Put the bunny back in the box!

My friends Mike, Herman, Ute & Isabel came to visit for Easter. I was seriously craving some company as you can imagine & we had an absolute blast. We did a bit of walking, lots of swimming, crazy amounts of laughs and some very good wine and whiskey. On the Sunday we walked a bit then stopped in a river bed where there was an Easter egg hunt for Isabel. Followed by coffee and banana bread. Ute brought me some homemade pasta which Blur cooked up in a Vodka/cream/tomato sauce with procuttio. Really good 😉 I did however realise how quick it is to fall back into my old evil ways. I suppose it is part of my learning curve and i am now very aware that when I get back things will have changed. Why am I so surprised? This is why I am out here hey!!!!!!! Guess I am a slow learner!!!!! I can’t say it enough how amazed I am at how little the body needs to start healing itself. Just a little bit of TLC and off you go. When your body starts to recover so does the mind and soul 😉 The pan galactic gargle blaster that is my head is feeling a bit of peace at the moment!!!!!!!!!!!! Such a nice feeling 😉

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In the campsite next to us was Namibia’s double Olympic silver medallist Frank (Frankie) Fredrick’s. What a nice guy. He played soccer with us and chatted. His son soon became friends with Isabel and they had a Jol.)

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The sunsets were special as always.

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Mike stayed on for a couple of days and we did a few pubbies, braais & chilling. One particularly good lunch was at Sesriem (the camp at the entrance to Sossusvlei). The day he left Len & his son Nick arrived from Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal. A quick 2700km later and we were around the fire. We walked the first day and spent the afternoon on the Solitaire guest farm where Nick (9 years old) got his first 4×4 lesson. He did very well. He says it is like driving a golf cart……even though it was a 2 ton Land rover ha ha. The farm is really scenic….this is from their sun downer spot

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The next day they wanted to go to Swakop to do the Quad biking & asked if I would come with. With me being dedicated to my cause & sabbatical I really had to think about it. I think it took me approximately 2.1236543 seconds to decide I was going with!!!!!!!! So Sushi at the Jetty restaurant that night, some retail therapy, quad biking and then more Sushi at the food lovers market. It was very hard to leave the Air con, bed with white crisp sheets and immaculately clean bathroom behind but what a fun night….thanks Len & Nieeek.

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Some folk also arrived at Solitaire in gyrocopters. They were from Joburg and went Upington, Keetmanshoop, Mariental, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Damaraland, Swakopmund, Solitaire, Mariental………& back. How cool is that. The best for me though was the way they landed on the airstrip & then using their back rotor drove right up to the petrol pump. Just like James Bond.

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While they were here a group of cyclists arrived and they are part of the tour de afric. It is a 4 month expedition/race from Cairo to Cape Town. Crazy guys and gals!!!!!!!!!! After the walk on the last day we were driving to Sesriem for some lunch and we started passing the cyclists. The sight of well-tanned pretty girls in cycling shorts is just heaven but after a few min there was this hairy butt in front of us! This guys was cycling in the buff. We laughed so hard 😉 it turns out they have a nude 5km’s each day. Ha ha ha Crazy MOFO’s.

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I did a 20km walk across the Namib naukluft national park yesterday. It was the most beautiful morning / sunrise and one of my most enjoyable days walking yet. While walking I saw plains of Springbok, Oryx, Ostrich, Mountain zebra, white rhino spoor and dung. It is mornings like this that make me appreciate Africa & it feels real good to be alive. About 4 km in I saw this spotted hyena spoor. About the size of my fist so probably a female.

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I met a family around the pool (Saddler) when I was staying at Sesriem and after finding out they were from Brakpan I asked them if they knew the surname Wratten. It turns out this guy had heard of my dad, played squash with my uncle Trevor & cousin Wilton and his father did business with my grandfather. Out here in the desert………..nuts hey!!!!!!!

The last 2 weeks I have had the luxury of some really nice camps with hot showers and bathrooms as I have been walking in a tourist area. Tomorrow I leave here and will be camping in the bush camp of Agama river camp and lodge with my friend Monique van Zyl leach. After that though I have + – 15 days of bush camping to look forward to as I head north through the Kuiseb canyon, back into the National park and eventually north up to the town of Karibib. I am hoping there will be some kind hearted farmers that can give me some water and perhaps a shower….guess we will have to wait and see…i am totally self-sufficient except for water so as long as I can source that all will be well. Perfect timing for bush camping too as full moon is on the way. Maybe some night walking again.

And then this bloody pale chanting goshawk got in the way of my sunset………..jeeeeez the pressure!

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I have had a couple of cases of good wine delivered to make the winter nights more bearable (it was 41deg c here yesterday) ha ha.

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Monique at Camp Agama has this amazing veggie garden where we were able to replenish our fresh supplies. Not bad considering she is in the middle of the Namib desert!

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So as you can see it is not all slogging away in the dust, sweating & getting sunburnt 😉 I will be walking new roads as from the Kuiseb canyon which I am looking real forward too. I will be in Karibib by lateish May & will make a decision as to the future of the walk there! If work & health keep going well then who knows 😉 This at the end of the day is for me & hopefully it will be a life changing experience. I overheard some guide at the petrol station today saying “he has not walked very far in 2 months” I just laughed as that is not what this is about. I am not trying to break any records or do some kind of endurance feat. I am in search of a better me and am trying to get my chakras/mojo/ head/ shit/ groove back together. The hint of a healthier more active future is very exciting 😉

Ciao for now

Chadmanwalking………….out.

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