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The Diary
The Solidarity
100km Namibia Desert Run - Runners contributions (Namibia 2)
Thanks ever so much to all the runners for their contribution, in the form of clothes, medicines and donations towards Elfoavventure solidarity events...
Namibia 2

Here we are back in Namibia!

We return to this beautiful desert and take a short pause from our tour to meet the participants of the “100km Namib Desert”.

It’s like being on a ship…

About 100km of road has us pitching and rolling as if we were on the bridge of a ship.
It cuts through an infinite number of high dunes perpendicular to the road.
Between the dunes, closed in by the levees of sand, there are long grassy valleys inhabited by sheep and springbok.

Luderitz – 2 July 2008

This very important city and its port emerged from the safety of this deep bay, protected from the large waves.
The ground is of grey rock that appears blackened as if from a fire. The sky is usually grey and foggy and merges together with the grey of the rock. Coloured houses attempt to add contrast with their colours, lending a more balanced air to the place.

Diaz point

July 1488 saw the arrival of Diaz, the first European in history to reach this point in Namibia. Just after his brief stop, he set off again only to encounter a wild storm that lasted 15-days. He was thrown many miles off course towards the south; however, he fortunately recovered his course and headed east eventually doubling back to the extreme south of Africa. Today, there is a replica of the cross that he left here and a lively colony of sea lions.

Kolmanskop - The Ghost Town

Land of diamonds! Since the end of the 19th century, tons of diamonds were extracted from this area. Although, during 1956, production became so weak that the city was abandoned, rich and popular as it was, it was built around the mines.
Today, you can visit them and immerse yourself in an air of nostalgia filled with ghosts.

Through the 600km that separate Ludritz from the Namib Desert, runs a long, lovely road.
The panorama is immense and breathtaking.

Duwisib Castle

A German baron fell in love with a beautiful American lady and ordered this castle for his “princess” and future wife.

In this area, the architecture sticks out like a sore thumb

Broken transmission shaft

A sudden noise, akin to a small explosion from under K7;
A cross member from the front transmission drive shaft has broken.
I remove it and we proceed with only two-wheel drive for the rest of the 300km to Sossusvlei.

100 Km in the Namib Desert

We are reunited with our friends from the “100km in Namib Desert”, this challenging course, set out in the dunes of the great old desert.

Solidarity at the 100km in Namib Desert

At the end of the race, clothes and medicines brought by some of the contestants were gathered. It was a pity that only two of them had been informed, if they’d all have known, we would have collected more; however, many generous offers were given. (Details in solidarity)

Soussusvlei – 10 July 2008

This corner of Namibia is truly thought provoking; here we can find the highest permanent dunes in the world, the scenery is unique, symbolic and the pride of this country.

This desert is teaming with life: springbok, Oryx, Jackals, long-eared foxes, ostriches and wonderful chameleons.

Happy Birthday Kla!

A wonderful surprise party, we celebrate with our friend Gianni whose birthday is also near.
The celebrations begin well.

Solitude – 11 July 2008

After biding our friends a fond farewell, we’re back on the road again.
We stop in an area that was once a frontier, as well as an ideal place to repose; it is a must-stop just to taste the wonderful apple cake.

Tropic of Capricorn

Once again, as we make our way up and down Africa we pass over the Tropic of Capricorn.

Cycling from Germany

Here is someone madder than we are!
Bernward Elsel.
He left home in June 2007 on this strange tandem; he has almost finished his journey having travelled along the east part of Africa heading toward Cape Town. Check out his website at: www.bike-together.de

The celebrating continues!

We reach some very dear friends of ours who live locally in Swakopmund along with others that have arrived from Italy. We spend five-days partying on land and sea.

Sandwich Harbour – 12 July 2008

We push ourselves all the way out to Sandwich Harbour, a bay that ships used to replenish their supplies of fresh water.
You can reach it, only when the tide is low along a beach track.

Swakopmund and K7

Swakopmund is a beach resort and an example of German colonial architecture, with mainly German descended inhabitants.
At Harry’s Garage, we hand over K7 for repair.
The front transmission shaft, new air filter, oil changes, electrical contacts on the left-hand side lights, the closure of the bonnet closing mechanism and replacement of the front differential gasket (Yes, the one we changed in Cape Town about a month ago!!!).
Instead of a cake, a nice overhaul for K7’s 20th birthday.
Happy birthday!

Cape Cross – 15 July 2008

Halfway through the 1400’s Diego Cao landed here, following his journey from Portugal. At the time, this beach was the most southern point reached by Europeans. Today, apart from the commemorative monument, there is also an extraordinary colony of seals.

Welwichia Mirabilis

In this desert and deserts south of Angola, extraordinary prehistoric plants can still be found.
This one in the photo is centuries old.

White Lady - 16 July 2008

In the Brandberg massif, we see many rock paintings.

This is the famous “White Lady”, drawn 2000 years ago.
Its significance is very controversial.

High Temperature…

Once we pass Windhoek, we head eastwards, along the Trans Kalahari Highway towards Botswana. The road is excellent and we see plenty of warthogs by the roadside.
Twenty kilometres from the border, we are forced to stop as I have a temperature of thirty-eight and a half.
We do the malaria test again but the results are negative. There is nothing much left to do apart from wait in this relaxing “Zelda” farm and its animals.
Here are two of them, a 9-year-old female leopard and a porcupine.

Exiting the country

The frontier with Botswana is easy to cross, just three minutes for the stamp on the passport; they do not stamp the Carnet de Passage. They ask to see the coupon for the road tax - we paid before entering Angola. They tear-off a piece and off we go! All is well.
We ask ourselves, why didn’t they do this as we left to go into South Africa, they should have, and with the new entry we should’ve paid… as they say, ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’…
The entry into Botswana is as easy, a stamp in our passport and the tax for “travelling” which is 70-pula or 100-Namibian dollars.

Our Impressions

What does a dolphin have to do with Namibia? A sand dune surely would have been more appropriate, ah, but this is a Namibian Dolphin from Walvis Bay, this only goes to show the great variety of animals that you can see in this country. It is the first country, as you come down from the west coast of Africa, where one can find the “more traditional” or the better-known animals of Africa. The difference between Angola and Namibia is as great as between North Africa and Europe... it’s like another continent. It is a country of panoramas and views. A country with hundreds of different deserts. This is the first time, since Morocco, that we have come across well-equipped campsites, with a much greater level of service. Hot water, cleanliness, equipment for cooking - barbeque grills etc., and electricity. The roads are generally in good condition with the main roads well asphalted. There are no roadblocks all over the country, apart from one near the international airport. There are schools, hospitals and health facilities. A country, that overall, is safe to live in, at least compared to African standards. It doesn't do any harm to remember, that one should always be aware and take-care when a visitor in Africa.

Signs, beer and curiosities