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Numbing through Namibia

Blog — By on December 20, 2012 5:07 pm

We are getting towards the end of our “epic” journey and for us it has been quite an adventure. In particular, these last days in Namibia have tested everyone to the limits of their motor biking capabilities.

We have experienced long, hard days of riding on mixtures of sand and loose gravel. Tarmac has not really featured in our slog south towards Cape Town and Christmas.

Some of the Namibian dirt roads have been excellent with long straights of rolled and graded hardcore. However, one cannot afford to loose concentration. Unlike in South Africa, often the good bits are interspersed with sections of extreme difficulty and one can come across them without warning.

Deep sand bottomed gullies are a particular feature and if the dirt has not been graded regularly or recently, then it deteriorates into a “corduroy road”. Riding a motorbike over deep corrugation is not a pleasant experience!!

In “Heat, Dust and Sand”, I stated that we were leaving the sand behind. How wrong that was. In parts, it has intensified and the heat and dust remain constant companions!!

We are still running parallel with the Namib desert, as we head south towards Cape Town. A visit to the famous red sand dunes at Sossusvlei was a reminder as to the close proximity of this desert. The temperature works its way up to 40 degrees on a daily basis and there is little shade in this continually tough environment. The fact that we are travelling south makes no difference and only the advent of Cape Town with its sea breezes will cause the temperatures to drop.

The scenery has hardly changed. There is more vegetation of a scrub variety, but the complete absence of water means that it is rarely green in colour. The landscape is still littered with rocky outcrops of various origin, size and shape. There are many empty, sand bottomed river beds and some have the extremely hardy camel thorn (part of the acacia family) trees growing along their banks, which delineate their course.

The harshness of the climate means that the wildlife remains limited. We have not experienced any new animal sightings, but have continued to enjoy the magnificent oryx, zebra, ostrich, springbok, kudu and jackal. A morning spent sea kayaking at Walvis Bay was very productive. We visited a cape fur seal colony, had numerous encounters with the small Benguela dolphin and disrupted an enormous flock of feeding flamingos.

The culmination of our journey is close, but there are still many kilometres to travel. Sometimes you think that you can smell the sea!!

Gobby

1 Comment

  1. The Rat says:

    A fox in desert !