Author Archives: chadwratten

Mad world

Hello there everyone. Wow, what a better year hey? Thank goodness nobody talks about the C word anymore. God that was exhasting. I spend most of my time in the desert so I wonder what the next topic will be that everyone will be an expert on Lol. I have always been facinated by people’s behaviour. Not that mine was any good but just how tribes, religeons, langauge, county everything classes you as something. Even a common enemy like Covid divided us? Utter distruction & then just like that it was gone. If this was ever a time or a sign to live life to its fullest Boom. My view of life has done an ‘’äbout turn” since 2020.” The funny thing is I am better off in every aspect now than I was before. Covid has a very clear silver linging for me. 😉

 I sure have had some fun recently and met some incredible people. My life on the road has been a fantastic experience. It has been quite liberating. I put an tennant into my house at the hight of Covid so as not to lose it and now I don’t want to go back. I feel freer than I ever have and with so much less stress. This clear, happy head is something wonderful.

I find something amazing! If you buy a mechanical item, you oil it refurbish it, service it etc to get the longest lifespan out of your purchase. We as humans do the exact oppisite. We cause as much damage to ourselves as we possibily can and then will die arguing that you were right. I have given up watching the news. I don’t buy newspapers and glance at the front page in the shops. Its all just too depressing lol.

Its a mad world.

On a happy note,

Here is me and the gypsy girl out and about….

The Horse Whisperer

I have been messing around with my vids and here is a short video I made 😉:

We have had loads of elephant interaction recently in the Ugab. They are calm as long as you respect them and give them their right of way. I just love this herd

Its not windy in Luderitz or anything

Sometimes i climp the brandberg. I lay down on my back and stick my tummy out. I then let gravity pull my stomach to one side.

You know why i do that?

Becase thats how i roll baby 😉

Slightly hot today!

While I sit here and write, it is such incredible weather here in Swakopmund. Honestly, I don’t think I have seen the ocean more beautiful. Awesome things are happening to me daily. Maybe it’s because I am now more open to it 😉. The beer goggles never helped, lol. Today looks like a bit of east wind and it is sunny and warm. Off to the beach soon for me… Yayyyyyyyy!

Wow, I spent all afternoon swimming. The water was 18 degrees and the sun was hot. The water was crystal clear.

I had a lovely 8-day tour recently. What an amazing time. The 2 guests were from Germany and he spoke no English and she spoke only a little. Very little. So, I thought it was going to be tough.

Not a chance. It just goes to show you what a positive attitude and a sense of humour can do. We just laughed. We hardly knew what each other was saying but sign language and a thumbs up made it a fantastic experience. Here are some pics.

We then had an incredibly cool group for our first Brandberg Camino. Wow so much fun 😉

We had a break down so everyone had to push. However there was an overdose of Vitimin D and everyone expired 😉

We did a yoga , meditation & hiking weekend 😉

Talking about being positive; that is all very well, you say… I am positive but things keep setting me back. In today’s world we do not always have the time to be positive. We have got to get shit done! A friend once said to me that it’s hard work being positive. I agree. We all have to earn a living. I have cut my expenses down by 90% and it’s still hard work making ends meet, even though I have no kids or dependants. Hats off to you all for just keeping it together. I earn a living. I am one of the lucky few. Most Namibians are suffering. As we all know, the drought has arrived as it always does in Namibia, and it is going to be a long winter for most. With that, I ask if you can to donate any non-perishable items to the people up in the North. We will hand it out during our Kunene and Kaokoveld caminos 😉. Please leave any items (no matter how small) with Kristy at Urban Camp and I will get them from her. A huge thank you in advance.

Here is a hard to believe statement: I found it easy to stop drinking!

 Yeah, you say. Now that he is sober, it was easy.

I did it for a few reasons. One was that I still had a burning desire inside me to achieve more in this race we call life. My life had taken a different direction years back but I still knew who I was and what I desired, no matter how much I was swinging from the chandeliers. By the time my body gave in, I surrendered. Alcohol had won and I was a very distant second, or last, depending on how you see it.

It was a terrible experience. The pain I was going through physically and mentally was just unexplainable. I was barely conscious and it was then and in the following years that I learnt something important, very important. If you want something with all your being, something that burns inside you, then you really work at it, you will realise that it is you (and only you) that can achieve it. If you devote every spare waking minute on achieving it and fall asleep at night still wanting it, you will succeed!

