Hello Namibia!

Trip Start Apr 09, 2008
Trip End Aug 30, 2008

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Where I stayed
Grunau Motors Campsite

Flag of Namibia  ,
Saturday, April 12, 2008

This morning we took only half the time getting ready than yesterday. In actual terms that's about 2 hours, but still, we consider it a success seeing as the day before that we took 6+ hours to "get ready".

We are working better as a team: Me, Matt, and Foxy. We have our self-designated duties when we're driving and when we're stationary. We have our own "stations" too when we put up/take down the tent, cook, wash up, etc. A lot of people have remarked that doing an overland trip like this certainly puts any relationship to the test. We concur. It's all about communication, trust and r-e-s-p-e-c-t. And lots of dark Lindt chocolate and good music to pass the time!

When everything you and your partner own at present is so closely associated with one vehicle, you do take extra precaution in doing things. I'm still learning Foxy's curves and grooves. I stopped counting the number of times I've hit my knee/elbow on one of her sharp edges. I keep discovering more everyday too.

She may be a 15year old beauty, but she's got certain kinks and oddities that one just has to accept (or learn first, for that matter). It's like we're getting to know each other in very intimate ways. Our relationship is at the "working it out" stage but we're hopeful. I have to admit though, my arms and shoulders are getting quite the workout from opening her back door, hoisting all the boxes underneath the platform and not to mention the dozen times I have to hoist myself up daily on the ladder, on the side steps or up on the hood. She's a very tall and well-built jungle-gym and I'm the performing monkey! ;)

Quick stop in Springbok to post last minute things from the post office and to pick up some beer and sweet red wine (in a box, so not to risk broken glass upon arrival).

Then off we zipped to Vioolsdrif as quick as we possibly could to try and get across the Namibian/SA border and aim for Aus, a small town famous for spotting feral horses.

All the procedures were quite smooth, considering it was our first border crossing with Foxy. Unfortunately ESKOM wasn't on our side at all. While we were getting all our VAT invoices processed (we get back 14% on all the goods we purchased in SA if we can show the items to the customs guard... this is a huge lump sum payment which would be a happy addition to our depleting wallets), the power went out.

So the nice man processing our invoices couldn't compute it all. When the power started up again after about 10 minutes, he had to start all over again. And then it went out AGAIN! So instead of waiting and wasting the day away, we had all our invoices stamped "deficiency due to power outage" and were told to process them at the office in Windhoek. Oh well. We bid farewell to South Africa and off we went to Aus!

Not quite. The Fish River bridge was closed (high floods apparently), so we took a secondary route to Ai-Ais (gateway to the Fish River Canyon) to get some diesel (we were running low and had to siphon some from our reserve tank).

Ai-Ais was closed due to renovations so we had to turn around.

While trying to decipher Namibia's road numbering, I took us in the wrong direction back towards the border! 60 precious kilometres were lost because of it. This is when drawing that "patience" card is vital between couples. Lucky for me I still had a few in reserve! ;)

SO... assessing our situation: we had half a bottle of water left between us, less than half a tank of diesel, the sun was quickly setting, no cars in sight (apparently Namibia is one of Africa's lowest population densities having only 2 people per square km!) and we still didn't know where we would be camping that night. Not a good situation to be in. Add to that these huge black long-legged jumpy things that were ALL over the road which looked slightly threatening. Lesson learned.

Eventually we got back on the main Namibian highway (B1) and stopped in Grunau for the night. We immediately filled our main and reserve fuel tank, bought 5 L jug of water and filled up Foxy's water tank to the brim.

Relaxed now that we had found a campsite (equipped with braai pit, private shower and toilet), we had a lovely broewors dinner with canned beans and veggies. Why does food taste so much better after a long day's drive?

I'm trying to keep a very up to date record of our trip: fuel consumption, fuel prices, fuel efficiency, where we spent the night, what happened at each border crossing, what we ate, what we saw... we'll see how it goes. So far so good, but it's only the third day.

Start: south of Springbok, SA. 10:00
End: Grunau, NAM. 18:20
Distance Travelled: 454 km
Road Conditions: smooth highway in SA and then packed gravel in NAM.
Temperature: daytime is hot and dry, thank goodness. But VERY hot and VERY dry. Nights are cool with slight breeze, very agreeable.
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