Return to Ngepi Camp in Namibia; Elton's thirtieth birthday and the Garbage Bag Party

We left Umvuvu Camp at the edge of the Delta in the morning of the 22nd and retraced our steps back across the Namibian border to Ngepi Camp with the funny toilets. Again we had to stop for the ferry, the border and for grocery-shopping, so again it took nearly all day to go a hundred kilometers.

The 23rd was Elton’s (our tour guide’s) 30th birthday and he was spectacularly unhappy about the idea. I remember my own thirtieth and how much it depressed me, and so do most of the people on the tour, so we were all gentle with him. Unfortunately this meant he got to come up with one of his insane party theme ideas, like the Fancy Dress Party a few weeks back. There seem to be a few campsite-specific overland traditions, though, and he went with it this time. Ngepi’s party tradition is the Bin Liner Party, in which you design a costume out of trash bags. Just like last time with the dresses, though, Elton put his own spin on it and we didn’t get to design our own but had to pick names out of a hat. I drew Kate, Big Lee’s wife from London, and Sheryl had me (for which I was grateful). I designed a nun’s costume with dress, habit and rosary (it’s a good thing I’m not Catholic or I’d probably be excommunicated for making a rosary out of garbage bags) and Sheryl made me a cool Native American outfit complete with head-dress, tomahawk and bow and arrows. Sheryl had a Jane Fonda costume with leg-warmers and glitter courtesy of Rebecca, and carried it off quite well with her brand-new arm muscles. Elton took his revenge on Adam (the driver) for unspecified offences by making him a diaper and nothing else. Elton himself soon gave up his costume in favour of a leopard-print leotard belonging to the bar, which they only bring out on special occasions. Better him than me - I don’t think that thing’s ever been washed. Anyway the party was a smashing success and we all managed to distract Elton from his old-age-induced melancholy for the evening. I think his hangover accomplished the same thing today, which is his actual birthday.

The infamous Garbage Bag Rosary


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Chris Liberty - Dispatches from a Gentleman Adventurer
Being the internal dialog of a vagabond who chased his own tail across five continents for 4 years and 2 days from May 2008 to May 2012, in search of something that never really became clear.
This travelogue comprises 16,426 photographs and 402,515 words in 307 dispatches written from 335 places in 52 countries on 6 continents around the world.
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