I had a burning desire: I wanted to live! Live, and be a good person. Most importantly, I wanted to make a difference. I did not want my life to have been in vain. I was not happy to go out on these terms. I am better than that. I had to change my life around for good. And, just like that, drinking was history. I had made up my mind, finally.

My father had a burning desire for tennis. He lived it 😉. His BMT (big match temperament) was the best I have ever seen. It was when the match was almost certainly lost that he would rise to incredible heights and drive the nail home. I inherited some of my ways from him. My BMT is not bad either 😉.

In the years to come, the hardest thing about stopping was fitting into society without my best friend. Mentally, in the first few years, it was still hard. The nervous system damage caused by alcohol was astounding. I was lost but had wonderful professional help and I had found my sobriety.

Now what?

This is where people say you need to fill your time with other healthier pastimes. However, I still had a burning desire.

My journey started in 2010 when I went for my first Camino, walking from Lüderitz to Swakopmund over 65 days. I needed my BMT to do that and to soak up the pressure like a sponge. It was the turning point of my life. 5 years later, I would be at death’s door, and over that decade I did six other long-distance walks. But that first Camino was the start of the change.

The mental and physical health benefits to long-distance hiking in the wilderness and nature is truly amazing. I am living proof. Don’t worry, I am not going to start chanting or anything now 😉 – I am like you. A typical southern African man, brought up on beer, klippies and boerewors. I loved my life. I was intrigued by how far people can push the limits. I knew no boundaries and my love for life was contagious. I was loud, friendly and one of the boys. A real Jo’burg boy. As they say in Afrikaans, “Ek het nie brike nie”. I do not have breaks. I partied like a rock star – yip, I was on fire. Inside I was hurting but on the outside I made Keith Richards look fairly tame. Then, Boom!

That is when it became a sorry affair. A right royal clusterfuck!

I have spoken about that before so no point in going on about it but it sucked.

Luckily for me, 5 years earlier I had found walking and it carried me through this ordeal.

Nature is all around good. Fill your life with bad and you get sick. Fill your life with good and you get better. I found I had a calling to go walking. I have always felt more at home in nature than in a city. It has a calming effect on me. A complete difference to the city where if there is a party or any form of debauchery going on I am bound to find it.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am generous person. I hate to see people or animals suffering. Quite simply, I like to help people. It makes me feel good. I have searched for that feeling in many forms but in its natural state, simply being good to a fellow human or animal feels wonderful. Better than any drug.

So, I have put my burning desires together and started these Caminos here in Namibia. It is my journey/Camino as much as it is anyone else’s. I hope that these walks are not just simply a hike in the wilderness but also an experience where perhaps you can get some answers, just like I did 😉.

Walking saved me. Spend as much time as I have out in the wilderness, and you do find your true self. I am now going to make it available to anyone who wants the experience in a safe manner. The Caminos will carry on past my time.

I started working as a barman on weekends when I was 16 years old and ultimately worked in bars and restaurants in South Africa, Namibia and Europe. I did my time as a waiter and a barman and have only known the hospitality industry in my work career. I am also using this experience to give some of the best service and meals that you will be able to get anywhere in the world. Why not? Nobody going to stop me 😉. It’s how I want to do it.

I am now lucky enough to live my burning desires. & it is keeping me alive! I feel like the luckiest person. Behind the scenes, it has been a lot of hard work, but I have a burning desire and i now plan to let it shine bright. Not to mention that it’s easier to stay clean 😉.

Have you ever thought about what your burning desires are\were? Maybe it’s time to find yours or rekindle yours and go do something amazing for yourself? Its never too late. I really hope you do 😉.

We just had another incredible Brandberg Camino. Here are some pics.

Here are the Camino dates for 2023

When you spend as much time as i do in the wilderness and walking you start to really see how nature has healing properties. I am reading a new book about the science of it all however the proof is in the pudding.

Come see for yourself and do something positive for your self.

You wont have to do any camp chores and this is your time. Just let nature open your eyes.

Come walk a camino with me.

see you in the desert.

Chadmanwalking out.

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