Hit the road Jack!
Excited! So very excited……the time had finally arrived. Our adventure was about to begin. The vehicle was hopelessly overloaded but the diesel mill purred on north. All of us tired, stressed, anxious and whole lot of other worries. As we headed north I wondered what we had forgotten, brain full of business ideas, body sore and i have not even taken a step yet. Steve anxious about our Adventure and what lies ahead. We were ready to get out-of-town and get our boots on!
It all became too much for Steve and after lunch he had to have a calming cold one.
Kuiseb is missing Hagler but Papy makes a great buddy.
We managed to get to Warmquelle just after dark. Our Friends Renate and Wolfgang met us for our first night. They are on their way up to Epupa via Puros on a 10 day family holiday. We swam with the kids in the morning and got the vehicle prepared. Happy
In Sesfontien we filled up our tanks with diesel and did the last of what we could in the bustling metropolis. We then drove down the Hoanib for 60km to our walk Starting point. First though we did a few hundred meters of walking to stretch the legs at a place in the Hoanib river called Die Poort.
We did not have much time so only did 4km and made camp. Everytime i go on one of these sabbaticals i seem to forget something. This time i misjudged the weather. I thought it would be around the mid twenties during the day and maybe middle teens at night. Oooops…….it is in the late thirties during the day and was as high as 42 deg c last Friday. This needless to say is messing with our walking. We are up at 4-30am and after 2 cups of coffee are on the road. We walk until 10 am and then it is finda tree quick!
Now we know why we are called tree huggers.
Our second camp site was taken over by two individuals and neither wanted to leave. We did not mind Kuiseb but our snake friend had to get splashed with a little water before she would leave. Dont really blame her.
We have now seen 2 giraffes. Steve reckons they look like the beauty queens of the desert with there long necks, eyelashes and graceful stride. So we have decided to name them after the alphabet, meet Alice and Bernice.
Here is Steve getting his chakras and mojo going.
By the 3rd days walking Steve took a bit of stain. First his Tjommie started to chafe. Just like Mcguyver he took out a swiss army knife and fashioned a G-string with his shirt. Problem solved.
We have climbed 600m in altitude since the Hoanib. The moon gives us great walking time in the morning. We rise at 4am have coffee and rusks. Bandage up our feet and hit the road by 5am. Breakfast at 8am is oats with dried fruit and nuts. We still have smiles on our faces and it is awesome to be out here.
Steve also got a a few blisters and i had the job of injecting methylate into them……….that is not a smile on my face i swear…
As you can see Steve did not take it so well…..Bwhaaaa….
He has also taken a tumble and knocked himself clean out on the cruiser door.
The walking has been just awesome. Hot, long and dusty but oddly therapeutic. We are eating much less, sleeping well, cutting down on excess and our souls are opening to the universe……..jeez deep. Think i will go have a quick chant. Actually i kid you not, when you are out here in these wide open spaces with no one around you automatically start to look inside yourself. You know what, for the first time in a long time i am ok with who i find there. We can always improve but instead of me trying to find life’s answers on this walk i have decided to live it. Yip i spend too much time trying sort my shit out and forget to live! The answers will come in their own time just be open to it.
We have seen Giraffe, Springbok, Oryx, jackal, Zebra, Honey Badger and a lot of Rino spoor and Steve almost stood on a snake.
We where sitting under a tree 15km from Puros since 10am and it has been a very hot day. It has been a real tester but the sunset made it all worth while. There is also a full moon tonight so nature’s TV this evening. We will start very early tomorrow and walk with the moon light. Hopefully no animals in the dark.
The walk down to Puros was magical, a nice gentil slope downhill. However there is cellphone signal there that we were not expecting. As my phone started to moan that messages were incoming and my whole buzz started to turn almost negative. Worry set in, how was the Box, is everyone ok, what business do i have to do?…..Here i am living simply, the only worries i have are water and shade and as soon i am in contact with the world everything changes for the worse. I know i am very privilaged to do these walks but once again i hope that this experience will teach me not to worry about tomorrow as i can’t do anything about that but i can do something now………..ommmmmmmmm
Our stay in Puros was largley uneventfull. Went up to a luxary lodge close by and judging by their reactions they thought we were to nutters walking by….bwhaaaa. having ice in my drink and a glass was nice though.
