Solitaire. My mind jumped to computer card games and Karen Carpenter’s warbling, but in Namibia, Solitaire is a place on the map. It’s also a key part of tours that speed along the tarmac between Windhoek and the Namib-Naukluft National Park.
As we arrived, our footsteps crunching in the dessicated soil and a fine dust swirling through the air, the true identity of Solitaire was revealed….It’s a petrol station with a café.
I suppose that in a desert, a supply of water, petrol and hot coffee becomes an oasis in its own right and at least the owners have jazzed up the experience by sinking cars into the sand. Perhaps they wish to remind travellers that without mundane yet vital institutions like petrol stations, this fate awaits us all…
Abigail King is a writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. Now published by Lonely Planet, the BBC, CNN, National Geographic Traveler & more, she feels most at home experimenting here: covering unusual journeys, thoughtful travel and luxury on www.insidethetravellab.com