Blogs from Namibia, Africa - page 4

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Africa » Namibia » Damaraland August 31st 2013

We leave Swakopmund at around 8:30, hoping to be at the bank as it opens to change some of the dollars we are carrying. Unfortunately, Saturday AM seems to be the time the locals descend on their bank, so the line is already 50 deep at that time. We head across the road and hit the ATM instead, fill up at the edge of town and head north up the coast. We are on a "salt" road, so called as it is tarmac covered in salt from the sea and very slippery when wet. We head up to Hentes Bay, very chilly at 14 degrees. Along the way, we encounter a recent skeleton coast wreck, now parked in the breakers and home to dozens of cormorants, white sided and common. We pause for a look round ... read more
Billy
Down to the Ugab Terraces
Vingerklip

Africa » Namibia » Swakopmund August 30th 2013

The Europa Hof proved to be a chilly night's sleep, and the day was cold and bright. Strong sunshine meant you could warm up in the sun, but the air was around 14 degrees and blowing steadily. I spent a good bit of the morning writing up the blog, keeping one eye on John who was kitting out the new support vehicles. The previous two had been found wanting so were replaced by shiny new ones. A number of the keener riders decided to get new back tyres fitted at the local Yamaha dealership. For keener read more aggressive users of throttle and merciless abusers of rubber. Mine was looking pretty warn too, but in reality there was plenty enough to last us to Vic Falls. In the meantime Pam had wandered round the town, establishing ... read more

Africa » Namibia » Swakopmund August 29th 2013

Another 8:00AM start from the very pleasant Le Mirage. Today it will be around 300Km and a late lunch arrival at Swakopmund, if we get a move on. However, we are not the type to rush along if there is an experience to be had along the way, so we take our time, with no thought of making it to the Nando's for lunch. The other reason is that gravel roads tend to develop a wash-board like surface after a while. This, I have heard, is due to the bouncing suspension of the trucks and cars that pass over it. Its pretty fatiguing on the arms, butt, teeth, fillings and nerves and speeding over it is unpleasant for rider and pillion. Going faster would get it over with quicker I suppose, but the dental bills would ... read more
The Crumb Crowd
Totally Tropical
Dr Steve on Dune 7

Africa » Namibia » Sossusvlei August 28th 2013

Somehow we are ready to do the next leg by 8:00AM. Bit worried by today's briefing, lots of "be careful of the cut up roads", "don't overcook it in the corners", etc. Its a beautiful morning, cool and clear out here in the desert. We are off and into a long stage today. Virtually all gravel tracks and many of them in not good condition. But what does that mean? Well, every three months or so you can expect these gravel superhighways to be graded and when freshly done, they are pretty smooth, easy to ride and allow for rapid progress. But over time cars and trucks follow each others' tyre tracks, building up mounds of loose gravel in between. This soft stuff requires courage and commitment to cross over, as the moment you hit it ... read more
Namibian Savannah
Le Mirage Spa
Dawn at Le Mirage

Africa » Namibia August 27th 2013

Today was a shortish day because of the need to cross the border into Namibia. But its up at 6:45 as usual, do the packing until all but the last things are stowed, then breakfast at 8:00 if we are ready. The thermal inners to the suits were removed today as we don't expect any real chills anymore, and of course that made the packing harder. Breakfast was bacon, eggs and pie. I skipped pie. Then off to refuel and change some currency. Having brought US dollars with me as per instructions, they are useless, so more ZAR required. By the time this tedious exercise was over, most of the others had left the gas station, but Billy was there to point the way. Pam and I have achieved a reasonable level of competency riding off-road ... read more
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Africa » Namibia » Fish River Canyon August 27th 2013

"Breakfast at 8 leave at 9" The daily briefing complete, we leave the river lodge. Last night had ended with Jaeger shots, Jenga and a new way of drinking tequila that Charley showed us (with orange segments sprinkled with cinnamon). S today I'm feeling a little slow. Pam missed the late night activities having gone straight to bed after the truck ride. Today we are headed towards the Fish River Canyon, another short day over mainly gravel roads. Namibia is dryer than a witches t*t, as they say, and away from the river, virtually nothing seems to survive. We gain altitude slowly, the temperature around 17.5, so the vents are all zipped up. Easy going mainly, until after a short visit to the hot springs at Ai Ais (good coffee but otherwise not worth the detour) ... read more
Pam & Garth at Fish River Canyon
Team Boorman at Fish River Canyon
Hot Springs at Ai Ais

Africa » Namibia » Rundu August 18th 2013

Hello, Everyone, I am in Windhoek on holiday. We have two weeks off, and I haven't any idea what I am planning to do, but lots of possibilities. We finished exams and paperwork. The kids left Friday, we had one more meeting Saturday (yesterday), and are free. I had been planning to come to Windhoek just to shop, and to check out printing companies. I've been planning with a colleague to travel to Windhoek with him and his family on one of the plush busses. We had it all worked out and then they were all booked! So late Saturday he let me know we were leaving this morning at 6:00. I didn't do badly packing with so little time, but I forgot my Lonely Planet book. So first stop will be a book store. Anyway, ... read more

Africa » Namibia » Rundu August 2nd 2013

Hello, Everyone, The President actually came, so now it is all over. What a relief. Nothing went as we planned, but apparently the President was quite taken with a beating heart on the SMART board, so was entirely happy with the school and his visit. For a brief week or two the people in Windhoek love us. We were the BIG story on the news that night which we all gathered to watch. I was on Namibian television! Really, me. As it turned out, people came from Windhoek about three days before and took over the preparations. We were decorated, tents were set up, new furniture, enough chemicals and bones and things to make Potemkin labs. So I don't know if the President knows that we actually do not have anything for any sort of science ... read more

Africa » Namibia » Windhoek » Aris July 25th 2013

Well my friends - what an absolute slacker i am! in all seriousness, this is the first time i have been able to sit at a computer since my last update back in Zambia. Genuinely, we have only been using our phones with WiFi and to write this kind of text on my phone is a massive ball ache so i have been very naughty and not written anything. BAD KIMMY!!!!! So i shall fill you in on our adventures through Botswana and Namibia, and then i will write another entry for South Africa. Although as we are on our way home next Tuesday i dont really have loads of time so i may have to renege on that promise - but we shall see!!! :) So we got ENGAGED and saw some Rhinos and Rainbows ... read more

Africa » Namibia » Rundu July 16th 2013

Hello, All, Things are very busy getting ready for the President's visit next Monday. We are preparing big entertainment, there are extra security, lots of bigwigs, just like West Wing. Everything down to the minute. It's getting pretty exciting. Anyway, I'm putting up some more of my photos. I lent out my camera and hope to get it back before Monday. These are more of our trip. After the visit I'll write a nice, newsy blog. I am missing Keppoch, but doing my happiness yoga. The weather is great, but I understand Sept., Oct., Nov. will be almost unbearably hot. I have to stop thinking about it. Okay, here are some pictures.... read more
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