced farms were leased or sold by the aperheid government to the new white settlers who flocked in, leaving the “natives” no option but make house in the 10 “reserves”. In the North there was Kaokoland (nowadays Kunene), home to Herero and Himba; the fringes of Kalahari in the South-East became the last frontier of the San; the Topnaars retreated to the Namib. And on the central plateau the Damara, one of the three groups that use a click-accented dialect, established Damaraland. Even today the arid territory is not officially protected, but offers sanctuary to wildlife: zebra, Springbok, Oryx, Kudu, giraffe, suricates, birds and reptiles. Rumor has it that even desert elephants and lions still roam some of the more remote corners of this veld. And this time the animals that wandered about were not unfazed by our sudden and noisy apparition, like the Etosha herds. The encounter would last only for a brief moment, leaving us dumbfounded, wondering if it had been a day-dream or not.

Soon the Grootberg pass forced the road towards east. A jacquard of lava lingered under brittle grasses, few meters high cactuses and freakish stumpy trees with water-filled torsos.

Curand drumul s-a frant spre est prin pasul Grootberg, unde mileniile sunt lizibile in lava impestritata de tufe fragile, cactusi inalti si copaci ciudati, cu ramuri schiloade si tulpini umflate de apa.

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Mormane de bolovani enormi zaceau din loc in loc - stranii jucarii uitate de niste uriasi misteriosi.

Clusters of enormous rocks were laying around in the fuzzy veld, strange toys forgotten behind by some nowhere-to-be-seen giants. 

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Odata Lego-ul de granit lasat in urma, am ajuns intr-un camping unde calatorii de “teapa” noastra sunt primiti sa campeze pe gratis. In albumul de overlanderi am gasit fete cunoscute: oameni pe care i-am urmarit ani la rand in calatorie, dar si prietenii germani si francezi cu care impartisem o bucata de drum prin cele doua Congo, si care erau deja inaintea noastra. Nu mai facusem un dus de o saptamana, aveam rufe de spalat si planuiam sa profitam de fermele de vanat din zona. Dar acesta avea sa fie ceva mai mult decat un pit-stop rapid pentru cei doi vagabonzi romani pe moto. Pentru inceput am hotarat in gluma sa sarbatorim primul nostru Sf. Valentin cu o cina irezistibila, pretul mai mult decat rezonabil parandu-ni-se si mai “chilipir” din pricina economiei la cazare.

Pass the granite Lego, we rolled into the newest Namibian overlanders’ joint (complete with overland album where we could spot familiar faces like Margus & Kariina, Alper & Esther, the Vidals). Our original plan was to take our first shower in a week, do some launder and feast on the famous Namibian farmed game, but this place was to become more than just a pit stop for us, protein hungry, dirty vagabonds. For one, as we arrived on the infamous 14th of February, we celebrated the Valentine’s Day for the first time, the main incentive being the specials on the menu: butternut soup, zebra sirloin with veg and, yes, ice-cream! As camping was free, splurging on the very reasonable dinner set menu was a no-brainer.

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Cum ne pregateam pentru periplul sud-african, era momentul sa exersam la braai, aruncand pe gratarul traditional carnati boerwors, mushiulet de vanat, vita si savuroasele ciuperci care cres in varful termitierelor.

And as South Africa was already on our radar, it was time to start practicing our braai skills, sporting boerwors, farmed game and the famous termite mushrooms we had chased in vain in Etosha a week ago.

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Campingul era un fel de gradina ciufulita: ciulini, acacia, cactusi, arbusti cu pastai care au inspirat-o pe Ana sa le poarte ca bijuterii ad-hoc. 

The rest camp was a hippy garden of sorts: prickly bushes, cactuses, pod bearing trees that Ana felt inspired to wear as instant jewelry.

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O poza ne-editata a locului nostru de camping, in lumina ireala a unui apus obisnuit aici.

An unedited photo with our campsite scalded in the surreal sunset.

