Explorers Connect

Desert Expedition Medicine Course

Trip ReportJames Hipkiss

This is about my exciting experience in the Namib desert, where we practiced desert expedition medicine course. I am a Paediatrician by profession and currently working in Great Ormond Street Hospital as part of my paediatric rotation. But expedition and wilderness medicine is my hobby. I participated in several high altitude expeditions in the Himalayas and attended the jungle expedition medicine course in Costa Rica in 2011.

Desert Medicine Course, Namibia June 2012. 15th June, Friday: I boarded BA flight to Frankfurt from Heathrow terminal 5. The flight was at 4 pm. It was one and half hour journey. There was extensive security check before boarding the Air Namibia flight to Windhoek. The flight to Windhoek started at about 8 pm. Dinner was served quite late, especially my vegetarian dinner; Video was not working. There were many German tourists in the flight. My row was empty. I had a quiet and refreshing sleep. Breakfast was served an hour before landing. 16th June, Saturday: The flight landed at Windhoek at 4:30 am. There was a queue at immigration counter.

But it was smooth. The immigration officer asked my departure date, and then allowed me to go. I exchanged US dollar for Namibian currency. I got 610 Namibian currencies for 80 US dollars. The Windhoek airport was small, only a few planes standing in the airport. Outside temperature was 2 degree C. The sky was clear, sandy terrain, mild wind and shrubs here and there. I took a taxi to Kalahari Sand Hotel. The speed of taxi from airport to hotel was average 120 kmph. At one point, another taxi crossed my taxi with a speed of 140 kmph. It was a smooth highway, desert on either side with shrubs and bushes. There were alert signals on the road as wild animals cross the highway. I reached hotel by 6 am. Taxi fare was 180 NC, although I was told to pay 280 NC at the airport. I reported at the hotel counter and collected my keys to my room on 10th floor, 1002; had a cup of tea, went to toilet, went to have breakfast at ground-floor, then went to sleep. In the afternoon, I unpacked and then repacked my expedition kit.

I went to the local supermarket in the afternoon, a 10 minutes walk. Came back to hotel; had my dinner and then watched a movie on TV Eagle; the story of a Roman Legionnaire. I called Heikki at night. We attended the jungle medicine course in Costa Rica together. He just finished the Wild Medicine Course. 17th June, Sunday Today, meeting with other members at 10:45 in the hotel lobby I had my breakfast with Heikki and paid hotel bill. Saunders, Martin, Heikki, Sundeep and Catherine arrived. I also met Luke from Devon. He is a GP and just completed the Wild Medicine Course. He was not going to attend the Desert medicine Course. He was going back to UK. Clare from London and Estera from Australia arrived. Keletso Nyathi, the cheerful Zimbabowan doctor also arrived. His wife Barbara came to say goodbye. Journey started at 1 pm a 5 hours journey in a caravan cum bus. Korbus joined our team in the midway. He is one of our instructors. A trawler was also picked up with all our ration and water. The journey went along the National Highway. We saw baboons and gazels on country side. Our caravan went through wide valleys, dry terrain, meadows, rocky hills and mountains. We reached our campsite after sunset.

It was at the foot of a rocky hill. Our tents were erected; makeshift toilet and kitchen were built. It was pitch darkness and pin drop silence under the vastness of starry sky. The sky was full of unknown starts and cosmos it was southern hemisphere. The temperature was dropping rapidly after sunset. Within hours it was shivering cold. We had our dinner in the heat of camp-fire, then the introduction phase. Dr Sundeep Dhillon, our chief instructor, went through our plan for next few days. I started shivering; went to my tent to change to warm cloths and entered my sleeping bag. Although woke up several times, I had a refreshing sleep. 18th June, Monday I woke up early in the morning, before sunrise. I went to climb the rocky hill to view our camp from height and watch the sun rise; came down to the camp to have warm breakfast. Hiking started through dry grassland. We saw ostrich and Kudu on our way. We saw snake trail on sand and a dwarf tree with leaves having medicinal value. We then crossed a rocky hill and stopped under the shade of trees for GPS training and how to find direction in the wilderness using compass or even using shadow or wrist watch in the absence of a compass. We then trekked to the Ugap river valley dry sandy river bed, water flows under the sand. Water level is visible when it rains.

Green vegetation along the river bed was seen due to the abundance of underground water. It was a favourite place for wild elephants to roam. Water purification procedure using different gadgets and techniques was taught by Sundeep and Korbus. Faan drove the van from base-camp onto the river bed through a different route. Folding tables and chairs were opened and ready lunch was served pasta, cheese, bread, oranges, fruit juice (meat for others as I am a vegetarian). After lunch, we discussed theoretical aspects of medical emergencies in desert, dos and donts in the wilderness etc. Faan and Korbus told about their experience with difficult situations story about a trainee having shoulder dislocation and how some trainees accidentally freed a captive snake. The lunch camp was dismantled. We returned to base camp using GPS. We crossed green vegetation and shrubs on Ugap river valley. There was wild elephant dung everywhere. We crossed rocky hills and vast open terrain. In the camp, wilderness medical kit demonstration was performed by Dr Dhillon. He also shared his personal experience. We also discussed about our own personal experience. Stopping haemorrhage is the priority before airway in the wilderness. He also demonstrated different items used by military doctors.

After the lecture, we went for a mini hiking around the base camp. We went into the surrounding hills. We enjoyed sunset from hill top. There were abundance black rocks with metallic tone scattered within the background of brown hills and landscape. They looked quite unusual. They were possibly from asteroid hitting the earth surface. Keletso told us about the White Lady Cave; There was painting of a white lady was discovered in one of the hidden caves. It was very ancient and mysterious. The white lady was surrounded by people painted in black. It was a mystery who this white lady was whether it was an alien or a Shaman among local tribes. We came back to our camp; chatted for an hour. Heikki was not around. We found him in his tent. Dinner was served. During and after dinner, there was a long discussion on aliens, adventure movies, about our jobs etc. After dinner, there was a lecture by Dr Dhillon using slide projection on infectious diseases in tropic. Images were projected on the back of our trawler. It was pitch darkness around and very exciting. It was an interactive lecture. It was only 8.30 pm, looked like midnight. The sky was full of unknown stares and constellation. I just kept staring at the beautiful sky for hours standing alone in the darkness. Pin drop silence in the valley. I saw shooting stars flying across. 19th June, Tuesday I woke up by 5.45 am. After toilet, went out to explore.

I went to the other side of the rocky hills behind our camp. I sat on a rock to start writing. Splint and carrying device demonstration was done by Dr Dhillon. After breakfast, we started our days hiking. It was a more treacherous journey. We saw baboons sitting on hill tops. We passed through mountain and valleys, uphill and downhill and through cliffs. There were screaming alerts of baboons. In a valley we discovered a skull of an unknown carnivore with big incisors, like a carnivore or a sabre tooth tiger and also herbivorous teeth. It later came out to be a skull of a baboon, possibly hunted by a leopard. We had to cross a cliff less than one foot wide. It was difficult to cross with my back-pack. Heikki helped me to cross. We went further down in another valley.

There was a field lecture on radio-communication by Dr Dhillon. We were divided into two groups to practice radio-communication with each other. My shoe was hurting. I was getting slow. We saw pug mark of a leopard. A whole family of baboons were watching us from the hills. We crossed wide valleys and hills. It was a dry land, resting sometimes. We walked for hours through the dry land before reaching the dry Ugap river valley with green vegetation around. After crossing the green lustre, we reached the sandy river bed. Faan already brought the caravan and opened the folding chairs and tables and prepared the makeshift lunch camp. Before our lunch, we practiced fire lighting; we used techniques like flint technique, lens, and bushmans technique. I had to open my shoes and walked bare footed as my shoe was hurting. After lunch, there was demonstration of satellite phone.

The temporary camp was dismantled. We started walking using GPS towards our base camp. After dinner, we started chatting around camp fire. It was dark with the sun set. It was freezing cold. We had a mini lecture on star gazing. It was comfortable only within the rim of heat around the camp fire. We were getting closer as the temperature was dropping further. I remember the constellation of Scorpio. There were other constellations which I cant remember now. It was an amazing night.

20th June, Wednesday

There were snake and scorpion demonstration after brake-fast. The maximum people dying from snake bite in southern Africa were due to the bite of Puff Adder which has got cyto-toxic venom. The Horned Adder was haemotoxic. It was only a foot long and brown coloured. The Cape Cobra was about 4 feet long with golden yellow colour. The spitting cobra was also about 4 feet long with alternate black and white stripes. Two scorpions were demonstrated. One was looking awful covered with reddish hair and dangerous looking sting at the end. Its toxin was fatal, people die immediately. The other scorpion, although venomous, was looking less awful. Clare and then I picked up the second scorpion to play with. It behaved appropriately, crawling on our hands. We were told not to touch the other scorpion as it could be fatal.

We then played with the python on our shoulder. We had photo sessions with it. Both the puff Adder and the horned Adder, when released, decided to come towards me. I was bit worried when the puff Adder was crawling towards me and I jumped to a safer distance. With the horned Adder, I was a bit bold. I stood quite to see what happens. I came towards me and made a coil to rest under my shade. There was demonstration of milking venom from horned Adder and its effect on blood. Blood was drawn from a vein of Dr Dhillon and poured into two different containers. Then the milked poison was added to one container. After half an hour, the container without poison was found to have the clotted blood, where as the container with venom, the blood was found to be liquid still. Our base camp was dismantled. Now onwards we would hike through desert, halt at night in the open desert and hike further next day. We started our journey; came down to Ugap river valley, crossed the green lustre of the river valley and entered into a jungle of thorny plant. We were careful about wild elephants. There was elephant dung everywhere. As we approached, we noted commotion into the jungle - one huge sized Kudu and its calf came running out of it and climbed the hill next to the jungle and disappeared. It was not easy to move through the thorny bush land. We all started bleeding from thorn injury. We then started climbing the hill. In the middle of the hill, in the shadow, we stopped for a break. It was a safe place with full view of the valley. After break, we started climbing the hill again and went to the other side. It was like a plateau of dry land and rocks with minimum vegetation.

The sun was getting hotter. We set our GPS co-ordinations We came down the plateau, entered another dry river bed next to a mountain range. We saw plenty of foot print of wild animals on the sandy river bed. It was quite an eerie feeling there. On the right hand side, there was the mountain range and on the left, the high land. The dry river bed was in between. We stopped for a while to set up our GPS co-ordination and then started again. After crossing the terrain we reached an open stretch of vast rugged landscape. There were bushes scattered within the landscape. The leaves were long and slender and thick. They are called poison bush, as the secretions from the leaves are deadly. The juicy secretions could burn the skin or even cause corrosion of the oesophagus if ingested. All animals except the rhinos avoid these bushes. Only rhinos are able to digest the leaves. We walked through the vast open landscape for another 2 hours before reaching our designated latitude and longitude. Faan already drove through this place left our ration and drinking water hiding behind a poison bush. It was not difficult to find out as we were in a group walking in a straight line vertical to the direction of walk. The makeshift camp will be here. We choose a place behind another poison bush, as it would cover our back from most of the wild animals. There were more bushes and dry vegetation scattered in that area.

After this, there was an open stretch of dry grass-land. We saw some ostriches grazing in that grassland. We put our rucksacks down. Faan was called over the radio. He arrived in his caravan. There was demonstration of fixing a broken caravan in the middle of wilderness; the rear wheel of the van was lifted using a jack, a coil of rope was wrapped around the wheel and then the rope was pulled heavily by all of us to roll the lifted wheel. As the wheel started to roll, the engine started automatically. This is useful in a situation where the engine ignition was not possible due to mechanical failure. Camp setting was started. Jobs were distributed amongst us. Heikki and I wend to dig toilets behind another bush, about 30 metres from our campsite. The toilet was dug and toilet codes were explained to everyone. The sun was set in the horizon. The cold was creeping in the valley along with the setting darkness. Again, we, few creatures from other parts of the world, were spending another night in the middle of desert vastness under the vastness of starry sky. It was a different feeling, a feeling of humbleness. The vastness of dark sky and the vastness of desert made us feel how small we were compared to the universe. Humble dinner was prepared with tinned food, warmed on our campfire.

After dinner, we discussed our next days plan and gossiped for a while. As my digital camera running out of battery, I had to take snaps using my manual camera. Now it was time to prepare for sleep. There was no tent. We had to sleep under the open sky. I opened my polythene sheet, sleeping bag and orange coloured survival bag. I purchased the survival bag before my jungle expedition in Costa Rica in 2011 where it was hardly used. It would be a difficult night to spend in the freezing cold, the temperature dropping every minute. I wrapped up myself with all sorts of warm cloths I had, entered my sleeping bag which was already kept within the survival bag on the polythene sheet. It was really difficult to fall asleep. It was uncomfortable not only in the openness, but also a feeling of insecurity and eeriness. I am sure other also had a similar feeling except Heikki. Heikki was sleeping not far from me and within minutes I heard his snoring, which, in the middle of night could be mistaken as the roaring of a lion. 21st June, Thursday I woke up in the morning with the sun rise. The sleep was not very deep at the beginning but had a better sleep early in the morning. My survival bag was wet. The sleeping bag and the liner were also moist but less moist as within the survival bag. Fire was lighted again with dry wood. Morning tea was prepared as well as the breakfast with corn flakes, milk powder, sugar and hot water on mess tins. We were ready for the days hiking. The camp was dismantled. Make-shift toilets were covered with sand. We started our journey through the dry valley.

We crossed a dry grass-land to reach the mountain range. We crossed the mountain to reach the valley on the other side. It was again a dry land with dry grass and shrubs. This valley was known to be the grazing land of rhinos and elephants. We looked for any movement from the mountain top for any movement and descended into the valley only when were safe. Elephants were unable to chase uphill. But the story is different for rhinos. They are more dangerous as they can chase up hills. Rhinos can cover 60 km in a single night. We came down into the valley. It was a sandy terrain. The land was filled with all sorts of animal foot-prints. Korbus taught us how to track animal foot-prints. Best time for tracking is either in the morning or in the afternoon when sun is in the horizon. That helps to see the animal tracks much clearer as the shadow is elongated. The factors which affect the tracking include sunlight, wind, and direction of food source, shade etc. Rhinos have poor vision but excellent smell and hearing. That is why the way to survive if a rhino is chasing is to lie down in the ground rather than running.

Bush people are the best people to track wild animals. Korbus and Faan worked in the black rhino project, protecting the wild rhinos. They taught us how to track rhinos two persons needed for tracking; first person would look for rhino foot-prints and mark them while the second person would stand behind and look for possible dangers. Tracking the poachers is different from tracking wild animals. 3 persons needed for tracking poachers like the shape of V. The first and third persons look around for possible dangers while the second person tracks foot-prints. While tracking through grass-lands, look for bent grasses for the direction of animal movement. Tracking is very difficult in rocky ground. Cheetahs usually have marks of nails in front of their pug-marks as they cannot retract theirs nails whereas a leopard foot-print doesnt have marks of nail in-front of it. Elephant foot-prints have corrugated lines radiating from the centre resembling the corrugated skin underneath. Ostrich foot print has marks of a single nail in front of it. Ostrich kicks forward while running which can kill even a lion. White excreta belong to hyenas as they can crush bones. Baboon marks resemble like the palms of a human baby on sand. The big 5 in the desert are elephants, rhinos, lions, cheetahs and leopards.

We crossed the valley, looking carefully for wild animals. Generally they avoid human beings unless rabid. We started climbing the next mountain range; stopped for a while for little break under the shade of a tree to eat dry fruits and water. There was a tree up in the mountain with hugely wide trunk known as Moringa tree. We started climbing again to reach another valley filled with rocks and dry shrubs. There was another mountain range after the valley; we started climbing using our compass; the top was grassy which looked like a green road from a distance, from previous mountain range. We started climbing down a rocky cliff with mountain on either side. This was actually a dry waterfall. The surface was very very uneven, filled with boulders and rocks; very dangerous to climb down. We descended into a wide sandy valley. The sun was really getting hot; the weather getting dry. We walked for an hour through the sandy terrain.

There was a Bushmens village at a distance. We found few scattered trees after an hour with lots of dry elephant dung scattered. We decided to rest under a tree. We had to be careful as it was a favourite place for ticks. Fire was lighted with dry wood to prepare hot tea. After resting a while Martin and I went to the nearby hill top after walking about 20 minutes. We called Faan over radio to ask about the GPS co-ordination of our destination; then came back to our temporary camp. We started our journey again using our GPS. It was again walking through the sandy terrain. We discovered Faan hiding behind a boulder on nearby hill top. The terrain was getting hotter. There was another mountain range in front of us. We discussed whether to go around or to cross the mountain. We all agreed to go across. It was rocky uphill with dry shrubs and bushes.

