Wednesday, May 23, 2012

So here we are in Namibia reunited with our truck and making a start on our African Adventure! At last! We have now been 2 years in the preparation.

Our truck [for which we are still trying to find a name] arrived in the Port of Walvis Bay along with almost 900 other vehicles from the UK. We spent several anxious days waiting as, when we first met the agent there, we told that also expected on the same ship was a German vehicle similar to ours that had been mistakenly unloaded in Ghana 2 months earlier! You can imagine how relieved we felt when we saw it standing there in all its glory and without an additional scratch or bump!

Two days spent in a campsite in Walvis Bay sorting things out. Surprisingly, it takes a lot longer to put things away in there proper place than it does to take them from there proper place and store them somewhere safe and secure for a journey through two ports and over one large ocean!
Then it was off into the NamibNaukluft National Park to see how the truck behaved under African conditions. Very well is the answer, although we are still trying to work out how to stop the dust getting in – and to think that Liz thought that this great adventure would see the end of housework!

So far, the African desert has proved to be very different to any of the other deserts we have travelled in. During the middle of the day it gets much hotter and at night, much colder. There are amazing colours in the sand dunes, depending on the light, from chestnut brown in the shadows to bright orange and yellow. The grasses have an almost silver sheen so it makes a really lovely picture. There is an area that looks like the surface of the moon…dark rocks and gritty sand, here grows an amazing plant the welwitchia, somewhat cactus like and not very pretty but as it is 1500 years old it is bound to look a bit wrinkled!!

Animals abound! Ostrich, wild horses and mules, zebra, fox, hare, warthog, springbok and gemsbok and that was only on day 2! There are lots of birds too, though we have yet to identify most of them…ostrich, secretary birds, and bee-eaters are recognisable though.

We are now in a campsite in Swakopmund. This is a German town and in many ways more German than a town in Germany. A very interesting place and a good for us to stock up with a number of supplies before we head off into the next desert. Still undecided, shall we go up the coast or head inland a bit? Time will tell. As we write this we are sitting under a mist caused by the Benguela current which flows up the west coast here and brings lots of fish, birds etc. It certainly makes things very green but also cool and damp…a bit like England!!!

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