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Intalnire de gradul 2 cu Malaria/ Malaria Scare

In doua zile eram gata: spalati, tunsi, un picut odihniti. Dus cu apa calda, hartie igienica la baie, electricitate si priza la nas, langa cort - tot acest lux incepuse sa ni se para banal. Uitate incepeau sa fie saptamanile mizere in glodul din Congo, cand ne stergeam cu frunze si ne spalam pe maini o data pe zi cu cateva picaturi de apa si rareori cu sapun. In acele vremuri cel mai sigur mod de a ne face toaleta de dimineata era sa strangem in palme manunchiurile de iarba mustind de roua. Dintre amintirile albe si negre insa, una, poate cea mai urata, avea sa iasa la suprafata in ajunul plecarii, schimband totul.

Two days later we were ready: showered, shampooed, hairstyles, well rested. We had started to get used to and take for granted all these first world luxuries - heated water (actually running water), T.P., electricity and easily available plug, right by the tent. Long were forgotten our scruffy days in the Congo, when we would save any drop of water and milligram of soap, washing our hands by squeezing a tuft of  grass heavy with morning dew. But one of the bad memories, if not the worst of them all, was to come back and haunt us once more. 

O senzatie ciudata de “nu stiu ce” mi cuibarise in stomac de dimineata, spre amiaza a debutat o durere surda in oase si incheieturi. Noaptea aveam febra, nu cine stie ce, asa ca ne-am zis sa manam plecarea, sa mai asteptam o zi, sa vedem ce si cum. A doua zi ciclul s-a reluat: mai multa febra, migrene … si toata ziua am zacut in cort lipsit de puteri. Am urmarit paranoici graficul de simptome: Ana retraind momentul Matadi, eu din ce in ce mai convins ca am malarie. Cu doua saptamani mai devreme Esther se internase in Windhoek cu malarie si, pentru ca urmase tratamentul relativ tarziu (circa 3 zile de la instalarea simptomelor), suferise o complicatie: insuficienta renala. Au urmat dialize, anularea calatoriei si repatrierea in Germania. La ora tarzie din noapte nu aveam unde sa fac un test de sange, asa ca ne-am sfatuit si am decis sa incep tratamentul de urgenta cu Lonart, un echivalent al Qartem, pe care il cumparasem preventiv in Zambia.

That dreadful morning debuted with a weird feeling in my stomach. By midday my bones and knuckles were aching like hell. At night I was sporting a decent fever, but not too high, so we decided to postpone our departure, to see what was up with that. The next day the cycle restarted: more fever, more head aches… al day I was laying down in my tent, powerless, weaken. The paranoia was on: Ana was reliving the Matadi moment, I was growing more convinced by the hour that I had malaria. On top of all these, we knew that Esther, with whom we had traveled in Congo and who was a bit ahead of us now together with Alper, has been hospitalized in Windhoek with malaria. She had started the treatment with some delay, maybe a couple of days, and she was now suffering from kidney failure, a common but nasty malaria complication. She had been receiving dialysis for about a week and she was about to be repatriated in Germany. Their adventure was over. We decided it was not the moment to take risks, so I started taking Lonart, an equivalent of Qartem, immediately.

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Bomboane pentru malarie

Malaria candy, bought from Zambia.

Dimineata urmatoare am rascolit satul in cautarea cuiva care sa descuie portile noii clinici: moderne, curate, dar dotate doar cu teste de unica folosinta pentru malarie, care se dovedisera neconcludente nu doar in cazul Anei. In plus, luasem deja prima doza de medicamente, deci nu ne-am mirat cand testul a iesit negativ. Un test de sange adecvat nu ar fi soft disponibil decat in Windhoek. Asistentul, care cu siguranta nu a intalnit o persoana bolnava de malarie in viata lui, m-a asigurat ca sunt sanatos, m-a taxat cu 10 euro si mi-a inmanat niste pungute simpatice cu indometacin si multivitamine. 

The next morning we were helped by locals to summon medical assistance at the newly built, but quite desolated village clinic. They had malaria tests alright, the kind that had already been proven unreliable in Ana’s case. I had already taken 2 doses of antimalarial medicine, of course the test came out negative. A proper blood test was available only 500 ams away, in Windhoek. And the nurse, who I can’t imagine had ever treated or even met someone with malaria, assured me I was fine. 10 euros and two cute ziplocks with Indocid and multivitamins later, I was back home. And back on Lonart.

