If you've been reading our blog for awhile, you know about our 90-Day Rule. If you haven't been reading for very long, no, it's not Steve Harvey's Steve Harvey's 90-Day Sex Rule. For us it's a special circumstance or event that presents itself totally out of the blue. Something quite out of the ordinary happens and it happens about every 90 days or so. Well, it was about due and, son of a gun, here it is. Our friend, Doris, is heading back to Germany for a visit and her husband, Ian, usually drives her to Windhoek, Namibia's capital city, about an 8-hour drive away, to catch her plane. Well, Ian works with the local ships and he's scheduled to have several arrive during the time he would need to be taking Doris to the airport. They asked us if we'd like to take their car and drive Doris to the airport … and keep the car for a few extra days to see the sights. They'd even pay for the fuel. Oh, my! They said “Think about it!” and we said “No thinking required … YES!” There has been quite a bit of excitement aboard and a flurry of travel research activity for the past few days. Road Trip! Since they know the area well, Doris and Ian have given us some ideas as to what route we might like to take and sights we might like to see. We were here, as you'll remember, back in 2007, but that seems centuries ago and, with our memories, much has been forgotten.
We've only got a few days and we want to make the most of them. We're trying to narrow down our choices and figure out possible accommodations. Sossuvlei in the Namib Naukluft Park, home of the world's largest sand dunes, tops the list.
You've probably noticed that we have several new affiliate ads on the right side of the JALF blogsite page. Affiliates are a way for us to add a few cents to the cruising kitty, but we're pretty picky. We only choose affiliates that we use ourselves. Lonely Planet has been our travel bible forever. We used to pick up a new one for every place we visited. I still have several of them aboard.
With the advent of internet and e-books, we now just download them. I use Lonely Planet for initial travel planning … to get the lay of the land. It's easy to highlight the top sights in an area and make a general plan of where we want to go and what we want to see. Actually, I love just browsing LP's website. Their Top 10 lists are great … from the world's greatest bathrooms to the top 10 best free things to do. Namibia, by the way, is their #2 choice in 2015 for best countries to visit!! Woohoo and we're here! Click image to download for a dollar!
So … after deciding what we'd like to see and where we might like to go, I head to Trip Advisor. I've been a contributor to Trip Advisor as NineofCups since 2008, providing reviews of places we've visited, hotels we've stayed at and restaurants at which we've eaten. I like contributing mostly because I like reading other people's experiences when we're contemplating how to spend our travel dollars and I feel I should pay back. Once I know what sights we'd like to see or where we plan to stay, I read current reviews and hopefully get the inside scoop on best times to visit, rates, and sometimes, we change our plans if the reviews are dicey. If I'm doing a hotel search, I can search on TA and they “shop” other sites for the best pricing. We've done quite well and are usually pleased with the outcome.
So, no bookings have been made yet and a firm itinerary (what's that?) has not been set. I do know that after dropping Doris and her luggage off at the airport, we'll have extra room in the Jeep and you know you're always welcome to come along with us on our desert adventure.
And, by the way, if you click on any of our Affiliates like Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor, Amazon, or Vegas.com (because that's our legal address, believe it or not) and actually make a booking or place an order, you'd be doing us a favor because they send a few shekels our way.