Today 18 November 2021 I have been sober for 7 years. What a journey! My life sure has been an adventure. I have met the most incredible people and seen some of the most amazing things. Good and Bad.
Amazingly during these stressful last few years. I have gained a lot of weight, lost a lot personally and was put temporarily on heart pills as i was a walking fat time bomb.
But not nonce did I want to drink alcohol.
I took it to the limit and the pain I went through physically and mentally in my last years of drinking has taken every little craving away. I consider myself lucky as there are people every day around you who can’t cope. I want you to go for a walk in Nature and find peace the way I found it but if that’s not for you I ask you to try talk to someone. There are people out there who you can pay to listen to you. Therapists! They are there to listen, NOT JUDGE YOU! If you try find solace in a bottle or up your nose believe me, it only ends one way. The only advice I can give you is to moderate your drinking now, so you can drink forever. You pull the ass out of the chicken like I did, and your only option of survival is to stop completely.
This goes for everything. Sex, drugs, rock & Roll, and everything imbetween. You lose control and you find yourself at the bottom of the barrel.
Slowly but surely, I have realised that and work at it every day. The one thing I do know is that I would not swap lives back to the booze days for anything. I have spent my life of adventure seeking out new experiences. I spent 43 years of my life with addiction problems and now I am busy; experiencing life sober for the next 43. I have totally embraced it and its very cool 😉
I met Gypsy girl at Noordower. Our plan was to drive along the orange river to Rosh pina and then on to Klein Aus Vista. I was interested in driving this way and heading up via Sesriem to Swakopmund as this was retracing my steps of my second walk. As I expected Gypy girl was her happy positive self and we instantly fell in love all over again.
As we left the orange river, I began to feel that feeling of achievement. Who knew 11 years on I would have done so much walking? Then again maybe it also explains my state of mind in the last decade Lol. The Little things I remember like the fact that Aus is 174 km from Rosh Pina and that leaving the orange river it starts to climb for 60km. Crap I forgot all about that. Lol
Day 4 Blister.
The lady that drove past me daily and eventually stopped to ask what I was doing? I told her and she slid me N$100 and told me to get myself a little something in the next town. Lol
The kind lady at the Aus hotel who recognised me as did the General dealer. When I came through Aus on my first 2 walks I was still drinking, so I would have been hard to forget 😉
We hit the sand after Aus and I exoierienced that familiar feeling of ” now we are getting into the desert.” The tar roads were flat but the camber on the road and the running shoes I thought would be lighter collapsed on one side and I got a nasty blister. On the sand I felt better and at least there were no mine trucks.
We hit the D707, and my heart filled with emotion. This is one of the most beautiful 100km of road you will find on our planet. Then just as you think things can’t quite get much better you get to the heart of it all at Namtib Biosphere reserve. Lynn and Thorsten are the loveliest people, and their valley is honestly and simply breath-taking. I have decided to do a long weekend hike in 2022 where we will base ourselves there and do the different day trails. Watch this space….
One morning while walking around 30km North of Namtib. I came across an Oryx that was caught in no man’s land between a farm on my right and the National Park on the left. The fence just disappeared into the horizon. As I walked through the morning he ran further and further up the road and away from the dunes. I really started to feel bad so came up with a plan. I found an unlocked gate into the National Park. I opened it and Rodney drove the backup cruiser up the road and past the Oryx. He then herded the Oryx back down the road towards me. There i stood like I knob in the middle of the road and an open gate on my left. As the Oryx galloped towards me, I stood my ground and stared at him. He got closer and faster every second. When he was 20m from me he ducked his head down and came at me. I let off this almighty scream and dived into the sand on the right. He got just as big a fright and dove through the fence on the left. Completely missing the open gate. The fence stood no chance….Bwhaaaaaa. We now were both lying on the floor looking at each other trying to figure out what just happened. Lol
We drove past Agama camp and Solitaire. I spent great times there with my friends. I miss Moose and hope the bakery can bounce back properly. I remember the kindness of the old lady on a farm in Gaub canyon who let me fill up my water and rest under her trees.
I remember getting chased by Ostriches until my dogs saved the day. The Cape fox poking his head into my tent and coming face to face with my Boxer dog Hagler. Who was more scared I don’t know LOL…?
I remember the farmer who let us put up our tents in his garage as east winds were making it impossible.
I sat next to the road for 2 hours once waiting for my dogs who had chased Springbok into the hills. They returned to the exact same spot totally dehydrated but happy with themselves.
I remember the time Hagler got a smack from a Lynx she chased into the dunes and when Kuiseb my other pooch ate 2step. The Jackal poison the farmers put out. She honestly died in front of me and as we were carrying her in a blanket to bury her, her eyes opened, and she lived to bark the tale! 😉
I remember a friend who drove past me at 5am in the morning on her way to a meeting in Walvis Bay. We chatted in the middle of the desert, and I scored a couple of Tafel largers from her fridge. I spent the rest of the morning singing rock songs as I strolled towards Walvis Bay.
Whether you are sitting in your car watching sunrise at the ocean and writing your blog, walking 3 months across a desert, or simply taking a walk around your suburb at home. Nature has a way of calming you down. Leave your phone at home, take your dog or better yet your husband and give it a try. What have you got to lose?
With that if you feel you already do that and want to up the ante, I have 2 exciting once off retreats for you. Wild cherry adventures and Chadmanwalking is providing support and logistics for an exciting wellness retreat this December hosted by Ellen Horlebein. Just right click and open the link.
and we are doing a Xmas walk.
I will also be running the Khan/Swakop river hikes on the 10th, 17th and 28th December 2021.
For any bookings or enquiries please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope to see you at the coast this year and please drive safe and be safe 😉