Tough Going - Day 33

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November 16th 2008
Published: November 20th 2008
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Warnings of Van Zyl's Pass ahead
We retraced our steps down this lovely road, made even better because the countryside was stunning in the early morning light. We all felt that this must be one of the country’s real beauty spots.

Back at Okongwati we left the good road and took an indifferent track westwards. We have all been anticipating this road with mixed feelings. Many have warned that it is a really, really bad and challenging drive, should not be undertaken by a single car, never without 4x4, and to be sure you have enough spares with you. Well, we have all driven down bad roads before but never have we driven down one like this!

It was down to one or 2 miles per hour at times - more often than not in fact, over the most incredibly boulder strewn tracks. Very little of the way was up hill, mostly down. Neither of us needed diff-lock but low ratio gears were helpful at times. In places we had to get out of the car and walk down the track to establish the best line to take, and sometimes even to fill in one of two holes with boulders from the side.

I have had a great respect for our Toyota Prados for quite some time now but after today’s drive this has gone up tenfold! The automatic gearboxes were a great help and there was never any question of slipping clutches or high revs in low gears. The cars performed miraculously. I feel that the tyres might well be the weakest link, but we shall see - we have the same task facing us tomorrow, but in spades!

At 4 pm we came across the local Community Campsite, which we did know existed, but again we were surprised to find the facilities we have come to expect from these venues - and right out in the back of beyond, hot water and showers where we were lead to believe there wasn’t any water at all, other than what we bring with us. Amazing place, this! As I write this, with the two cars positioned for the night under two enormous acacia type trees beside a dry sand river, watching the sun sink towards the west in an azure blue sky, I really am glad to be where I am!

Additional photos below
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Sweat BeesSweat Bees
Sweat Bees

Sweat Bees again - Van Zyl's Campsite

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