I left with the KLR on a trailer for Windhoek, Namibia, on Tuesday. I spent the night with my youngest sister Ronelle and her family. We, my sisters, Dorette and Ronelle, and I first had to put the ashes of our parents in the Wall of Remembrance of their local church. It was not so emotional for us as I feared it could have been.
Wednesday was a long relaxed drive on the Trans Kalahari highway through Botswana to Kang where I camped the night. Early on Thursday I left. I planned to get as far as Gobabis, Namibia. 90 km west of Kang was a truck accident which blocked the highway in both directions. It already happened the Wednesday. As I got to the accident scene trucks stood in both lanes backed up for a kilometer or two. Some trucks tried to drive around the blockade but got bogged down in the deep sand next to the road. I put the Hilux in 4×4 and ploughed through the deep sand around the trucks. The poor people at the scene were stuck there since the previous day.
From the accident scene I had a 300 km drive with nearly no traffic to Buitepos, the border between Botswana and Namibia. The border post was nearly empty and within a few minutes I was through the border. I could only imagine how that would look there when all those trucks arrive there at one time. The queue would be incredible.
I was quite early in Gobabis due to the time saved at the border. I decided to push on as the airport was only about 200 km further. The incident two years ago when I received a call from Cape Town at midnight, six hours before the KLR would have departed, to tell me that the KLR won’t be flying due to a missing customs stamp, and that was the last flight of Air Berlin from Cape Town for the summer, was fresh in my mind. I got to the Windhoek International Airport and decided to check with Air Berlin that everything was in place for me to hand in the KLR today, on Friday, as per the documents I received from Germany. On the documents it was printed “until 12 noon on Friday 25 May 2012”.
I got to the office of Air Berlin. There was one gent there.
The conversation went like this.
“Good afternoon! I am just checking where your offices are for tomorrow to hand over my bike.”
“You are too late. We closed the cargo already at 9 this morning.”
“But my documents clearly say ‘until 12 noon on Friday’, and it is now only Thursday. How could you close cargo already on Thursday?”
Sir, Friday is a public holiday day in Namibia, and we are closed.”
At that point I realized why some people get older sooner than other people.