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Si pain-killers + multivitamine de la “doctor”

Pain-killers + multivitamins from the “doctor”

Malaria e o sperietoare ciudata in Namibia, ca si in Romania, ca si in Europa. Pentru ca tara e in afara zonei de transmisie, maladia nu e suficient cunoscuta, si ne aflam intr-un sat cu cateva mii de locuitori, la 500km de capitala. Optiunea cea mai de bun simt era sa continui tratamentul anti-malarial, ceea ce am si facut. In Windhoek am ajuns abia cateva zile mai tarziu, tardiv pentru a depista urme de plasmodium in sange… probabil ca nu vom sti niciodata daca a fost sau n-a fost… Ideea e ca dupa 3 zile eram restabilit si dornic sa aud Tenerele torcand. 

As it is the case in Romania, Europe or the US, in Namibia not a lot is known about malaria. The country is out of the severe transmission map, besides, we were in Kamanjab, a few thousands inhabitants village. My best bet was to follow the correct antimalarial treatment scheme. So I did, taking my time to recover and rest. A few days later in Windhoek it was too late to trace the plasmodium germs in my blood. So this will remain a big question mark. Was is, or wasn’t it? I guess I’ll never know. Three days later I was back on my horse, pushing on westwards. 

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Ne-am luat adio de la Melissa, fiica lui Vital, proprietarul de la Oppi-Koppi

Saying good-bye to Melissa, the daughter of Vital, owner of Oppi-Koppi

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La drum

On the road again

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Pe bordul motorului un kilometraj incredibil si pentru noi

The record mileage was hard to believe, even for us 

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Harta Namibiei e plina de marcaje turistice, totul, desigur, pe bani. Nefiind genul care bifeaza “obiectivele” cu Lonely Planet in mana, am zis “pas”, si am luat-o inspre Skeleton Coast pe cea mai off-road varianta posibila. Ideea era sa ajungem in Walvis Bay pana in apus. Soarele scalda totul intr-o lumina ireala, estompand culorile, erodand geometria peisajului, aproape anuland orice constrast. La fiecare oprire nu auzeam decat vocile noastre si galgaitul gurilor de apa pe care le sorbeam cu nesat. Intinderea parea lipsita de viata, stearpa, mirosind a caldura si uscaciune, doar ceasurile de Camembert topit lipsind de pe cadavrele contorsionate de acacia. Cerul era mai inalt si mai pretutindeni ca niciodata, impistruiat cu nori, care nu conteneau sa se risipeasca, doar pentru a se coagula din nou.

The Namibian touristic agenda is quite extensive, and of course nothing is free. Lonely Planet has never been our traveling bible, so we skipped the local “must-see”s and took the sketchiest off-road route towards Skeleton Coast. Our plan was to reach Walvis Bay by sunset. The daylight had a surreal quality to it, tempering colors, melting away topographical features that were fighting for contrast under the scorching sun. Every time we would stop for a brief water break we could hear nothing but our own voices: the land appeared lifeless, smelling of heat and drought, only interrupted by twisted corpses of thorn trees without their melted Camembert clocks. The sky was wider and higher than any we had seen before, smeared with theatrical cloudscapes that kept coagulating and dispersing. 

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Necuprins

Namibian veld

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A fost una dintre cele mai faine zile pe drum. Campia namibiana taiata piezis de drumul care pompa adrenalina si manca in gume la fiecare cotitura, in fiecare ac de par. Kilometru dupa kilometru de placere, gaz la fiecare pieptis, apoi o gura de aer in cate un loc de belvedere, apoi o curba in panta in genul celebrului Corkscrew de la Laguna Secca. Imi spuneam ca bucata asta de drum ar fi fost excelenta pentru o etapa speciala de raliu. In cele din urma insa, drumul s-a potolit, netezindu-se, din ce in ce mai plat, din ce in ce mai desertic, pana inspre apele inghetate ale oceanului. Ne aflam in plin sezon ploios, dar ploaia nu mai cazuse de ceva timp in acele locuri. Albie dupa albie de rau uscata pana la nisipul adanc, parca niciodata acoperit de ape. Intr-un moment de inspiratie, am cotit pe o poteca ingusta, si mai bine de 90 de minute ne-am ratacit intr-un labirint de nisip si pustiu.

