Scheduled for twenty two hours 
The day finally arrived where I will be starting my trip on mainland Africa. Toffar woke me up early and I  quickly organised myself and of course there was the last minute packing panic moments as my clothes dried up the night before. I double checked all my travel documents making sure that all of them were in order and organised to day by day for the trip. After a heavy breakfast I bade goodbye to Shahieda and uttered a little prayer to myself for this trip. Toffar drove me to the bus station which was in the centre of town braving the traffic on the N2 highway which was at a standstill as it was peak hours and commuters were heading to work. Also, the traffic system was in place where only public buses and mini buses were allowed on the fast lane of the highway. I still had time to catch the bus while enjoying the ride with the majestic view of Table Mountain in sight.
Traffic jam on Highway N2, Table Mountain in the background.
The bus to Windhoek, I had the front row  upper deck seat.
Selfie before the ride.
Time to go on a long ride.
Toffar dropped me off  at the bus station an hour before the estimated departure time as he had other commitments for the morning. Organised my seat selection at the office of the bus company and then browsed at the tuck shops buying some snacks and drinks for the trip. The conductor of the bus informed me that we were only making three short stops along the way. I had time to call my bank back home to request an increase in my credit card limit which was surprisingly approved. The embarkation was a strict process where passports were checked and the weight limit for the baggages was duly observed. The excitement of this trip was felt but a teenie weenie feeling of doubt crept into me for this Southern African Sojourn of mine as the driver of the bus started warming up the engine  ..Que Sera Sera. I made a decision to go on this trip and have to accept any outcome from it … Good or bad. The bus departed on time and there I went!
The route
The first hour.
Effects of a long drought.
Small town, Western Cape.
Small town, Western Cape.
Bypassing a town along the way.
Drought  hit landscape.
Road to Windhoek
Road to Windhoek
I had the best seat in the bus, upper deck front seat with an uninterrupted view as the driver, only higher. Fastened my seat belts as required by law and also to feel more secured during the journey. As the bus was driving out of Cape Town, the landscape changed from a vibrant green eye pleaser into a more boring dry brown eyesore where most of the farm fields were affected by the drought that Western Cape has been facing, as there has been no rainfall for the past six months. The bus stopped  at a few small towns to pick up passengers that were going to towns along the way. Other then the customary stops for refueling and refreshments, the journey was a boring and dragging one where the landscape was uniformed along the way with dry fields, desert with small hills that dotted the landscape. The day passed very slowly. I glanced at the time often, waiting for the next scheduled stop. As dusk was settling, I was drained out of boredom but didn’t know that in a few hours I would be facing some exciting moments that would change the boring and monotonous moments of this bus journey.
Towns along the way.

Quiet journey.
Small towns, Western Cape.
Namib desert landscape.
Clanwilliam Town, Western Cape.
Typical dry landscape.
Approaching Springbox, Western Cape.
I was woken by the bus conductor a few kilometers from the town of Vioolsdrif about a quarter to midnight where the border checkpoint (CIQ) between South Africa and Namibia is located in order to prepare for the border crossing. Disembarking the bus, I made my way to the immigration counter to obtain my exit stamp. It was a breezy process then. We had to walk to the customs bay where the bus was about to be checked. This was where the ‘party’ started as the officer in charge at the moment requested us to take all our belongings off the bus and also in the attached baggage carrier. We were all made to stand in a long line with our bags in front of us and were ordered to open and empty our bags. The over zealous officer in charge ordered his subordinates to inspect every item that was in our possession. Tempers flared between some of the passengers and the customs officers and things got more worse when a scuffle broke out. I acted calmly and retreated a few metres behind and avoided the scuffle. The situation was tense until a few police reinforcements arrived. To make matters worse, all passengers who had possession of laptops were made to have their laptop programmes and applications checked for it’s originality that were installed and even had the manufacturers’ production serial numbers taken down. This process took hours off our journey schedule and I was worried that I might miss my connecting bus to Swakopmund from Windhoek the next day.
Namibia @ Dawn

Namibia @ Dawn

Namibia @ Dawn

As we arrived at the Namibian border checkpoint another drama unfolded where one of the passengers (Turkish) had no entry visa issued to him and had to be deported back to South Africa. We had to wait for his deportation documents to be prepared and processed and we all had to drive back to the South African border checkpoint to drop him off. The two incidents took more than three hours which meant that the bus would only arrive Windhoek thirty minutes before my connecting bus to Swakopmund departs, if my calculations were right and I hoped that it was wrong. I dozed off then until I was woken up by the fellow passenger beside me who wanted to use the toilet. Sigh……

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