Over the moon about the 2 grand we spent on a new engine part, we set off. The first part of our route would take us north from Cape Town and continue north through Namibia, taking in the Ai Ais hot springs, Kolmanskopp Ghost Town, the sand dunes at Sousslevei and Etosha National Park.
Namibia is one dusty country. It permeates everything. You brush your teeth in dust, shower in dust, you even sweat dust. Like, it's really really dusty. So dusty that, oh.. ok, you get the point.
Kolmanskopp ghost town is a relic from the German colonial era. It used to be a diamond mine in an area once so prolific with diamonds that they could literally be scooped up off the ground. Now, most of the inshore diamonds have been mined and exported and offshore exploration heads the way. The town is now a pseudo museum, but today it was also being used for a different purpose. In the gymkhana I made my way upstairs and came across two women. The older one was a make up artist and the younger one her mdoel. Rather than leave them to it, I asked what they were doing and found out that it was a photo shoot. Rather than leave it there I asked what the photo shoot was for. "It's a nude calender shoot". I tried hard to act cool and respond as if I heard that all the time, but being cool doesn't come naturally to me, and so instead I went red and stood there for too long a time before making my inglorious exit.
The shoot was taking place in and amongst the windowless buildings half filled with sand. Kolmanskopp is a desert town and the town is slowly but surely sinking beneath the sand. Which for me begged the obvious question, for a calendar, which shots would they use for winter? I for one did not see any santa hats in the mark up artists wardrobe. In fact I didn't see any clothes at all. Which made for a unique scene when an elderly German tourist, with some expensive looking binoculars, walked ahead of his wife and (not having knowledge of the shoot) got a view that wasn't expressly included in his entrance fee.