Leaving Puros was a bit of a scare, we took a shortcut across a plain leaving our back up driver Sedney next to the river. For a few reasons things got screwed up and he carried on down the river. Half way across the plain it became ridiculously rocky. Gorges one after the other. It started to get really hot and i must say the thought of eating Steve to stay alive up there was the only thing that got me back down to the river!
Anyway lesson learnt…….talking about lessons here is a pic of Steve trying to soften up his R400 hiking boots that he has not walked in properly…….Bwhaaaa i think by now i have adminerserd about 18 methylate injections into his blisters!
The walking has been hard up to now. However 9 days in we are doing 15km a day comfortably. Only the heat that stops us by 10-30. The Horiseb river has a little water in it. The floods have come and gone but the underground spring is still flowing and rises above ground level in places. Kuiseb was loving it.
This has also made things a bit muddy so we had to dbl back about a km this morning as Sedney got bogged down in the dark. A quick half hour of digging and we where back on our way. I took the whole thing in my stride with no worries……..seems the head is starting to chill……..ommmmmm
And then the money shot…………this one is for you guys at the GCF.
We found a small croc in the river too!
The lions are further south from us at the moment in search of food but lots of Elephants around here. We can smell them, hear them and there is fresh spoor everwhere but do you think we have seen one yet…………….guess they are insecure due to their small trunks…..Bwhaaaa.
Steve And Sedney looking for a camp site.
In the foot steps of Giants.
We are currently camping in the Horaseb river bed as it comes out of the gorge close to its source. It has been great walking up it. All the game, bird life, water and trees in one, makes it very differt in every sense to my previous walks. The highlight of the day was being able to wash in the small stream being totally surrounded by nature. As i have been in tourism most of my adult life i have had the good fortune to have seen some great lodge bathrooms but this one is not a 5 star but just look up and it is a billion star lodge. The Horiseb has been the highlight so far. Walking up it with its green vegetation, water and animals has been amazing and brings back many happy memories of the Kruger national park for both of us.
I swear Mr Kaputnick the Giraffes were just here…..
We walked up out of the Horiseb today. Rose about 600m in altitude and past mt Himba.
It was 18.7km today. Not bad going. I am really enjoying my new fitness. Not just from this walk but I have been doing some swimming as well and it has made this walk much easier for me. Steve is fit enough but due to the heat and the dodgy boots we both take a lot of strain after 5 hours or so. We are now going to walk north up the Kumib river. Lets hit it.
Ladies and gentleman i would like you to welcome……….from hollywood calafornia………Zen Lightyear!
Yip it has taken 9 days and Steve has started to find the peace. ommmmmmm When we left whk our vehicle was bogged down with what i thought we needed for this trip. The stress on the vehicle caused it to battle its way to our first destination. As we have walked the vehicle has become lighter and is now running normally As we started the walk we began to leave our unwanted burdens behide us just like the vehicle and even if it is temporary it is pure joy to have peace.
What was i saying…..
From now on he will be known as Zen.
After spending too long in the Namib desert Carl developed a severe case of Giraffes!
We have just had a dust devil pass 30m past camp. Quite a strong one and would have certainly taken the light things in camp. Zen was woken from his siesta by it and is now pretty certain it was a tornado and would have taken anything not strapped down 500m into the air. Gotta love it.
We had a great walk today. Came across our first Himba family and we walked 19.4km today our furthest yet. We came across a guided self drive 4×4 tour and the guide in the lead vehicle was Phil, the guy i bought my land cruiser from. Small desert hey. We have a bet every day as to how many cars we will see. Turns out the best odds are on 2 or 3. Phil blew us all away with his 10 car convoy. Happy travels Phil. The Himba family was interesting. Most of them were asleep by the fire but the father was awake. He asked us for a smoke…….at least i think he was as Zen was weiring his free the weed T shirt.
