My first hiking experience was very nice. I hiked to and from Mariental. On the way there, I rode in the back of a covered pickup. At one point, there was 4 other hikers in the back of the pickup with me.
To get the ride with the pickup, I walked to the edge of town (about a 45 minute walk) and stood at the hiking point. The hiking point was near a road sign with a couple of big rocks under it. There were a number of other people waiting at the hiking point with me. I waited there for about 45 minutes until the small pickup pulled over. When cars drove by, I would stick out my arm, thumb pointed up, and rock my hand back and forth, indicating I was looking for a hike.
On the way back, I went to a gas station, and asked the service people if they could help me find a ride back home. They were very happy to help, and quickly found me a very nice ride back home (an air-conditioned small 4-door car). They even gave me a comfortable chair to sit on in the shade while I waited for them to find me a ride!
I like waiting on the side of the road better -- I think it is the way most Namibians hike. The gas station starting point seems to be the way privileged hikers hike. I am trying hard not to be a privileged person.
The way to Mariental cost me $20, and the way back cost me $40. I was told that a fair travel price was $30 -- I guess my average cost worked out then!
I spent most of the weekend working with another PCV to upgrade the PCs in her computer lab. I had a lot of fun, and we did get a lot accomplished.