Vanda Kujbus

Monday, March 13, 2017

Gobabis - First impressions

Written by Vanda

Ernie's Bistro

Finally we have arrived to Gobabis. It is a very small town, with only 19 000 inhabitants. Belinda, another DRFN member receives us. She is very friendly and kind, we hit off from the start very easily. She says she booked us in to a bed and breakfast hotel for a week and then we see what is going to happen. She also says hopefully we won’t need to stay here for long as it is a bit expensive. She is as surprised when I mentioned that I haven’t met anyone, as I was when I received the phone call „Ok. You travel now. Bye”. Anyhow, we agree on sorting things out tomorrow.

While she is surprised, I’m still fascinated with the local attitude towards problems: „well, it’s like this for now, we see what can we do about it tomorrow”. I should learn from them how not to be stressed all the time.

Ok let’s check this hotel.

Considering Gobabis is not a primary travel destination, I was expecting „village” prices with a little bit of „extra charge for white people” tax for us. Little did we know how wrong we were. The place – Erni’s bistro – costed 550 NAD (12 413 HUF/ 40 EUR) a night(!) for two.

We do a quick math in case we woulnd’t find a better option, all our savings would be completely drained out way earlier than we expected and might even need to go back home earlier! For this price we were expecting maids running around all the time making all our dreams to come true and view to the ocean. What we got instead were grumpy faces at the reception, that „how dare we disturb their precious time spending on their phones” and a gorgeus scenery to the backyard. This place has to be left asap!

Ernie's bistro rooms
Ernie's bistro backyard
Ernies bistro rooms

On top of that we got from them a „little present” on the ceiling, so we felt even more encouraged to look for another accommodation.

cocroach in Ernie's alive
cocroach in ernies dead

Gobabis in a few minutes

But first things first, let’s grab some food. We leave the hotel, and notice that it is the kind of 2-streets-and-it’s-over type of town (there is no need for more for 19 000 people I guess), relatively clean (as clean as it can be kept from sand blown back by the wind at least) and quiet. People chill under trees, children run around, small groups are walking around, just an ordinary day.

People resting under the tree
police resting under the tree

Although electircal and wired fences follow us. What is most surprising... On churces?! Who would rob from God's house? Or what is more interesting, what do the churches have to hide? Theoretically they should look the worst. Mistery..

Church with wire 1 church with electrical wire 2

We check the nearest shop and restock our good old friends, pepper-cucumber-dairy-cold cuts, as we are not planning to stay for long. We should not get anything fancy (=which can rot). Prices are exactly the same as they are in Windhoek, and we are yet to decide if we are happy or sad about it, but what can we do... go back to the room, sulk a little bit and try our luck with other places. Even here everybody has big cars! Although we are even further from other cities and people might need to drive far away to their jobs so maybe it makes sence.

Gobabis big cars
Gobabis big cars

On the hotel hunt

For our bad luck, we can’t do that much online. If we are that lucky to find anything on the internet on the first place, the provider will automatically assume that our wallet is bottomless. Probably they are right, usually tourists comes to Africa for safaris and other expensive fun activities, then they can indeed afford their prices. Nobody considers Eastern-Europeans, poor us... The internet speed is also against us, as the network coverage around Gobabis is GPRS (pre-3G). It’s not hard to get used to it, but it reminded me my childhood when I was waiting long long minutes patiently until a page loaded and thought it was normal. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not, and in summary, it binds us down for a couple of hours.
Namibian network, bringing people together!

After spending some time and finding nothing promising, we almost decide to invest into a tent and just rent a parcel of grass in a camping, when hope shines up! We found a camping which does not only offer rooms without breakfast, but also for only 360 NAD (8160 HUF/ 26 EUR) for a night for two! Jackpot! (of course it’s still not a budget accommodation, but considering what is available, this is our best option. Hopefully also temporarily. We see tomorrow.

We say good night for our friend on the floor, hopefully he won’t decide to wake up... Ever!