When i worked for Contiki holidays from 99-01 we would have a song played first thing in the morning to get everyone up and excited for the day ahead. Aptly named the morning song. The last time i had a morning song was for the BTTB 9 The blues brothers and a sista safari with my friends Mike, Carol ( the Blurs ) , Steve (Papie), Len ( lucky Lennie), Brandon ( brandoon ) where we traveled in the close vicinity. So in their honor i have stuck with the same song.
Ghost riders in the sky ………….
As i write this first entry i am sitting in the Messum river bed and what a glorious evening. I am 80km in and loving it. I have already drawn so much good energy from this and am starting to get stronger physically. Being off the grid and having a digital detox is actually quite satisfying. No mirrors out here so i am starting to look a bit rough but when i see a reflection of myself in the cruisers window the person looking back at me seems happy, much healthier and at peace again. It helps you put things in perspective and helps you realize what you have back home in your normal life. Of course life is still going to throw a big pile of shit my way but i think that i will be better prepared to cope with it. Belive me when i tell you being a wowdy webbel has its stresses. When we started this trip i decided to change my thinking. So instead of ……What can go wrong on this trip …..to….what can go right! Not only does this make me more positive but also helps me to not fret the small shit. Long may it last.
We arrived at cape cross on the 31st and decided we could not handle any more camping on the skeleton coast. We drove 10km into the desert and made a camp on the gravel planes.
The next morning all excited i started back at cape cross for the days walk. After a few km’s i saw a shape in the mist walking about 150m from me. Whatever it was had not seen me yet ( stealth of a cat …me). The mist lifted and i could see it was a brown hyena. When he did see me though he was off like a shot. I felt like i was in some Wilbur Smith novel.
The lichen ( combination between a fungus and an algae) fields that i saw were unbelievable. Namibia has over 100 different species. Dont let anyone tell you nothing grows in the desert.
A bit later and while having a rest break this Parabuthus vilosus tried to get some shade behind my boot. I was not wild about the idea but he was nice to see.
My next camp was at koppie Aleen. On the way there i crossed a riverbed that was peppered with Welwitschia. This one is pretty large and is probably around 1000 years old. It is Namibias national plant and the name of our National rugby side. Little did i know at the time but i would see hundreds in the following 14 days.
What is a gentleman to do when he is bored and not allowed to get shitfaced? Practice his golf of course.
Kuiseb is doing great. She can put quite a bit of pressure on her leg now and is just loving being out here. I am sooo happy i made the decision to bring her with. She still cant do any km’s yet but i think her recovery has been speeded up by being out here and with me. We both think of Hagler everyday and miss her terribly. She would have been in her element here but i bet she is sitting at the bar in dogie heaven & regaling all her adventures to all that will listen. This walk is dedicated to her.
Watching the sunset with me………Kuiseb i think i can see our house from here.
Whenever i do these trip’s i try and be as Eco friendly as possible. This time Sedney ( back up driver ) & i decided we were going to do even better and try leave only my footprints. We are doing very well and actually it gives you a nice warm fuzzy feeling. My fridge is by far my prize camping possession but i tell you the solar power unit that was donated by Derek & Grant is very quickly catching up. You will be pleased to know that no endemic trees to Namibia were hurt during the making of this adventure! I must say that when we are finished i sure will miss laughing at the sight of Sedney sprinting across the horizon trying to catch a plastic bag during the east winds!
Day 4 saw me walk into the Messum crater. A volcanic feature that is between 132 & 135 million years old.
There was a fad a while back called planking……..this is cratering.
Where to find some shade for a rest.
We camped high up in the rocks and the sunset was amazing.
After slogging it up the Messum river for a day we decided just to camp where we were and head off early in the morning. This is where things got interesting. There are a few small mines in the vicinity where they find crystals. Mr Pottie Potgieter ( name changed to protect the innocent) is one of them and his old bakkie came blasting out of the horizon to find out what the hell we were doing in the area. After calming him down and convincing him i was not about to branch out into crystal mining any time soon. He started to relax and even offered me a hit on his whiskey bottle. Brittany Spears sitting next to him was not parting with her Hunters extreme though. He has been mining here since 1992 with a 11 year break in between. Clearly the gene pool is not huge out here.Before they left for the trailer park their daughter gave us a few crystals for good luck and they warned us about 6 chaps cruising in a bakkie looking for things to steal………uhhh…..in the middle of the desert????????
So there i am on a gravel plane waiting for the bad guys to hit and the clouds start to move in. The east winds arrived and it started to rain…….i shit you not. …….jeeez i did not get much sleep. I kept thinking of Potties dirty face poking through the tent door and i swear i could hear banjo’s. I thought my time of deliverance had finally arrived.
Needless to say all was well, everything remains intact and i then did possibly the best days walking yet. It took me up over a hill and then this 10km walk down towards the Ugab river.
I may not have told you but i am really looking forward to this next part of the walk. Since i started these walks Damaraland & Kaokoveld have been a dream. Now it lies right there in front of me.
We bush camped among the typical granite rocks of Damaraland, watched the sunset with a ( fake ) beer, had a rib eye steak that i have been aging & i felt really truly happy.
Sedney has been really great with the backup duties.
He even made us borrie rolls for lunch.
Tomorrow i will walk into the Ugab river and stop there for a few days. I need to go in search of internet and a phone to see how business is. I have full faith that all will be well and i will be able to return to do the 135km up to Wereldsend. I have not let the harsh conditions get to me. In fact i am thriving on the simple way of life i am leading here. It has now been 7 months since i was ill. I have gotten my shit back together and feel a new chapter opening in my life. This walk is an absolute privilege and i realize how lucky i am. To see the desert in its many forms and to feel myself getting stronger and more capable. To see life through eyes not clouded by the amber necture is a whole new experience & i like it!!!!!!
I will stay in touch but for now i am off into the great wide open….