W/P 863 S 22° 36.649 E 017° 04.226
Well what can we say leaving wonderful Namibia and dear friends John, Anjeke, Schantell and Conrad, it was a sad occasion but what wonderful ambassadors they were, Namibia’s best… just great people we shall miss them all very much indeed.
Conrad had arranged a full week of appointments in and around Windhoek including the Congo and DRC embassies, NBC television, Radio wave 96.7 fm morning show where Elayne and I had a great time and brought the house down when I mentioned on Namibian radio the best descriptive words in the world were….KUK and Bakkie……
Namibian Radio Windhoek 96.7 fm
All our friends listening in fell about laughing when I exclaim on radio air waves that KUK and Bakkie are the best descriptive words in the world.
Saying good/bye to Namibian radio Jarad and crew
Please also thank Fricke Engels who runs Ultimate Performance in Windhoek www.performancenamibia.com
Thanks Frikkie (from Ultimate Performance) for all your help a great workshop for any 4×4 or off road vehicle. Without doubt a great bunch of enthusiastic motor mechanics Victor could not have been in better hands.
Frikkie re-sets Victors diesel fuel mixture, and gives me no end of great fuel injection information which will keep Victor running that much better.
Automania Namibian’s top-gear show Camera’s roll as Frikkie starts checking over Victor. Chris in close pursuit… just for the cameras.
Conrad taking pictures as a great road show manager does ….thanks again Conrad (in back ground) for such a great job…..if anybody needs a Road Show manager/Organiser for any event in Namibia contact Conrad……….but I still get a laugh when Conrad exclaims….Chris you have to remember in Namibia ….if it looks to good shoot it.
Automania, Namibian’s “Top-Gear” show, captures Victor on his world journey “THE FURTHEST TRAVELLED NON-PRODUCTION CAR”
Its great to have such experience THANKS so much….. Frikkie Engels who runs Ultimate Performance in Windhoek www.performancenamibia.com
Namibia has a lot of similarities to the Australian Out-back and Victor is loving all the attention I’m sure of that…
Victor still enjoying the make-over
Oil change at last, getting ready to explore Angola and the West Coast of Africa
Victor gets his Namibian Number plate thanks to Johns help
We also enjoyed the Namibian top gear show (Automania) at Frikkes workshop in downtown, Windhoek plus two main news papers, we felt like we had a road- show manager
Conrad continually on the phone making and confirming all the meeting times and destinations he had arranged for us in Windhoek Namibia…..Thanks Conrad.
This was a big change from our usual routine bashing around the bush setting up camp somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
This lifestyle was something we had really forgotten about, appointments, arriving in time, beating the morning traffic…….YIKES….. City life was hectic, but we really think Conrad enjoyed it all the fuss, and what a superb organizer he was, a missed vocation the best road show manager anybody could wish to have and a great guy all round.
So if anybody needs a great road show manager don’t forget to contact Conrad.
There was not much Conrad would not do running us around back and forth for the embassies we needed to visit, while Victor lay dormant tucked away in Conrad’s garage resting. It was a real rest for me being driven around a City with someone who knew where to go………..sorry Elayne……but even she was enjoying not being moaned at by me all the time.
THE CONGO VISA……….
We decided to apply for our Congo visa first hoping the DRC embassy will see we have a Congo visa and will be a little more lenient with issuing a DRC tourist visa.
The Congo embassy in Windhoek turned out to be a very cordial affair the embassy employee took delight in showing us several long video clips while we were trying to fill in all the usual application.
He was continually directing our attention to his trip to France earlier in the year.
He was also a minister for some obscure 15 century French church, and it seemed all they did was dress up in elaborate white robes, sing waving large bowls of smoking candles continually walking up and down the isles chanting and singing.
This was all very nice for a few minutes but when he asked us to start singing with him it all got a little too much. Our French is shocking to say the least…but to sing…Elayne nearly burst’s out laughing as I try and join in the enthusiastic minister come Congo embassy official.
It all got a little out of tune my shrieking French voice constantly missing all the correct notes certainly did not put our smiling would be Congo embassy official, he was truly getting into the swing of things, my nodding and constant smiling as he now makes a grab for my hands to get up and start dancing and singing around his small office………Elayne not sure where to put her face ….HELP…..I gesture to Elayne the minister in some 15 century trance.
But nothing seemed to work it was not possible to side track him until the canting, chanting, dancing was over several long minutes later.
I am sure he was working on having me join the ancient French sect…..YIKES all this for a Congo visa, this was getting all too much.
Finally the singing and chanting video stoped, I was still holding his hands across the small wooden desk his eyes smiling back into mine, I am sure we have all been there when that hand holding / hand shaking moment with two guy’s gets just to long and that embarrassing moment starts to dawn………well for me anyway, but as for my dear Congo embassy official he was still happy to hang on.
We managed to make a break for the door the minister explaining as we rushed out at an embarrassing break neck exit speed …… our Congo visas could be ready for collection late tomorrow, Great we quickly replied…..but then his next comment just before we escaped….. I will bring more video clips in so we can see all of his French ecclesiastical vacation……..what could we say but…..OH NO…. Elayne’s negative enthusiasm clearly audible …I quickly replied ….that will be very nice we will look forward to that…..
