Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday's Spotlight - More hot days!

By guest blogger Pete

Last week's blog - based on the sunny summer weather we are enjoying at present - made me think of other warm occasions.

Photo courtesy of Gusjer

At one time we lived in the tropics at a place called Walvis Bay - then in South West Africa but now in Namibia.  Walvis Bay's weather was anything but tropical.  The Benguela Current, originating from the Antarctic, swept along the Namib Desert coastline near Walvis Bay causing the temperature to be very English style without the rain.  It rained only once in the three years we were there and then the main roads - made of compressed salt - were washed away.  When it did rain the whole population of Walvis Bay abandoned what they were doing and just went and stood outside in the rain.  15 miles inland from Walvis and you knew you were in the tropics.

Photo courtesy of Lawmurray

I once took a group of seamen off to visit an oasis in the Namib Desert - the oasis was called Goanikontes.  To get there you just drove off the road opposite a mountain called Rossing - a few years ago Uranium was discovered there (which accounts for the green glow that it displays in the dark) - turn right at a red oil drum and head off into the desert.  There were no roads to Rossing; you just followed the oil drums that were placed from time to time in the desert (stony desert here).  Anyway, on our way to Goanikontes, and unrealised by us, the fog came down and hid Rossing from view.  We had no compass and without Rossing we had no bearings.  Thus we had to stop and stay until the fog lifted and we could make our way back to the road.  We never found it that day but Goanikontes was a lovely cool place with trees in abundance - plus they also sold the coldest tastiest lager I've ever tasted.

 Photo courtesy of MistressF

We often had a braifleis (barbecue) in the desert.  Braifleis is the Afrikaans word for "burnt meat".  One of the coasters that called quite regularly into Walvis Bay had as their chief engineer, a man weighing something like 20 stone.  How he managed in the engine room I just don't know.  It was he who showed us how to barbecue meat.
1.  Light fire.
2.  Find large flat stone (no difficulty in parts of the Namib Desert) and place it over the fire (not on the fire!)
3.  Put meat on stone.  Turn meat fairly often.
4. Regularly moisten meat with cold beer.

When next you have a barbecue, try this method.  It results in great cooked meat (no raw or burnt parts).  I'll leave it to you to find the large flat stone.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Wow, Pete, the photos of the sand dunes in the Namib Desert are so wonderful and awe inspiring! Thank you for them. Also thanks for the BBQ'ing tip. I'm thinking about prying up one of the flagstones from the patio and giving it a try. Do you think Dave will notice?