Day 144: Orange River

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Tue 29 Mar 2011 14:19
Day 144: Monday 28 March 2011. Noorotshama Resort, Aussenkehr, Namibia. S28 23.749 E017 24.643  Distance driven 82 km.
By 0800 it was as hot as Hades in the Ai Ais camp site, surrounded as it is by bare rock on all sides.  We struck camp and moved out firstly on the C13 then the D207, a short cut from Ai Ais to Aussenkehr.  This was another stunning drive through barren mountain scenery until we hit the D 212 at Aussenkehr, which runs along the Orange River.
Aussenkehr is really a vineyard town -  vast swathes of green vines along the river bank and hundreds of grass huts for the vineyard workers.  Surprisingly, there is a modern and very well stocked Spar supermarket and liquor store and their AC was very welcome.
When we had been researching our proposed trip into the Richtersveld we had found out that the road on the Namibian side, from Aussenkehr to Rosh Pinar, was closed as the approaches to the bridge over the Fish River had been washed away. Even if this had been open, the pont (ferry) at Senderlingsdrift is also closed because of the high volume of water still coming down the Orange River. This means that we cannot get into the Richtersveld as planned and will have to hold it as "unfinished business".
This "resort" at Noorotshama is still being built but they have suffered severe damage to 6 riverside cottages in the recent floods. These cottages were flooded by the exceptionally high flood water and will have to be scrapped.  The river is still very high and is running at about 5 knots.