Leaving „De Hoop“ Camp in Richtersveld our water resources were running quite low, so we decided to not to stay longer in the park as planned but to make our way to Namibia. Tho get from Richtersveld to Namibia we used the Sendlingsdrift Boarderpost. South Africa is on one side of the Orange River and Namibia on the other side, to cross over we had to take a small ferry, just big enough for our car and trailer. The kids loved the crossing, at least what was left for them to experience after we all had put on our life saver jackets. The river was not much wider than 200m, so by the time we all had the vests on we were nearly on the other side. „Regulations“ one of the ferryman said – a little reminder we will be in „little Germany“ soon. Very funny, the moment we passed into Namibia, we found recycling bins in the most remote areas- love it!
The boarder crossing went quite smooth, the kids knew exactly when to be wellbehaved (before we got immigration stamps) and when to throw tantrums (after we got stamps and customs wanted to have a closer look at the car, which would have cost another 40 minutes).
Through sometimes more, sometimes less hilly, but always stoney and dusty desert we made our way to Ai-Ais. We had been there years ago and could not bother spending more than 30 minutes. As everyone told us, it is so worth visiting, we thought we give it a second try, maybe we had not been at the right place before.
Unfortunately we had. „Ai-Ais“ is „khoi khoi“ and means „very hot“. It does not refer to the climate, but to hot springs that make the area famous. Exactly what we wanted: A hot pool after a very hot and dusty day. Ai-Ais is quite beautifuly situated right in a canyon of the fish river (not THE Fish River Canyon though!) At this time oft he month the river is dry and that is why the resort is open. Our travel book said that during rain season the risk of flooding is too high and the resort closes from October to March. We spent two days in Ai-Ais, but not because we liked it so much, but rather because the next day was so unbelievably hot that we could not bother moving. Instead we did some handwashing. Put up dripping wet, our clothes were dry after 30 minutes. Apart from the (dirty) hot pool and an indoor pool there is nothing to do in Ai-Ais. Just maybe drinking beer, like the hords of other big bellied, to loud afrikaans „Umtata-music“ listening campers. Once more we realized we are not resort people.