As a result, I'm busy tying up loose ends: making sure wilderness lodges in the Sossusvlei get paid, making sure we can get cell phone service while we're in the veld [hello Virgin Mobile South Africa!], and trying to make dinner reservations.
However, it would appear that telephone technology circa 2006 isn't getting me anywhere. I've just spent over an hour trying to establish a single high quality connection to Joe's Beerhouse in Windhoek, and I'm giving up for the day. Thanks to a combination of crappy VOIP software, Sennheiser microphones that are barely audible, Logitech microphones that redline so badly you can't make out what I'm saying, and shoddy cellular service at my house [on both Verizon and Cingular], I've managed to get a "phone connection" about a dozen times without it ever being stable or clear enough to book a table for August 28.
In the meantime, if you, dear reader, have ever travelled in the western Cape or been to Namibia, I'd love to hear from you. This is our first trip to Africa, and we're of course tremendously excited to finally make a visit to the one Mediterranean climate area on the planet that we've always wanted to see but somehow never made it to thus far. We'll be in country for nearly three weeks; we're renting a 4x4 and heading north from Cape Town to Windhoek and back, taking plenty of time to stop and hunt for wildflowers along the way. Other fun stuff includes obscure wineries such as Cederberg, desolate German colonial towns such as Lüderitz, the Fish River Canyon [#2 after the Grand Canyon in terms of size], ancient Afrikaanse country inns, and of course hopes of awesome wine and food [we're spending three days around Franschhoek].