We had a pretty long day ahead of us with about 450 km to drive and some sightseeing on the way. Since crossing the border from South Africa to Namibia we had also crossed a timeline and we had to adjust our watches one hour back. By “keeping” Espen on South African time in the morning I managed to get him out of bed at 07.00 (told him it was 08.00). After an early breakfast the plan was to jump in the pool for a morning swim since we camped at Ai Ais hot spring.
But plans do change.
Opening our food drawer we saw the evidence of an uninvited visitor. A rodent had chewed on Espens breakfast cereal, a packet of Wasa crisp bread and a few other items. Then we could see other pieces of evidence in the car as well.
To deal with this we needed breakfast. Found some untouched food that we ate and Espen had his coffee, and then we were ready to find who had got into the Patrol.
Boxes, bags, more stuff, and eventually the food drawer came out of the car, and then we could spot some movement. It was a mouse. By using a stick we managed to get the mouse out of where it was hiding, but it just found a new place to hide. We thought we had control, and we tried to block off possible escape routes before we forced the mouse out of its hiding place behind the aux batteries.
The mouse was quick and found another way. We tried again, but the mouse escaped us again, and this time we could not see where it went except from forward in the car. We hoped it had jumped out of the car without us noticing. Just to make sure we kept on checking and hitting on places where it could hide to scare it out, but we did not see it again. Then we just had to pack all our stuff back into the car. Our early start turned out to be a ten o’clock departure and the swim was cancelled.
Ai Ais Hot Spring is next to Fish River and is the exit point for the five day hike of the Fish River Canyon. We drove up to the best viewpoints of the Fish River Canyon and it was pretty impressive.
It was not our intention to do the hike so we continued our drive north. Somebody had recommended us a Roadhouse just up the road, and it was a fascinating place to have some refreshments.
Here in Namibia it gets dark at 17.30, so at 16.00 and after a 300 km drive, we started to look for a place to camp. We found a nice campsite in the small town off Bethanien. There hadn’t been a sign of the mouse all day so we hoped it had jumped out, but to be sure we had saved the packed of breakfast cereal that it had enjoyed last night. As I was cooking dinner I could hear a noise in the car. Running quickly to the passenger side of the car where I had left the breakfast cereal I could see the mouse sitting next to the bag. Before I was able to get it out it ran and hid underneath the dashboard. After dinner Espen made his own trap using a piece of a plastic bag that made a lot of noise, breakfast cereal on top, and covering this was a pot held up with a stick with a string attached. With the string Espen could sit outside the car (drinking beer, he claimed) while waiting for the mouse. It took only a couple of minutes before we could hear the mouse. It must have been starved because it had nothing to eat all day as we spent a lot of time driving. Espen managed to trap the mouse and we released it outside the car.
It looked pretty confused as it was running around, not finding anything familiar after travelling 330 km in a car. It found a place to hide in a fence on our campsite and we felt so sorry for it. Hope it will be able to adapt to its new surroundings. We are at least really happy that it only travelled with us for a day.