There was danger of stepping on snakes. We found another valley after reaching the top. Unlike the previous valley, it was a dry grass land. From the hill top we found Faan crossing the valley. He already left our companion and crossed the mountain through some short-cut. The valley was about 500 metres wide. There were two parallel mountain ranges on the other side of the valley. We saw Faan disappearing in between the two. We came down and walked through the dry valley with bushes and shrubs here and there. Korbus stopped us after we crossed the valley. He arranged a funny game to spit dry Kudu droppings as far as we could; he reassured that the droppings were harm less, as made up of grass only and being sterile in the desert heat. He himself did the first attempt to reassure us. I ranked second. After rest for a while, we started again through the narrow valley in between two parallel mountain ranges. We discovered the tyre markings of Faans caravan on the ground.

The tyre marks went around the second mountain range. In the middle of the valley we debated whether to cross the second mountain range or to go around it. Ultimately the decision was to go around the valley. Martin and were at the front guided by our GPS. We walked another hour through dry sandy terrain to reach the other side of the second mountain range. Although we were blindly following the tyre marks, Martin noticed that the GPS was pointing towards left into the grassland away from the direction of the tyre markings our water and other items were hidden behind a bush. After walking another 10 metres we discovered the place. We called other members. We discovered a nearby place without any grass. It was a favourite place for zebras to roll over and relax. Although it was a good place for camp fire, there was risk of tick-bites.

Anyway, fire wood was collected to light camp fire. Chris and I went to dig toilet holes behind another bush. Faan taught us how to measure distance in the wilderness. Looking from high to low ground, the distance seems to be increased; whereas the reverse happens, i.e., the distance seems to be decreased while looking from low to high ground. Sundeep taught us how to measure approximate sun set timing each finger equals approximately 15 minutes. We all opened out rucksack. It was the second night in wilderness. Sander and Chris discovered the carcass of a hunted springbok behind a tree just 20 metres away from our camp site. It was a dried up carcass. It was possibly hunted by a leopard or a cheetah. The neck was fractured and bent backwards, the hind legs were torn away. Abdomen was opened and eaten up to the chest. It was also eaten up by hyenas and jackals. It was a dangerous place for night halt, but we had no other choice. Estera and Claire began to cook tinned sweet-corn, packets of beans and beet-roots, noodles, roasted nuts and raisins and biscuits. After dinner, Sundeep arranged infectious disease quiz. Weather was getting cold very rapidly. Just outside the rim of fire, it was freezing cold.

We prepared our sleeping places. Chilling cold wind was entering the valley through a cliff of the surrounding mountain. Korbus reassured that the wind will stop blowing after sometime which actually happened. It would be the last night in the wilderness. No one was willing to enter the sleeping bag. Also there was a hidden fear of wild creatures roaming around. We already heard howling of a baboon from the mountain. The carcass of the springbok was lying very close to our camp. After infectious disease quiz, we started another quiz on our knowledge of geography. Everyone would have to name a geographical place, city, ocean, river or mountain and the next person would name another one starting with the finishing letter. It was very interesting, continued for next 2 hours. We discovered that most of the places were ending with a, d, n, e, i or y. Very minimal number of names were ending with p or b. The game continued until 22.15.

The fire started to cool down. It was deeply silent valley; starry sky above, darkness outside the rim of fire. Howling of baboon reminded about the presence of wild creatures, chilling cold wind, carcass of the dead springbok all made that night an unusually eerie night and quite uncomfortable. I opened up my emergency shelter sheet. After clearing the ground with shovel, I spread it on the ground. It was secured from blowing wind with rocks. I opened my emergency shelter bag and entered within it with my sleeping bag. This was done lighting my head torch next to a bush. Keletso was sleeping on the other side of the bush. Claire moved away from her original position. I looked into the starry sky and very soon went into deep sleep, forgetting the eerie environment we were staying. 22nd June, Friday I woke up early in the morning. The head end of the sleeping bag was outside the survival bag and was completely wet with dewdrops. I fall asleep again. I woke up again when the eastern sky was getting red and stars were fading.

It was freezing cold. I came out of my sleeping and survival bad and went to the fire. Heikki, Estera and Sundeep were already there and lighted up the fire. Others also came soon. Boiled water was served to prepare black tea; then breakfast with porridge, sugar and milk powder in hot water for breakfast. It was already 8 am. Heikki reminded that the starting time would be 8.20. I packed up my rucksack quickly and went behind a bush for natures call. I heard Faan was driving the caravan towards our camp. After toilet, I covered the pit with sand and handed the shovel to Clifton. I lost my compass in hurry, although I had another spared one. I came back to the camp site. Everyone was ready to move. I went back again to look for my lost compass. Surprisingly the terrain was so confusing that I was totally confused where I went for toilet. Hiking was started again.

It was 8.30 am; sunny day. We walked through the sandy valley for an hour. We were following the tyre marks. I was walking faster than others. Korbus called me from behind; asked for a toilet roll and disappeared behind a bush. We started walking again. We stopped after 100 metres. Korbus was calling us from behind, giving us hand signal asking us to return quickly as someone was bitten by a snake. Claire and I ran immediately. Heikki was lying behind a bush. Others also arrived soon. It was a scenario on medical emergency. It was a snake bite over right leg. Right leg was exposed, bandaged, immobilized using a splint. Heikki was laid on the ground, log-rolled over a mattress. 6 people would carry the casualty to our van, waiting about 500 metres away. We halted several times to exchange hands or change sides. Within half an hour, we reached our van. Apparently, the wheels were stuck into the sand and engine was not starting. The rear left wheel was elevated using a jack. The wheel was made to roll using a flat rope and by pulling. The engine was started again. Champagne was served. It was the end of our strenuous training. Now it was the time to return to civilization. Our rucksacks were loaded into the caravan; we also boarded. Faan started driving. We drove past the sandy valley, rocky landscape, dry grasslands and vast landscape. It took nearly 2 hours to drive past the desert. The caravan was driving at the speed of 80 kmph. We saw few springboks and a lone giraffe on our way. We also drove past grazing goats of local Bushmen. Their guard dogs were chasing our van.

After nearly 2 hours drive, we reached the main highway. The van stopped for a while at a petrol station and for refreshment. We already had our packed lunch in our caravan sandwich, apple, and chocolate and fruit juices, all labelled from South Africa. We all fall asleep in our long journey. We started at about 10.30. By 4 pm, after more than 5 hours drive at the speed of 80 kmph, we reached our destination, a place to stay overnight near civilization Okahandza guest house, at the outskirt of Windhoek, about 100 km from Windhoek. We crossed more than 400 km to reach civilization. We unloaded our luggage. It was a natural environment within the desert. It was a single storied lodge.

There were few scattered trees with wild birds chirping, African arts at the entrance. We went to the reception to collect our room keys. Cherry wine was served in small glasses. Chris and I shared a room. I unpacked my entire luggage from my rucksack and went for shower. At 6 pm, we all met at the bar. I had coke, others had wine. Claire sponsored drinks for us. We went to the dining room for dinner. My starter was with a mushroom preparation and main course was with Pasta. It was getting cold again although there was a burner in the dining hall. We had gossips and photo sessions in between our dinner.

After dinner I went to my room, others went to the bar. Chris came back after sometime as the bar was closed. 23rd June, Saturday I woke up at 5.30 am; went out of the room with a cup of tea. Sundeep was going towards dining room. I called Sundeep in our room and offered a cup of coffee. Estera was ready to leave. We all went to the dining room for breakfast. Estera left in a hired car. We all packed our luggage and came to the reception area after an hour. We had another photo session. We loaded our luggage in the van. Our journey started towards Windhoek; reached Kalahari Sand hotel by about 11.30. Barbara was waiting for Keletso. Clare left for airport in the same car.

We carried our luggage to the reception. The reception kindly agreed to keep them. We went out for a tour in the city. We got separated. We went to a huge shopping mall. It was a lovely and well maintained city within desert. The population mostly is African with some descendants of the early European settlers. Keletso invited us to his house. He took me and Heikki to his house. It was within a well maintained and well secured flat complex on the slope of a hill. We had our lunch. We discussed a lot about Namibia, Zimbabwe, how Keletso managed to escape from Zimbabwe to Namibia, Robert Mugabe and so on. By about 4 pm Keletso dropped us to Kalahari Sand Hotel. He went to attend a delivery. Chris was waiting in the reception.

We collected our luggage. Our van which we booked in the morning didn't arrive. The hotel staff called a taxi to airport. It took nearly an hour to reach the airport. Me, Chris and Heikki went together. After security and immigration check we entered the waiting area. The flight was at 9 pm, the Air Namibia flight to Frankfurt. The flight was uneventful except some mid-air turbulence. We reached Frankfurt next morning. Heikki disappeared to catch his flight to Helsinki. I and Chris had cups of coffee. We had to wait to catch our flight to Heathrow. It was one and half hour journey to Heathrow where Chris and I separated. The flight landed at Heathrow by 11.30.

This is my story about desert expedition.