DAY 70: We had an awesome 8 nights in Cape Town, but the Bepkos were looking forward to moving on towards Namibia – country #9 on the World Tour. However, for this portion of the trip we were slated to begin several weeks of pretty intensive travel. This would include 8 different sleeping locales over the next 17 days. This was early October and the family wasn’t going to be sleeping in once place for 7-nights in a row until Christmas time in New Zealand.
Things were looking up from the start when we were actually able to get ALL our luggage into our rental car. We had planned on having an adult and the luggage go into the rental car with the remaining 75% of the Bepkos traveling by taxi. But we were happily all able to stay together. Score 1 point for Dad Packing!
Then… the rental car agency was right at the airport. So no shuttle bus for our five check-in bags! Easy peasy to get the free luggage carts and roll right into the airport. Score 1 point for the Bepko White Cloud. Now all we need to do is check-in and make our way to the lounge for some relaxation time before the short flight and it’s Bepkos for-the-win!
Our mantra for this trip (ever since 75% of the Bepkos missed their second flight of the journey from Miami to Liberia) has been:
“Get to the airport 3-hours early. Get to the airport 3-hours early. Get to the airport 3-hours early”
That way, small problems can be overcome (FORESHADOWING FORESHADOWING) without the stress of potentially missing a flight. However, Air Namibia is an airline which begins check-in two hours before the flight, instead of the usual three… so we had an awesome time waiting an hour at an empty counter before dropping off our bags. At least we were the first passengers to check-in.
Finally… check-in. Done.
Walking past airport Christmas decorations even though it’s the 1st week of October. Done.
Another plug for any of the premium credit cards that offer free Priority Pass membership. We have had awesome access to airport lounges, with (at the time of this writing) only two airports not containing lounges we could access for free using of complementary membership. Additionally, the VIP lounge in the Cape Town airport has been the best lounge of them all!
There was plenty of room, lots of food options, and tons of available free alcohol including South African sparkling wine. What more could two adult traveling Bepkos wish for…?
The flight to Walvis Bay was pretty quick, with just enough time to enjoy a lovely South African Pinotage* – a red wine grape unique to South Africa, and one Jeni and I had missed an opportunity to try during our time in the country.
*Pinotage is a crossbreed between a Pinot Noir grape and Cinsaut grape (also common in wines from Southern France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region) that was created in the 1920’s in order to allow the wonderful Pinot Noir grape to grow in the warmer climes of the Stellenbosch (Cape Town region) wine country.
The flight traveled up the Western coast of the Cape and Namibia so we were able to see the stark contrast between the sand desert immediately adjacent to the South Atlantic Ocean. Obviously I couldn’t take a photo like this from the airplane window… it was stolen from the internet. However, it does show the beauty and contrast between the blue ocean and the yellow/red sand.
Walvis Bay is directly on the coast (uh – hence the “Bay” part in the city name) but we landed in the desert. Had I not know better, I could have been visiting Qatar yet again for another deployment.
Our flight arrived at 2:10 PM local time yet it was still the last flight of the day. The airport was empty and we were just able to find a ride to our hotel in the city.
Travel Day 13 was in the books and we were in our hotel for the next two nights. Tomorrow would be our only full day to visit Walvis Bay before renting our car for a drive in to the Namib desert.
TOTAL MILES TRAVELED TO DATE – 16,745