Fish River Canyon Mule Trail

F.L.T.R Wilka, me, Sigrid, Roman, Anthea

F.L.T.R Wilka, me, Sigrid, Roman, Anthea

On the morning of 9 September 2014 before sunrise, 5 girls set out on the open road from Windhoek heading south to hike the Fish River Canyon Mule Trail. 
Just imagine, 5 girls in a car; it was the start of a road trip to be remembered for years to come.

Roman enjoying breakfast

Roman enjoying breakfast

Breakfast in Mariental

Breakfast in Mariental

With breakfast fit for queens we continued our journey feeling much better. What makes a trip with girl’s fun? There are random outbursts of laughter and jokes and never a bored moment.

I don’t want to bore you with the details of what happened on the road. So let us proceed to the parts I want to actually tell you about.

After a journey of 580 km, we reached the sign confirming the wondrous adventure were about to embark on.

Fish River Canyon Sign

Fish River Canyon Sign

Just before lunch time we pulled in to the oasis of Canyon Roadhouse. It was a scorching hot day, and the restaurant ensured we had something to fill our stomachs with and to get the dust of the gravel road out of our throats with extra cold drinks. (You won’t get them colder anywhere else)

Canyon Roadhouse

Canyon Roadhouse

Just before we became too lazy, it was time to take on the gravel road again to the Mule station, the starting point of the Fish River Canyon Hike.

En route to Mule station

En route to Mule station

The girls in the back passed time by taking selfies.

Selfies

Selfies

P1050677

It was a challenging drive to the mule station and must be driven with caution. I received a few whoos and haaas from the passengers with the bumpy road causing them to hop around like bunnies in the car.

Upon arrival at the mule station, all our belongings had to be repacked carefully to fit into a mule canvas bag. (You know how girls pack – way too much)

P1050680

P1050689

Miss Non-Chalant

P1050690

The drive to the edge of the Fish River Canyon on an open 4×4 vehicle was yet again long and extremely hot. I don’t think I have ever in my life experienced this kind of heat. It was so hot I think the not-to-be-named-here fancy pink lip gloss vaporized and disappeared into thin air.

P1050702

P1050699

A beautiful sight awaited us upon arrival to Camp Battlesnake. It was beyond what any of us imagined. We had a long journey to reach the station but I can tell you it was worth it. We were spoiled with cold refreshments and afterwards we had the opportunity to enjoy the shade of our tents to freshen up for the sundowner.

The tent

The tent

Our dinner tables were set with perfect ambiance.

Dinner

Dinner table

After dinner a well deserved rest was ordered by our guide to get our beauty sleep. We were not feeling sleepy yet and decided to enjoy more wine and conversation to allow the moon to kiss our skin with its glimmering light. Eventually it was time to go to bed and Sigrid and I realized, we have not had a shower and it is absolutely necessary. There is one thing you should know about Namibia before I continue. We love to do things out in the open. We enjoy open skies and open-air everything – even showers. The two of us decided a shower in the moonlight was an absolute must because where in the city would we get an opportunity like this. I don’t think my neighbors would appreciate that kind of shenanigans.
(Just for the record there was 2 showers- we didn’t shower together)

The next morning and the first day of hiking started very early with an equal amount of coffee and packing.

Early start

Early start

There were no sun rays to guide me on the path, only the light of my torch.

P1050737 P1050758

Sunrise

Sunrise

Upon sunrise and after breakfast, the mules were ready for the day and packed with all our overweight girly content.

Breakfast

A delightful breakfast

P1050778

Anthea takes the lead

P1050768

Everybody was inspired to take on the first day of hiking, with heavy backpacks, cold water and light feet.
We descended slowly into the magic that is the Fish River Canyon, trotting lightly like Klipspringers, hopeful of what we might find.

P1050781   P1050791

William and Beate

The beauty underneath my feet was the first piece of magic that astounded me. In hardware stores you get sought after tiles like Kilimanjaro that costs you a fortune, but here within the heart of nature, Canyon tiles pave the way.

P1050806

Marlise and Simon

P1050798

Our well trained guide- Frans

The morning treated us well and for most of the hike we were engulfed by shade. Just as the heat threatened to take over we reached the designated lunch spot with a very chilly water pool to cool off in.

P1050812

Canyon Style pose

P1050836

Sociable Weaver nest

After lunch, we continued our journey to finish the days’ hike of 12km. We made regular stops to learn about the vegetation and the animals that inhabit the Fish River Canyon.
Our overnight camp was in sight and we had a choice: either we cross the river or we hike another 1km. We took the easy way out and crossed the river. Don’t attempt this with shoes. You will literally get yourself into a very sticky situation. It is slippery and your toes are much better tools to hang onto in the mud than the tread of your shoes. It is also quite the challenge to get that sticky mud off your shoes. (P.s I think mine still has mud on them.)

P1050847

The face says it all

P1050843

 

P1050872

Sticky shoes

After a great day of hiking behind us and tired but smiling faces, we reached our destination at about 3 o clock in the afternoon.
To find out what happened in this picture below, read the rest of the story next week.

P1050864

What happened ?

Jessica Thomas

Jessica Thomas is a local freelance writer. She is an eccentric young lady who has a love affair with writing. Get on board her journey of discovery.

(1434)

4 thoughts on “Fish River Canyon Mule Trail

  1. You are so lucky! We wanted to do that trail so much when we were there but unfortunately we were there in November and of course the trail is closed at that time of year.

    Looks like you girls are having a great time.

    Ruth and Kevin

    • Dear Ruth and Kevin

      So good to hear from you.

      It was really a trip filled with fun and excitement.

      Please do visit Namibia again soon. If there are 2 people who would absolutely love to hike this trail, it would be you two.

      Regards
      Jessica

  2. The most IMPORTANT take-alongs for such a trip: GOOD company, preferably funny GIRLS, GOOD outdoor shoes and a protective hat, not a smart one… then fun is granted!
    I like your writing style.

    • Dear Anka

      You are absolutely right – those are key components to a hiking trip.
      It was an adventure of a lifetime and a definite “add-to-bucket-list” activity.

      Thank you for the compliment and for reading our blog.

      Regards
      Jessica

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *