From Twee Rivieren we headed back down to Upington and then on to Augrabies National Park.
It was fairly late in the afternoon as we pulled into the little SAN Parks campsite. We set up camp as fast as we could as we were keen to takes some photies of the sun setting over the falls. We made it to one of the view sites just in time. Apparently the falls are far more impressive when the Orange River is in flood. But in the perfect late afternoon light, the relative trickle plunging into the gorge below was still one of the most impressive things we’ve ever seen.
From Augrabies we continued west to Pofadder, where we turned due north towards the Namibian border. The day we said goodbye to South Africa also happened to be my birthday, and my birthday present came as an awesome surprise. Before we left, Jeff had booked a night at Cañon Village Lodge, about 20km from the Fish River canyon. That’s right, a real Lodge – with our very own bed and lots of other homely comforts! We’d only spent 9 nights in our little tent up till then, but it’s amazing how quickly you begin to appreciate something as simple as a decent mattress. Oh, and being able to stand up when you put your clothes on.
Cañon Village is a little oasis, with lush green lawns and a sparkling pool. These things would be normal anywhere else, but we were in the middle of a rocky, Mars-like desert. It was actually a bit surreal. We had the entire place to ourselves, and we spent the afternoon sipping on ice cold Tafels as the sun slowly set over quiver tree country. That night we let someone else cook for us for a change, and stuffed ourselves on delicious springbok Carpaccio and gemsbok fillet. It was all very extravagant. Although it was tempting to stay on, we were going horribly (gloriously) over budget at Cañon Village. So the next day we made a beeline for the nearest campsite – the Cañon Roadhouse about 20 kms down the road.
The big attraction in the area is the mighty Fish River Canyon. The 5-day hike down its length is supposedly one of the world’s best (and toughest). But my foot was still fractured, which gave us a very good excuse to simply view it from the top, with a good bottle of wine in hand. It’s hard to imagine 2 better sundowner spots than Augrabies Falls and The Fish River Canyon. We almost felt a little guilty getting to experience both of them in the space of just 3 days.