Fish River Canyon - Day 41

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November 24th 2008
Published: November 30th 2008
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Our aim today was to get somewhere within easy striking distance of the South African border. The scenery continued to be as beautiful as we have come to expect here in Namibia and, at Seerheim we branched due south along the superb dirt road where, running on the line next to the road, we met the first train we have seen moving in Africa - a short goods train with a dirty old diesel engine at the front.

Then we entered the Fish River Canyon Nat Park. It was, by now, a rather bland rocky surface everywhere and I was getting worried fuel wise as I had made the mistake of not filling up at the last pump we passed, and then not finding the next one! However, at the park gate there was a pump and I filled up to the brim again.

There was a Landrover there escorting a party of a dozen Germans, each on his own dirt-road motorbike. They were touring all over Namibia and they looked as hot as hell in all their riding kit. The party included at least 2 young ladies - good on them!

When we got to the Fish River Canyon it was quite the spectacle it boasted to be. The blurb claimed that, after the Grand Canyon, this one was the next biggest. I’m not sure that is true but it certainly was a great spectacle which hopefully the photos will show. The canyon snaked across the desert floor and was 550 metres below the plain above in places. And it was hot!

We dragged ourselves away from this wonderful feature and set off towards the border. We were anxious to free camp as, once we are in RSA, free camping will be out of the question. After one abortive sortie off the road we finally found a gorge to drive down, which, after a mile or two, had huge sides to it towering above us. The floor was damp and there was much evidence of salt deposits. It was VERY hot! So we found a nice level spot in the shade of a great cliff and parked our cars to set up camp there. As the evening wore on, the wind dropped and we were left in that total silence that places like this generate - wonderful! It turned out to be one of the nicest free-camp sites of the whole trip.


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