We left Ghanzi this morning at 7am. We had 500 kms to do to get to Windhoek and a border crossing so we figured it would take us at least 5-6 hours. There was not really anything in Ghanzi to keep us there so we left early. The accommodation in Ghanzi was minimalist and the cold was not staying out of it. When we left at 7am the temperature outside was -2 C. The road from Ghanzi to Windhoek has a lot of warnings about ‘Beware of’ followed by kudu, warthog, horses, cattle. There clearly is a reason for it because after about 45 minutes of driving the lead car dodged a few guinea fowl but unfortunately one flew up and hit our windscreen. We were driving at 120 km/h and the impact shattered the windscreen entirely.
The impact was massive – Helen and I both could feel the windscreen shatter from the force. The two cars behind us said the impact was impressive in that the guinea fowl flew up about 50 meters in the air (like a soccer ball) and there were feathers everywhere. The window was very badly damaged and so we pulled over and applied ducktape to the top and one of our group had a sticker for cracks which we applied to the middle to try to hold it all together. Fortunately I had a small square uncracked in my line of vision still. Helen was a little shaken and so she had some tea while we stopped.
One of our group (Bryan) has an office in Windhoek and he got the numbers of the places who could possibly replace the windscreen and my PA kindly called them (thank you again Cecilia!) and found out that PG Glass had the windscreen and could replace it for us this afternoon. It is a 2-3 hour job and then it has to set overnight. Fortunately we were heading to Windhoek and overnighting here. They said to get the car to them as soon as possible. We managed to get to Windhoek around 12:30pm (there is an hour time change as Namibia is one hour behind Botswana and SA) and so we got the car to them around 1pm. We will collect it tomorrow at 7:30am when they open as we have a long drive tomorrow (800 kms). We are very pleased that we are OK and that we were heading for Windhoek where the windscreen could be relatively easily replaced.
What I have failed to mention though is that about 2-3 minutes after we hit the guinea fowl, a male kudu decided to cross the road between us and the next car and they almost hit the kudu (which would have been a far worse result). An hour later we saw another car who had hit a cow (cow dead on the side of the road). We also managed to kill another sparrow and we found it stuck in our front grill (when we took the car to PG Glass we discovered it).
We are staying tonight at Arrebbusch Lodge just on the outskirts of Windhoek. It is right next to the airport situated inside Windhoek (Eros Airport). We have the best wifi and cellphone signal we have had in over 2 weeks and so everyone seems to be catching up with world news, emails etc. It is incredible how much has happened in the two weeks (including Portugal winning Euro 2016, an about to be new UK Prime Minister etc etc). We had pretty much forgotten there was anything but open expanses and wild animals.
Tonight we went to Joe’s Beer House for dinner. Bryan had booked when we were in Botswana already but when we got there they didn’t have our booking. After a bit or arguing they said they would make a plan and about 40 minutes later we actually got a table. Joe’s is a Windhoek institution and even on a Monday night the place was packed. The food was pretty good so long as you like meat! Michael and I had Gemsbok fillet which was very tender and tasty. Helen had Eisbein and it was massive. Even when she was full it looked as if she hadn’t made a dent in it. Chloe had Gemsbok lasagna and Stephen had a trio of Kudu, Gemsbok and Springbok. It was an enjoyable evening even though we had to wait for the table.
Until tomorrow …. P, H, S, M & C