Day Four - Maltahöhe to Solitaire Solitaire has that solitary thing going. Or it used to. Fifteen years ago it was a fuel pump and a shop sitting solitary out on it’s own on the dusty C14. In the shop you could get fresh apple crumble. This apple crumble was written up in travel magazines as the best in the world. Now tourists from all over the world come here to have apple crumble. There is now a lodge, camping, two shops, a garage and a restaurant. And if you were looking for some solitude, it’s not in Solitaire anymore. Oh, and the apple crumble you ask? It’s ok. Namibia has actually changed quite a bit recently. Tourism is very well developed in certain parts of the country. Luxury lodges have sprouted all over and they aren’t scared to charge a pretty penny either. A room generally goes for anything from R800 pp (yes, per person) to R3000 pp per night. At Canõn Roadhouse for instance a beer is R16 and a double Brannas & Coke will set you back R45. You generally get two kinds of tourist, self drive and overlander truck groups. The C14 has plenty of these. A vehicle would come past at least every 10 – 20 minutes. We thought that by doing this trip just after the July school holidays, we will have the place to ourselves. What we did not take into account is that August is high season for the entire Northern Hemisphere. So the whole of Europe is over here on holiday. Germans, Spanish, Dutch and a lot of Italians all over. We check out the lodge and it is full. We check out the camping but it is just too busy, so we decide to ride to the first guest farm that looks lekker. Just 500m down the road we get a turn-off to Solitaire Guest Farm & Desert Ranch. http://www.solitaireguestfarm.com . The road in is a red sandy affair that is a joy to ride if you go at 70km/h. This turns out to be a wonderful place with pool, honesty bar and everything else you could want, including a hospitable Simone to make you feel welcome. They also have four camp sites, each with its own private ablutions. I can highly recommend this spot. There’s a tame springbuck that likes to kiss, or lick the salt off people’s faces, who knows? Note the Pratley putty on his horns; springbuck are notoriously combative little bastards. This one hasn’t become too much of a problem yet, but better safe than holey, haha. The kid is getting on nicely with the tent pitching thing, I am only needed at the last step where the poles have to be bent to fit. At long last it looks like we have outrun that cold front, or maybe we are far enough north to be shot of the cold weather for the rest of the trip. We go to bed happy and content. Tomorrow we ride the Spreetshoogte and Remhoogte passes.