We also lost our solar power today. Due to the bad terrain it has been busted up against something. I have a duel battery system so everything should be ok. If not its into the dry stores for us. Zen thinks the Solifugae that was terrifying him around the camp fire is actually a solarthief as this is too much of a coincidence.
We did a big day today and i am taking strain but Zen is happy as we negotiated the endless one ways, roundabouts and traffic to get to the mall in the centre of Orapembe to buy him beer. This was shop one but due to peak hour traffic we deided against shop 2.
We also had a great camp site with maximum shade.
Today took us through an area of a bit more wealth. More cows and goats. More vehicles. Ether the marble mine in the area is making some good money or we might have found out where Elivs is hiding out.
Zen is not missing arm day! Someone gotta lift the beer.
The moon rise is only around midnight at the moment. There is truly 0% light pollution here. I lie back in my chair after dinner and watch the stars. They are so bright the planets have halos and there are so many you almost feel like they are right above you and you are suffocating. Combine that with the smell of mopanie fire wood and sound of the barking Gekos…………Think we have found sanctuary oneness…….ommmmmmmm
We are now staying in the marble camp site near Orapembe. Really nice here and it is well maintained. The weird thing is none of us wants to be around anybody. We are quite happy out in the desert on our own. We were up at 4am to break camp. The South African 4×4 enthusiasts in the camp next to us could not have been happy. But we don’t care actually as they all came dragging their bones into the bathrooms after too much klippies and coke and messed with our heads while we where getting ready……..it smelt like the devils bakery I tell you!
Anyway i was looking forward to a good walk into the Fluss (as it will now be called) but man was it up and down, stoney and hot. Due to lack of shade we walked to mid day but then could not anymore. We covered 17,7km before Zen found us a bit of shade in a riverbed. During the day we were accosted by mopanie flys. Zen must be the fly wisperer as they took too him like ants to honey. We had a few but Steve was there guy. Shortly before sunset i found him behind the vehicle lighting matches around his head trying to keep them away. Bwhaaaa
But wait there is more!
As the sun went down we were literally attacked by king crickets. They came down the side of the riverbed like a plague. They climbed all over everything, tables, chairs , car and ourselves. I nearly dropped a Mr wippy on my camping chair as one climbed up the back of my chair and onto my neck. Faaaaaaaaark!
The straw that broke………..was a African horned baboon spider that was once again around Zens feet.
There is an secret Namibian artist who has mde these really cool works of art. They are people in different positions. Running, sitting etc…here are a few we saw.
The terrain has been quite hard walking here. This seems to be a the chewy bit. We are tired, the sun is really hot and dehydration sucks. Even the driving is tough for the back up vehicle.
Needless to say we were up and outa there early and did a great walk past red drum and into the Fluss.
The sunrise was just beautiful and we then walked through a big himba kraal were we have learnt the local greeting……. Piri Nawa. We were greeted by a local Himba man and he asked us where we were going. He did not seem to impressed when we told him, guess he walk around a lot and does not take a back up vehicle. He was hungry so we gave him some dried fruit and nuts and promised when we return with the vehicle in a week we would give him some caned veg and I have a few sweets hidden in the vehicle for such emergencies.We have an absolute stunning camp site today. Looks like we are making good time so an extra litre of water today for our shower time. Also there is hard tufts of ostrich grass everywhere making it quite uncomfortable to sleep on. So we have put our tents into the fairy circles. Good dreams tonight i am sure.
Our meat supplies are also getting low but there are a few steaks left. Think today is a good day. Really looking forward to the walk down the Fluss tomorrow. It is close to sunset now and we heard a car engine in the distance. Our 3rd of the day. Then out of a scene of the” gods must be crazy ” a white bakkie comes blasting across the plain in font of us. The guy driving gave us a tooot-toot and shot past us in a cloud of dust and the last thing i could see were all these ladies on the back and massive Himba boobs jiggling like crazy. Zen was out foraging for wood but I think he achieved wood.
