Fri 31 Aug 2018, Day 271
Resting at Fiume Lodge’s Bush Camp
Total from Amsterdam 16099
We both slept like logs, waking up in three quarter beds under duvets and cotton linen. Peter’s tummy is still not 100% and he’s bushed from yesterday’s long ride. Breakfast was what we’ve been dreaming about and I had a small second bowl of muesli, fruit and yoghurt over and above the bacon and eggs. Will be collected by Arne and Christine’s son, Jörn after lunch and drive the 70 km to their Bush Camp where we’ll stay for two nights. Jörn is fluent in the San language (Bushman) and has arranged for us to go to a San village this afternoon.
Lunch was chicken, chips and a green salad. Our bikes and panniers stayed at the lodge other than clothing and toiletry bags. Jörn was explaining the reason why we saw so many palm trees on our way to their lodge … around a hundred or so years ago this area was inhabited by elephants who were the bearers of seeds in the form of dung and now cattle, humans, birds etc distribute the palm seeds.
On arrival at the bush camp we were introduced to Morris, a San Bushman who showed us where we’d be sleeping, an en-suite tented accommodation. We also got to meet Crash, the Banded Mongoose who took a fancy to Peters toes and Keen sandals. He also wrapped his front paws around and hugging one of Peter’s ankles and when he took off his sandals, Crash pee’d in one of the sandals??
He arrived at the Bush camp about two years ago and when trying to jump up a step, crashed into it instead, so was aptly named ‘Crash’.
Rested up a bit and then walked over to the replica of a Bushman village for a demonstration on how they make a bow. Shanty, a Bushman lady and fluent in English translated. The string for the bow comes from a Brandy bush aka the Kammakorro bush. Strips, which look like reeds are cut from this bush which is called Sensavaria and cut in half. The inside flesh is then scraped out and whats left are thin strips of white-looking fibre. These are rolled and a very strong twisted string is the end result which is then attached to the bow. Demonstrations were done and we all tried our hands at shooting an arrow from the newly made bow.
Most of these people have lovely high cheekbones, some are short and tiny in stature, others are tall with extremely long legs. We’ve been told they inter-marry within the clan.
Another demonstration was how bracelet and necklace beads are made. They use ostrich shell for some of the beads and first chip away the points forming a small round disc. Next the hole is made, then the discs get strung into one long string and a rock gets scraped over this to smooth away rough edges, making the little discs uniform in size. Some materials used for bracelets and necklaces are ostrich shell, false mopani (which is actually a seed), tamboti wood and large fruit computim.
Dutch couple, Eef and Monica were also at the village with us. Items of jewellery that the ladies make are hung on rows of trimmed branches in their outdoor shop. I bought a bracelet for N$115. Back from our afternoon at the replica village we showered and tonight’s meat for supper was Eland – just as tasty as last nights Wildebeest. We went back to the village after supper to see them do the ‘healing dance’. This involves the women standing in a row singing and clapping, standing behind a huge fire while the elders (men) do a movement that look like their bodies are quivering. Sometimes the men go into a trance and fall to the ground but this didn’t happen as it was only a demonstration.
Augustin and Charlotte from France are here for six weeks teaching the little ones English at the kindergarten. The older children go to a government school. Peter and I retired to our tented room and shortly thereafter we were both in dreamland xx