It was one of the greatest rides of them all. The Namibian veld dissected by this adrenalin-pumping clutch-burning tyre-roasting road. We were discovering it kilometer by kilometer of rock crumble, stopping at a vantage point from which we could view it all. Rushing up on a blind hill, bent down into a corkscrew like the famous Laguna Secca turn. This stretch would make a beautiful rally stage, negotiating a water thirsty desert that eventually fades away into the ocean ravaged Skeleton Coast. It was rainy season, but rain rarely falls here. All the river beds were dry, their sandy bottoms ghostly reminders of a once breathing body of water. At some point we took a small road, a thin line on the map, and got lost for some time in a labyrinth of sandy deviations. 

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Albie uscata de rau: enorma, adanca, imposibil de trecut cu pasager.

Dry riverbed: wide, deep, sandy, difficult to cross 2up

Masivul Brandberge, “Muntele Ars”, cel mai inalt din Namibia, sfida de la 2573m orizontala infinita a campiei. 

The massive Brandberge, the “burnt mountain”, towered at 2573m over the unmitigated flatness of the veld.

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Apoi nu a mai ramas decat orizontala: la vest, la est, la nord si la sud, totul la fel de plat, la fel de nealtul. Doar stalpii de electricitate isi continuau drumul. Inspre coasta norii intunecau deja cerul, cu vant rece si miros de furtuna. In stanga drumului, prin ploile indepartate care atarnau din nori ca niste perdele aruncate neglijent pe sarma, se intrezarea varful Spitzkoppe (1584m).

Then all that was left was formlessly horizontal. West, east, north and south, ever the same, only the wood poles with their sagging electricity cables still standing. The sky was smudged with cloud, and the wind was bringing in from the frozen coastal waters a salty smell of thunderstorm. Through the distant rains that were hanging down from the clouds like soaking laundry, we could barely see Mt. Spitzkoppe, to the left of the road. 

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La intrarea pe Skeleton Coast nisipul fusese cotropit de licheni infloriti. Straniul camp de plante, adapat la seva sarata condensata din curentul Benguela, este parc national si zona protejata. 

Then we entered on the Skeleton Coast through a strange field of lichen in bloom (a reserve and national park).

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Pe coasta vantul rece ne-a manat fara oprire pana la intrarea in Namib-Naukluft. Am trecut rapid pe langa suburbiile bogate ale albilor din Swakopmund, cu casutele lor colorate ca niste piese de Lego. Oraselul este capitala sporturilor extreme (la preturi de asemenea extreme!) pe subcontinent. Nu aveam ce cauta acolo, ne-am vazut de drum. Iar in spatele gardurilor vii frumos tunse de la periferia periferiilor, am zarit bordeiele improvizate din orice ale Topnaar-ilor, unde muntii de gunoaie sunt singura forma de relief.

The cold Benguela current was blowing mercilessly, so we rushed by the swish white suburbs of Swakopmund, the capital of all adrenaline-junkies. For wads of cash one can skydive, sandboard or do anything here, so this was not our place, not our budget. On the outskirts of the outskirts of the town we drove by the Topnaar township: shacks of any description in the sandy plain littered with all sorts of debris, a landscape where mountains were man-made out of trash. 

Nu mai vazusem desertul de mai bine de 8 luni, din Mauritania, iar Alanticul abia cu 2 luni in urma, in Gabon. Dintr-o data desert si mare, unul langa altul, au aparut ca miraje in apus. Dunele aramii, crusta ridata a pamantului, oceanul incruntat in valuri negre.

We had last seen the desert 8 months ago, in Mauritania, and the Atlantic more than 2 months ago, in Gabon. We would see them both again, side by side, dunes melted right into the ocean, in the Namib Naukluft. Ochre dunes, a salty crust wrinkled over the land, ocean roaring beyond the horizon.