So the gentle downhill slope to the Kunene did not transpire. It is ankle-deep sand and there is a 6km section of constant uphill. The weather has gradually got cooler as we have walked but not today. It must be close to 40 deg. However what a beautiful morning. We actually got caught napping. As there is only about 50km to go we strolled around taking photos and watched the sunrise. By breakfast we had only done 6,7km…….so into the heat of the day we went and got to 16,2km by 11-30. Zen also found a shabeen in one of the Himba kraals. Last meat we have is a few steaks and a lamb chop or two. Moon is almost gone and only rises by 2am anyway. So time to make sure we enjoy every min of this as there is only a week to go.
The Fluss will get you!
I was in the Marienefluss last two years ago. I had just driven down the van zyls pass and was quite amped so don’t really remember much of it. Have a look at it on a map. Going up towards the Kunene there is the Holy mountain slightly off centre on the left. About 15km long and 300m high you can’t really miss it. We walked up the western side of it. This is where most of the Himba live. What an interesting people! Seem very gentil, they speak no English, live in these tiny little kraals, walk or travel by donkey.
We camped every night in the fluss with a family living a few 100m away and no worries or any contact whatsoever actually. When asking for food if you don’t have any they accept that and walk away. No hassle. The beauty of the place you will only be able to see for yourself. But here are a few pics to try to give you an idea.
The fluss came at just the right time. We were getting fatigued and the bad terrain was a drag. The fluss is such a special place, it makes you see what the world was like thousands of years ago. I am sure not much has changed here. Its energy is undeniable. Our buzz changed almost immediately. We realized our lives were much like the Hoanib river where we started. When it flows life is great. There we where in a dry riverbed. The road ahead had many obstacles. But we just put one foot in front of the other, kept the faith in ourselves and 21 days later we found ourselves at the campsite at the end of the universe with a flowing river and lots of life.
We interrupt this transmission for an ad break……….we just seen this African rock python in our camp site.
The camp site at the end of the universe…
This camp Syncro is exactly what we needed. Water, water, water….yes the Kunene river right in front of us. As many showers as we want. Bird life, wildlife, cool hosts, ice-cold beer and cool drinks. The vibe here is so chilled you could wipe Zens ass with a puff adder! Our neighbours in the camp site next door ( Rudoloph & Minnette ) are very cool and this truly is the campsite at the end of the universe. Was going to get Zen one of Ryan’s -2 deg beers to celebrate but he has fallen asleep again.
Our welcoming hosts Ryan and Sarah with their little bit of paradise in the Kaokoveld.
On our final day we only had 9km to do. Here is me with 600m to go and Kuiseb who has a sore leg coming out to do it with us.
For me it was again something i started, walked every mm and finished. It feels good. Lots of life lessons have been learnt, my fitness has improved, my spirituality is at a high and i have a bloody good tan. I am grateful for this opportunity and happy that we could raise some awareness for the GCF. Well done Steve you are a good friend. Thanks to everyone who made this possible.
We carried some sand from the Hoanib and threw it in to the Kunene. Let the good times roll.
Names of camp sites.
1. The plain.
2. Snake rock.
3. Over the built.
5. Wurmpie poop boom.
6 & 7. Puros.
8. Lone tree.
10. 3 Olives.
11. Kumib confluence.
13 & 14. Marble camp site.
14. Creepy crawly canyon.
15. Into the Fluss.
16. The holy land.
18 &19. The camp site at the end of the universe.
Thank you Sedney for all your help on this adventure.
I was thinking of doing a 7 or 10 day walk next year so more people could experience this. Maybe from the Brandberg to the coast via the Ugab or something like that. Drop me a mail if you think you might be interested.
Thank you for reading and watch this space for further adventures.
May the fluss be with you.