Hypocrite Elayne calls out to me what a hypocrite….shhhhhh as I muffled her last comments from our dear Congo embassy official waving from his small wooden desk a last smiling good bye……..au revoir he calls out.
It was a pretty warm Namibian day and poor Conrad had been waiting outside patiently, but I am sure he was thinking we had already been kidnapped even before we had managed to get visas for the Republic of the Congo. We explained we needed to revisit the embassy possibly in the next few days….no problems Conrad exclaims I’m beginning to get a small incite into what you guy’s have to go through……with you guy’s helping its a breeze we reply.
The Congo visas were not ready the following day but would be ready for collection later the next day, this delay could work in our favour hoping the ecclesiastical minister would be unavailable and his promise of more family videos would have been forgotten.
Two days later we again arrived at the Congo embassy Conrad parked outside waiting as usual.
Elayne and I had been hoping it would be possible to collect our passports from the receptionist but she directed us to return to the office her face reflecting a large grin as if she already knew our fate.
Elayne and I look at each other as we knock on the office door hoping we will meet a new official …but no luck we can already hear the music playing ….oh no our hopes for a quick escape are dashed as we enter the small office our ecclesiastical friend is in full swing singing away clutching both our passports in his hands.
An hour later we had viewed every video of his visit to France, it got all to embarrassing as I made a dive for our passports after he was going to start showing us more family photographs.
He was reluctant to let them go but I finally had them in my hands as Elayne a caused a small side track cunningly pulling out the computer leads with her foot under his small wooden desk which proved to be the only possible chance for me to grab the passports from his hands and ecstatically cry out….. THANK YOU SO MUCH…., as both of us immediately stood up making a rush for the door our passports and Congo visas at last in our hands.
We thanked the Embassy official for all his help and wonderful video clips of France as we raced out as quickly as we could, all I remember as I briefly looked back into that small office was his bewilder face staring up from the floor disconnected computer leads in hand wondering why they had mysteriously come out and why we wanted to rush off so quickly and not see the next 30 minutes of family video clips.
Conrad was amused when we jumped in his Bakki quickly explaining what had again caused our delay, Conrad laughed well that’s worse than being kidnapped we all laughed at that comment as Conrad lights up all his 4×4 wheels squealing away in his waiting truck looking like we had effectively escaped from Alcatraz’s…….got those visa’s then, yes I reply…. that’s Great…. Conrad exclaims as he blasted away off into downtown Windhoek…..yes I replied ….Next stop the DRC embassy… he exclaimed, as we weaved through the downtown traffic.
THE NEXT STOP THE DRC EMBASSY!
I am sure he was really enjoying every moment, as Conrad goes on to tell us ….Do you know my favourite saying Chris….No I exclaimed….Well Conrad explains ….IF its to good to be true ….Shoot it….!!!!
We all had a good laugh with that Namibian observation, as we pull up outside the DRC embassy.
The DRC Embassy Windhoek Namibia…
We had already been warned the lady at the reception was a terror for any would be applicants like us, a formidable force to deal with, Vincent had previously email us when he applied in 2011 and put us on guard.
Only the day before Conrad and I had been delivering Afri Aqua products around Windhoek this customer supplied several game reserve’s, who take bottled water and soap cleaning products out to the game reserves, we pull up unloading the water from Conrad’s truck when Conrad introduces the manager. He is a thin young dark skinned man smiling from ear to ear when Conrad explains our trip around the world. Wow what a journey, and we are soon joined by several other employees after the manager shows the other employees our travel card so they also can see what we are travelling around the world in.
Everybody loves Victor and its clear they would all like a vehicle like Victor to bash through the Namibian outback.
The young manager asks which direction we heading next………..I reply… Angola and then onto the DRC……Aargh he quickly replies his smile even bigger that is where I am from the DRC Kinshasa is my home.
Where are you going in the DRC he asks…not sure at the moment I reply as we need to apply for our visas tomorrow.
Conrad explains we will be applying for our DRC visa tomorrow the young man listens on and offers his help as his uncle works at the DRC embassy. WOW Conrad exclaims that’s just what we need someone on the inside to help….I was going to say know to his offer but as Vincent had already warned us about how things could go getting our DRC in Windhoek, this visa was a must do if we were to ever get up this west coast of Africa trying to circumvent the DRC would be a motoring challenge indeed something I know Elayne would not be that enthusiastic about.
The DRC Embassy Windhoek Namibia
DRC Embassy officials pose with Victor
Even more DRC Embassy (Windhoek Namibia) officials pose with Victor
Conrad jumps into the fray and tells Greg the young manager we will pick him up tomorrow taking up his kind offer to help us if things go a little African…..Conrad’s words….and Greg laughs yes a little African would be just the right description.
I knew this would involve some reward for the young mans help but it was a back-up, plus Conrad was enthusiastic about the whole chance meeting and how we had just stumbled across someone which had direct links with someone who had direct connections with the DRC embassy. I could see Conrad’s enthusiasm and I was not going to knock any help at this point in time.
