Desert wind

It was a happy group of people travelling on the Safari Train.

The scenery through the compartment window was brown and barren, yet beautiful in a way which kept you looking and looking, kilometer after kilometer The rhythmic movement of the train, moving at a steady pace, made one feel relaxed and sleepy.

“They  say  we  are  going  to  have  very  hot  weather  in  Swakopmund!”,  a  rotund,  rosy-cheeked  man  in  a  Scottish accent volunteered as we edged our way past him in the corridor on our way to the dining cart. “That’s hard to believe!”, we answered back over our shoulders, moving on legs slightly bent, with the body thrown a  little  forward  against  the  movement  of  the  train  to  keep  our  balance.  Our  hands  were  thrust  into  deep  warm pockets of bulky coats, scarves warming our neck and chest against the constant icy drafts you find in trains. The Namibian landscape gently rolled by in a surreal type of time-encapsulated feeling. We could easily have been the only  people  on  earth;  this  Safari  train  and  its  cargo  of  passengers.  For  hours  on  end  all  you  could  see  was  vast landscapes of rocks, hardy scrubby trees and more rocks.

There was no sign of human life. Sitting in the lounge car, sipping on a beer, the train was slowly but surely edging its  way  to  Swakopmund  where  we  would  stay  for  2  nights.  The  Safari  Train  is  the  novel  idea  of  a  retired  school master who loves trains. He thought other people might also share in his passion of bygone days when train travel was possible, and ventured into tourism by organising trips on trains to different destinations. His   most   popular   round-trip   was   the   one   we   were   travelling   on.   Pretoria   to   De   Aar,   Upington,   Windhoek, Swakopmund, and back. It would take us 10 days to complete the 6000km plus trip.

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