Namibia Day 5

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August 6th 2012
Published: August 6th 2012
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Our fifth day in Namibia and our longest journey so far: 387km and about 6 hours on the road. We have travelled from the plains in the central highlands through to the desert and coast at Swakopmund. But before details a quick comment on yesterday: after we had posted the blog and we were on our way back to our hut we were dazzled by the stars; with no light pollution here the sky is amazing.

Not long after we set off back into the Naukluft Mountains and the Naukluft National Park, which was set up as a conservation area for the mountain zebra, and not long after we had crossed the cattle grid which marks the entrance, said zebra put in an appearance when a large group decided to make a bolt for the other side of the road right in front of us. As the road goes down the middle of the plain we could see them in plenty of time but it was still a shock as we scrabbled for the cameras to get some shots.

We stopped at Solitaire again for refreshments as this was the last place to stop before the long push onto Swakopmund. This time we visited the bakery and had some wonderful apple pie and brownies.

After Solitaire we crossed back into the tropics, through the Gaub Pass then onto the really rough road (C14) that is so badly corrugated it feels like you are getting a sports massage through the seats. Another thank you to our friend Kate for recommending the 4x4 as we sailed past all of the two-wheel drive cars, and we were only managing about 50 to 60kph. The road was like this all the way to the Kuiseb Pass and as we got closer to the pass we started to see parts that had fallen off the cars from all of the shaking. You are teased as you head through the pass by two short strips of tarmac which give the car a bit of a rest.

After the Kuiseb Pass you head down for 150km on a virtually straight road, through terrains that change from vast plain to hummocks then to scrub desert and finally to the desert proper with dunes like you see in Lawrence of Arabia.

Once we got to Walvis Bay the tarmac starts again but we arrived in a minor sand storm so the road was masked in a moving dusting of sand. As this is the very bottom of skeleton coast we saw our first wreck.

We are going to dinner now after just seeing Bolt win the Olympic gold in 100m. Our guest house here is unbelievably well-equipped with TV, wifi and multi-charging points in a beautiful room. It’s one of those places where they seem to have thought of everything. Despite the low overnight temperatures in winter in Namibia, nowhere has central heating but here we have the choice of extra blankets, hot-water bottles and open fire (or all three).

Sorry there isn’t a lot to put about today but we have an early start as we are kayaking with the seals tomorrow morning.

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