Sesfontein/Diesel - Day 35

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November 18th 2008
Published: November 20th 2008
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Cows to Water at OrupembeCows to Water at OrupembeCows to Water at Orupembe

Cows to Water at Orupembe
Before we left I elected to put in 15 litres of fuel from my plastic can on the roofrack. I only carried this can for this leg of the trip with the intention of disposing of it once used. I still had my two further metal jerry cans, each with 20 litre capacity. I guessed that this would be sufficient to get me to the next fuelling point at Sesfontein.

As we passed the police station I gave the plastic can to Officer Kwambe, who was delighted, and he then immediately invited us to contribute towards his Christmas Police Ball!! We obliged him with a donation, given with much pleasure and good humour.

The road south and westwards was excellent to start with and the scenery of yellow grass, soft, soft in the morning light was stunning. But after about 5 miles my low fuel warning light came on and the gauge showed an almost empty tank. Much alarmed I got out to look for the fuel leak - none. So now completely unaware of how much fuel I had in the tank I added my extra 40 litres and felt that I now should safely have 200 miles worth of fuel in the tank. Off we set, the gauge showing a healthy reading, but only for a mile or two before the light came on again and the gauge fell to near zero. I now realised that it was the gauge that was faulty and I must ignore it. Not a nice thing to happen where fuel is so scarce, but from now on I shall be calculating my consumption from the mileage, working from a full tank down.

The road got worse and worse with vicious corrugations which rather took the edge off the scenery through which we were driving. Nevertheless, of all the deserts through which we have driven, this one must rank as the most beautiful. The flat, flat desert floor with the hills either side of the valley down which we drove was a wonderful mixture of the red of the hills, the yellow of the grasses and the very blue sky. I hope the photos we took will do it some justice.

On reaching Purros we continued up a rather different valley, more tree and shrub life and quite extraordinary signs of elephant dropping on the road. There was also oryx, springbok and even one lone giraffe. Finally we arrived at Sesfontein which, rather than being the town we had expected, was little more than a municipal set up (with very dusty campsite), and a fuel station, part of an old German fort which was now a lodge run by a German named Uli.

However - no diesel! That made our day as we were both short and we still faced well over 100 kms to the next fuelling point. Moreover, my fuel tank guard had again fallen off, which Ian and I had wired up temporarily, so I asked Uli if anyone could weld it up for me. His foreman, Pedros, came to my rescue and within an hour and a half it was securely back in place again.

Meanwhile Uli explained that the fuel delivery he had the week before was a tank load of petrol, and no diesel against his order of half and half. But, in the circumstances and rather than making us wait till the next delivery on Friday, he would let us have 20 litres each from his emergency reserve. Bless him!

So, fueled up and welded up secure again, we made
Orupembe to PurosOrupembe to PurosOrupembe to Puros

Orupembe to Puros with Springbok was lovely
for Ongongo campsite some 12 kms down the road. This turned out to be in a little gorge with a clear stream running through it, with a small waterfall into a pool below (where Camilla of course had her swim!). The sites for camping were not all that attractive but we did make ourselves very comfortable.

Additional photos below
Photos: 5, Displayed: 5


Welding fuel guardWelding fuel guard
Welding fuel guard

Pedros welds Hamish's fuel guard at Sesfontein fort

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