The following day Conrad collects Greg the young safari supply manager we had stumbled across the previous day and we head off to the DRC Embassy in Windhoek. Greg was a very amiable guy and I knew things would work out well, I think the embassy is on it was Bismarck Avenue Greg directing Conrad, the name Bismarck implying to me some historic battle was in the air.
We all pull up outside the main entrance to the DRC embassy, but before I could tell Conrad it was unlikely we could remain here directly park right out side the DRC embassy entrance we were waved on by an armed embassy guard….Conrad was not impressed Namibians not taking outside authority to kindly. Greg to was a little upset we were not able to park directly outside his Countries Embassy, but I tried to explain this was a normal practice for all embassies around the world.
Who do they think they are Conrad exclaims, well its pretty much like this all over the world I begin to explain once again ….I am surprised we could get this close.
Elayne and I smiling at there initiation into the strange world of obtaining visas…..but we are still to close and again an armed guard moves us along a few more empty car places, Conrad and now Greg were not impressed.
The DRC Visa………………3-5 Transit or tourist visa that’s a question…of money.
Elayne, Greg and I waited in the main entrance while Conrad has told us he will wait outside making a few phone calls for Afri Aqua…I agreed no problems Conrad we have taken enough time from your work already and hopefully we will not be too long.
Greg tells Elayne and I how he had heard us on the Radio wave 96.7 fm yesterday morning and really enjoyed the commentary, especially the KAK and BAKKIE the best words on the planet.
Unfortunately Greg’s uncle was not available but it did look as Greg genuinely had a relative working at the embassy so no strings to pull to-day unfortunately but he hung around wanting to help anyway he could so we were able to visit his Country.
It was soon clear our new helper had our terror receptionist under control and things were looking up as our forms were submitted behind those all too impenetrable doors that most embassy’s have.
Without Greg’s help it is an all too familiar scene that very cold welcome which most embassies around the world seem to have as one of the job requirements.
But Greg had the lingo down to a tee so the terror receptionist was under his charming spell.
Greg was a great talker and storey teller and had most of the other local people waiting for meetings with embassy officials laughing there heads off.
Elayne and I thought this chance meeting with Greg was again what we needed things were looking decidedly better with his presents so fingers crossed.
Time ticked on and poor Conrad was waiting outside once again for now one hour and it looked as if we would need to return the next day just to submit the visa application.
Conrad’s friend (Greg) an indigenous DRC Kinshasa local was soon asking what the problems were as his new friends (us) had other /better things to do than waste there time sitting here.
Op’s I thought this is going to get rough for us ….no problems Greg could see our discomfort
I will sort this out, as once again he blurts off in the local Kinshasa tongue……..well soon after the locals were having a ding dong conversation which we thought needed time out a large lady appears from behind those impenetrable glossy doors, and exclaims Nam$1000.00 Namibian dollars each for tourist visas….YIKES ….that much Elayne and I cough and make it clear we were not happy with the price of the tourist visas price.
How comes the Congo visa was only Nam $500.00 each…..we explain to the large lady….Greg jumps in and adds his bit again blurting off in the local tongue……now we are digging a hole Elayne and I thought our DRC visas are fading as Greg tells the receptionist the visas are to much money how can the DRC expect people to visit when they are so expensive….YIKES……and maybe after Greg’s latest comment’s the chances of getting a DRC visa no matter what the cost was now not on the radar screen.
Once again the local Kinshasa tongue blasts across the usually quite embassy reception area as Greg tells us the visa to visit his country is to expensive and we should make other plans…..Greg was obviously not briefed on our quest along the west coast of Africa and without this vital visa it would be an expensive detour, one Elayne would not want to hear about.
Well Greg I explain it would be in our interests to obtain two DRC visa’s here in Windhoek the options of trying to negate driving around your wonderful country would be far more difficult without these vital documents.
Elayne joins in on the conversation and asks the price of a transit visa as that would be much a much cheaper option for us.
The large lady reels with Elayne’s question after she had explained she was not responsible for the price of the visas (as I had asked for some government document to show us the various visa options and prices)
The large lady went silent for a few seconds…..and exclaimed…do you think I am making up this 30 day tourist visa charges!!!!! ….This is what our government demands if you are from a foreign nation whishing to visit these are not my words but my government’s words.
Still no official paperwork was presented but we were not getting anywhere fast.
We do issue transit visas but you will not be able to stop you will need to keep driving until you pass through the DRC….mmmmh we thought that sounds ok to us.
Eventually the other large lady said she will need to ask the ambassador for
those all important visas’ for the DRC, and Congo, the DRC visa was only a 7 day transit, as we did argue the cost of a tourist visa with the embassy so they agreed to half the cost and issued a 7 day transit.
(Little did we know how difficult a DRC visa is to get coming from the north of this Continent, as we found out later on in Brazzaville Congo staying at the Hippocampe.
It was a busy two weeks in Windhoek but so very interesting and so warmly looked after by Conrad and Schantel so leaving the comforts of Windhoek was tough but we needed to push on always concerned about the weather and Angolan roads being our first test heading along the west coast of Africa.