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Walvis Bay to Windhoek

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Doar niste calatori gurmanzi obsedati ca noi sunt in stare sa conduca sute de kilometri prin desert, sa doarma in tufe si sa faca economie la orice, pana si la dus, ca sa isi permita o jumatate de duzina de stridii. Dar stridiile din Walvis Bay, la care visam din 2008, au meritat efortul. Grase, delicate, zeama perfect de sarata. Mmmmmmmmmmmm……

Only a couple of manic gourmet travelers like ourselves could drive for hundreds of miles through the desert, bushcamp in the sketchiest spots and save every penny, in order to afford half a dozen of oysters. But we had been obsessing over the Walvis Bay oysters since 2008, and our efforts and stinginess was rewarded: the mollusks were plump, nutty, with a perfect brine. Mmmmmmmmmmmm……

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Cand am pornit inspre capitala, se facuse deja noapte. Dar luasem hotararea sa bagam cox cat urmau sa ne tina puterile, pentru ca dis de dimineata sa parcurgem restul de kilometri pana in Windhoek, unde obiectivul era sa aplicam la viza pentru Africa de Sud. 

It was already night when we started driving again in the direction of Windhoek. We were determined to push as mush as we could, so that we would have less Ks in the morning till the South African embassy, where we had to apply for our visa.

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Habar nu aveam ca am campat din nou intr-un loc nemaipomenit. Dar rasaritul a elucidat misterul.

We had no idea when we stopped that we were bushcamping again in an exceptional place. Then the sunrise was more than convincing. 

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Capitala ne-a istovit din prima. Pana si gratareala in ghettoul de negri, pe cale de a fi betonata si transformata in mall de carne.

The capital city felt exhausting. From the manic streets to the black township where even the public grill was on the way to become some sort of meat mall.

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Nu venisem insa decat pentru o viza care, credeam noi, urma sa mearga usor. Pentru ca Romania nu este in spatiul Schengen (si nu va fi pentru mult timp), nu ne puteam prezenta pur si simplu la frontiera Africii de Sud. Insa la ambasada am intampinat probleme: atitudine condescendenta, program spartan, taxe exorbitante. Pentru inceput ni s-a refuzat aplicatia. Am inceput sa ne indoim de oportunitatea acestui demers: poate ar fi mai bine sa renuntam, sis a mergem direct in Botswana? A treia zi de insistente dosarul doldora de acte a fost luat in scarba si abia dupa ce am marcat 85 de euro pe vize si 70 de euro pentru faxurile pe care urma sa le dea functionara de la ambasada, ni s-a comunicat ca aveam de asteptat raspunsul minim 10 zile lucratoare. Riscam acum sa ne expire viza de Namibia, poate chiar in timp ce pasapoartele noastre zaceau in sertarul ambasadei Africii de Sud. Dar nu se sinchisea nimeni de cei 28000 de kilometri pe care ii strabatusem in mai bine de 8 luni, de toate garantiile materiale depuse, de rugamintile noastre. Poate ca asa a fost sa fie: sa nu atingem punctul cel mai sudic la continentului, capat terminus si reper esential in itinerariul tuturor celor care calatoresc pe uscat de-a lungul si de-a latul Africii. Poate ca a sosit timpul ca aventura noastra sa ia sfarsit. Trist, dezamagitor, descurajant. 

But we had driven all this way only to submit our RSA visa application, a simple enough affair, we naively thought. Romania is not part of Schengen (and will not be for a long time), so Romanian citizens must apply and pay for a quite expensive visa. Immediately we understood that was not going to be easy: spartan working hours, aggressive and condescending personnel, high fees. Firstly, our application was denied: they suggested we apply in our country of origin. We considered crossing directly to Botswana and try there, or simply cut South Africa from the itinerary. The third day they agreed to take our files in, but only after we payed 85 euros in visa fees and 70 euros for the faxes that this embassy would presumably send, we were informed that we were now facing a minimum 10 working days waiting time for a response. That meant while our passports could be rotting in some drawer at the RSA embassy, our Namibian visa could expire, placing us in an even more delicate situation. We tried to plead with this people, they just don’t care, though. 99% of all overlanders don’t need a visa for South Africa, they just roll into the southernmost point of the continent. Is this the end of our 28000 km adventure, will we be denied access to a classic overlander’s milestone? Will we have to scramble for a last minute exit out of Namibia? We just don’t know. We are sad, we are hopeless, we are angry.

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Update: A trecut o saptamana si in ciuda telefoanelor date, aplicatia noastra zace la ambasada, nimeni nu a miscat un deget, gluma se ingroasa.

Update: a week has passed since, and nobody could be bothered to process our visa applications. We keep calling the embassy, wasting more money, more time. It feels like we hit a dead end.



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