5 days have passed since my return from the desert and i am sitting here reflecting on my walk. Sometimes words come easy but not this time. It is actually quite emotional. My whole life i have had a confidence that has seen me through the tough times. I think my parents knew from an early age that I was no academic. So they taught me that if I put my mind to something and tried hard I could achieve most things. I would try things and do things purely with the self-belief that i can do it. After my illness last year and in my recovery over the following 6 months i felt for the first time vulnerable and not as capable as before. Coming to terms with my mortality and that horrible realization i am getting older. So when i started walking in the middle of June i really felt a bit uneasy. ………but that turned out to be short lived. The walk was just what i needed.
I am incredibly lucky to find something that i really enjoy. When you spend so much time anywhere you start to become one with your surroundings. In my case nature and particularly the desert. As the days went by i not only got fitter but my mental state started to change. As my weight is dropping i am finding it easier to do things “which brings confidence”. My decisions at work are not clouded with anger & disappointment “which brings confidence”. I managed to finish something that i started “which brings confidence”. This confidence has made me feel proud again. Sure i fucked up big time in the past but i can’t change it and i now refuse to let it happen again. Life has changed and i am ok with it!
After a resupply break in Swakopmund i headed back to the Ugab River.
In the Ugab River I stayed for a few days at the Save the rhino camp and it was awesome to be among the camel thorn trees.
The river in teaming with game and i saw this Zebra snake. Also known as a Western barred spitting cobra. After that my tent was tightly closed every night
Having a shower to use was a luxury and i spent hours soaping up………bwhaaaaa!
They have research and educational groups stay here and this is their camp fire lapa made with mud and empty beer bottles. If i could build this way in Windhoek and used all my beer bottles i could build a house that would make Jacobs Nkandla look like a Zulu shack!
After walking for 20km north i decided to change things a tad. My original end point was Wereldsend but when i got close to the Huab River i looked to the plains on my right and was drawn to the trees and more vegetation. I decided that as this walk was for me i would walk in the 50km between the two rivers. What a pleasure following Rhino, Hyena, antelope and Elephant tracks during the day. Listening to Owls, hyenas and barking Geckos at night. Magnificent sunrises, sunsets and a roof of the most brilliant stars. There were so many shooting stars i ran out of wishes and just thanked Mother Nature for them.
Your soul just sucks up the energy.
I was beamed up to the mother ship again and was ordered in no uncertain terms to toughen up
Walking in the Huab River i came across 4 Ellies. They sure are not shy here and came walking at me. I made a hasty retreat of course!
The next morning there were a lot of Ellie spoor around the camp.
This guy must have a size 35?
It turns out we had breakfast together. Me with hot potjie bread, butter and marmalade and them on some trees in the riverbed next to our camp.
One of the nicest days walking was actually around Twyfelfontein. I walked around countless koppies where I found my own rock engravings.
Looks like there was someone walking around here before me…..ya think???????
This one is for my friends at the GCF……..i swear there are Giraffes out there!
I found some interesting rock formations…….
Butt crack rock……
Big Jim and the twins.
After 45 days of walking i had found what i was here to find and was ready to head back. Spending that amount of time alone just with your thoughts is sometimes not that easy. You don’t want to get bored or think too much. God forbid you end up reversing all the good that was done. Things where not quite finished yet though. I could not have wished for a better ending. My friends Len, Steve and Nick popped in for a cold one. Yip this years “Bad to the bone 13 safari brought them 2500km north on the ” finding Chad tour!
There is only one thing better than being in the desert and that is being in the desert with friends. My walk ended with positive vibes and laughter. Thanks soo much guys.
We walked in the area. Steve and i strolling around speaking shit with Len and Nick jumping from rock to rock like a couple of Klipspringers.
What about Chad’s desert walking tours?????????
I still had not seen any Rhino or lions so we headed back to the Ugab River and stayed close to the Brandberg Mountain.
Does anyone know I little German??????? Hi I am a little German!
On a morning game drive we came across some Elephants. Quite a few actually. There was a mother and her calf blocking our way and after 20min of waiting we decided to sneak past. Naturally she charged us down the riverbed. There was a lot of nervous laughter on the video and after sending it to Ingi i was told to toughen up and stop being a pussy……….jeeeez tough crowd!
We walked, swam, chilled and played Frisbee. Don’t forget my first toasted sandwich in 45 days!
When something so amazing happens in your life like this walk it can be quite emotional. It has been 8 months of ups and downs but I am very lucky that i am surrounded by good people and am truly in your debt!
Thanks to Sedney for his back up driving and awesome camp management.
Here are my before and after pictures……………hair for the first time in 16 years!
For now i have my feet on the ground and look forward to my “new ” life. There will be another walk but for now there are awesome new prospects to make a go of and i will take every day as it comes.
I will deal with whatever is thrown at me but will always look on the bright side of life.
Thanks for following and i look forward to seeing friends and family in the near future. Or see you at the Box 😉
Watch this space for further Chadmanwalking adventures!
Chadmanwalking over and out!