Surprise-December '11 TT
Time Out & Traveltime offers friendship and fun                       Travelling down roads least travelled                                    Visiting places not normally seen by tourists                                Great company and excellent meals are to be expected                              It transfers you out of your everyday life!

TIME OUT SCHEDULED TOURS TRAVELTIME

TRAVELTIME- Previous Outings

NAMIBIA 2010
Desert Express & Etosha National Park

26th August to 2nd September '10

DAY 1:  Destination: Windhoek
An early start (5am collection) from Constantia & Tableview saw us arriving at the airport in time for our check in. As usual there was much excitement for the trip ahead.

The Air Namibia 737 was ready and waiting for us when we arrived in the departure hall. Carol contemplating the work (fun) ahead. An uneventful flight had us arrive in Windhoek on time.
The Elwierda-Namibia shuttle soon had us all loaded and we were on our way to deposit our luggage with the Desert Express staff at Windhoek Station. it's 11h30am and Carol meets Kaagwana, who assisted us with the bookings.

Some forms to fill in before we were given our boarding passes and our luggage was tagged to go directly into our compartments awaiting our return to the station at 2pm. The parking area outside the station was a hive of activity with residents preparing for a Hero's day parade through the streets of Windhoek. We took a short drive through the city to view a few highlights (Presidents palace) before relaxing over lunch.

The Safari Court Hotel proved a good place to while away the 2 hours before boarding the train. Time to get to know fellow passengers.

We headed back to Windhoek station to  investigate our new home for the coming week. The red carpet was rolled out and our compartments were ready to accept us. Brian took a stroll along the length of the train and found the exterior of the carriages dirty and the diesel engine appeared to have been pulled back into service after years of retirement. (The visible rust on the walkway across the tracks was also evident on the engine. It was also dirty). The driver assured Brian that the 40 year old engine had recently been refurbished and that all was well!

Our home for 4 days on the trip, shows a comfortable compartment with fold down beds for one, two or three passengers. The en-suite facilities (toilet, basin and shower) were probably designed for Japanese passengers as access was extremely tight. (The toilet is below the basin, which swings into the shower when not used). There were no cupboards in the compartments, so we had to contend with "living out of our cases". Our overall  impression of the train is that it is in urgent need of refurbishment!  If Transnamib Railways wants to call their facility a luxury train, charge high prices and ensure continued support from both local and international passengers,  they should ensure that it lives up to expectations.

After a welcome drink in the lounge we are on our way and take time to greet other passengers. Our group comprised 11 passengers; there was a group of 12 from the UK, 4 from Ballito, 2 from Germany and 2 from Knysna. Our first stop was at Okahandja where an additional engine was coupled to assist in our trip ahead. The itinerary said it was a "biltong stop", but due to the public holiday everything was closed. Trixie decided to get off the train anyway (smoke break).

We were soon on our way and prepared ourselves for dinner (7pm). It is customary to meet in the lounge beforehand and contemplate the menu over your favorite drink. The dining room waiting for it's patrons.

Finally the contemplation is over and we can settle down to a tasty, well prepared meal. Ronnie tucks in to his Oryx steak decorated with porcupine quills. Coffee was enjoyed in the lounge prior to settling down for our first night on the train (stationary at Kransberg).

Trips away are special times so very good for our souls. 
"You've got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there".

DAY 2: Walvis Bay (Click Here)

Walvis Bay

Swakopmund / Okaukuejo Halali Namutoni Windhoek

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