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Archive for September 28, 2012

Friday, 28 September 2012 – Okiep to Grunau (Namibia)

By now we were confident that we’d make it into Namibia today. So confident that we took up David’s suggestion to take a look not too far along the track from the N7 to Henkries (S2593) where he had seen some excellent succulent plants on a previous trip with David & Margaret Corrina. It was the only stop today, but lasted two and a half hours, despite the fact that Eunice was still feeling bad with her cold and all of us were wrapped up against a strong wind with frequent ice-cold showers – the outside temperature on the car’s thermometer (not the most reliable instrument in any car) suggested a temperature of 6 C. The wind chill factor made it feel close to freezing. Cliff had put on gloves, but of course was still in shorts. Had he even brought long trousers?

Although my antibiotics were beginning to kick in after a few days, is still felt rough, with cotton wool in my head and particularly in my ears. With the strong wind it was impossible to hear anything. I decided that my best course of action was to shadow David, without getting in his way and to take a look at what he was taking pictures of and then to take a look to see if there was anything interesting to point my camera at. I took 128 images and looking back over them now, I must have had a great time if only I had not felt so bad.

Enjoy the images and feel free to suggest some names for the ‘sp’ or corrections to the names.

I guess my magic moment at this stop was seeing my first Lithops. L. helmutii (C271) is reported from along the track we were on, 3.5 km south-west of where we had parked the car while L. marmorata (C163) comes from 6 km farther along, north-east to our parking space, although from memory we had walked quite a distance in that direction, to a low ridge. L. marmorata pictured in Desmond Cole’s book is a good match for what we saw:

S2593 - Lithops marmorata

S2593 – Lithops marmorata

Having already been confused by the Avonia, here Anacampseros sp. added to my confusion:

S2593 - Anacampseros sp

S2593 – Anacampseros sp.

The Stomatium sp looked the same as the one we had seen yesterday; Stomatium  suaveolens?

S2593 - Stomatium  suaveolens

S2593 – Stomatium suaveolens?

At times it felt as though we were looking at the succulent bed in a botanical garden, with the plants neatly laid out – but somebody left out the labels.

S2593 - Argyroderma sp

S2593 – Argyroderma sp

S2593 - Cheiridopsis sp and Sarcocaulon sp

S2593 – Cheiridopsis sp. and Sarcocaulon sp.

S2593 - Crassula deceptor Avonia papyracea Conophytum sp

S2593 – Crassula deceptor, Avonia papyracea and Conophytum sp.

The crossing over the Oranje Rivier into Namibia was tedious and time-consuming, being passed from one counter to another – immigration, customs and the police. At customs we had to complete a list of all electronic equipment, such as cameras, lenses, laptops etc. Between us we had so much that we had to go back for a second sheet of paper – on top of that Eunice required a sheet all to herself for her cameras, lenses, etc.

Noordoewer turned out to be a disappointment in terms of accommodation. Two guesthouses we tried were fully booked – coach parties. We took a turning suggested by the SatNav and ended up in a township. We did ignored the SatNav to turn around and get back to the main road.

We decided to drive on to Grunau, where the one and only hotel was full, expecting a coach party later that night, but where we directed to a B&B that turned out very comfortable and reasonably priced, so we booked in for two nights.