Namibia Roadtrip Day 5 & 6
DISTANCE: Gravel/Dirt road 132km
WEATHER: Rain/Sun/Thunder & lightening.
Lots of rain in the night again, but still our fellow travellers were up at the crack of dawn on early morning game drives. We did five hours of driving today between the watering holes and saw Hyena and mainly the grazers such as Impala and Kudu with their young. It was also a day for sighting birds, although I’m not really very good with all the names of the 600 plus species you can see in Namibia. Etosha Pan was also on our list today; this was a totally different experience, the long salt road travels right out into the pan, no trees, no animals, just us, it was quite an experience.
With all the rain the roads were getting quite badly cut up in places, one of the large overland Scania trucks with a group travelling from Cape Town to Cairo was stuck as it avoided a large expanse of water and took the muddy alternative at the side. All the excited students were peering out of their windows whilst the driver and the group leader were looking rather worried at the back wheels, both buried very deep in mud. We drove straight through the water causing quite a tidal wave, nothing we could do, we didn’t dare stop or we could have been in the same boat! Another point which I quickly established was that although Jeff thought it was really fun to drive through every bit of mud and water he could find and get the truck really dirty and looking extremely cool, it was not quite so cool getting in and out of the truck as no matter how much you tried not to, the back of your legs rubbed the door mouldings as you got out, which by now, were caked heavily in thick, wet mud, leaving a slimy mud line across the back of your legs…. lovely!
Back to Halali, this time we picked a different pitch to try and avoid the polecat, needless to say it didn’t work. After our meal we thought we’d give the waterhole one last try. On our way there it started raining and by the time we got there, it was torrential. We ran all the way back to the campsite in the dark as there had been a power cut. We went straight to bed, it was too dark for me to notice that although the fly screen had been zipped up the outer windows were still open. Oh dear.
DISTANCE: Gravel/Dirt road 98km
Today started early, 1.30 am to be precise. That’s when we decided to abandon ship and sleep in the truck! The rain was just too much for the tent, water was dripping in everywhere, especially as I hadn’t closed the windows properly. We were very damp, so plan B into action, dive into the truck and with seats fully reclined we were pretty comfortable as we finished the night in relative dryness. By now, I was thinking, thank heavens I chose the 4 door cab, where you can recline the front seats. The camp was pretty flooded in parts at daybreak, so we decided to do a short game drive and then arrive early at our next site within the park, Okaukuejo. They had a large washing line so the sleeping bags dried out in no time, and the mattress also cooked in the hot sunshine. Bliss, dry again…until the rains came, this time earlier than expected. Luckily, I had remembered to zip up the windows of the tent this time. Unfortunately Jeff hadn’t remembered to close the tailgate of the truck so our food got rather wet! The rain continued into the late afternoon when all the overland trucks started pulling in. We did feel sorry for the occupants as they were forced to put up their tents in the pouring rain whilst we were sitting comfortably in our truck drinking tea. Best decision of the day was to eat out at the camp restaurant rather than the car. Jeff, being somewhat technical, established that although there were electrical points in the shower blocks they weren’t working so he decided to rig up the gas stove in the shower block so we could dry our hair over it, just so we didn’t look like something the cat dragged in. Today we finished the fuel in our first tank, so we had completed around 800km.