A Travellerspoint blog

Day Thirteen - Punctures and Persistance

5th October 2011

sunny 30 °C

The alarm screeched at 5.25am, I’d foolishly left it in the hood of my sleeping bag, right next to my ear. We woke up, in Botswana! If yesterday was anything to go by then today had to be a belter. We packed and left before dawn. With no accommodation booked in Mata Mata we were chancing our luck to see if they could sort something out by the time we got there. We spent a few hours driving, the pick of the sightings being a Carmine Bee-eater, which must have been lost because the book says it’s not a frequent flyer down here. (We’re now casual bird geeks.)

We got to Mata Mata and once again found no room at the inn. Despite the fact that, spacially at least, the camp was not full we were told we couldn’t stay. Namibia would have to come a day early.

Namibian customs, our first border entry, went like a dream. Tick, tick, Somers and I were in. The only problem was that there was no customs official based at Mata Mata so Redvers needed checking in at Customs in Windhoek. Whoop bloody whoop. We’ll do it before we collect Emma in Windhoek on Saturday. They’ve given us a 90 day visa, if customs officials are anything like South African bureaucracy we may need it.

The 300kms to our stopover at Mariental went reasonably but for our first puncture. We fixed it ourselves with our ‘snot-worm’ kit and carried on. NB. Tyre repair ticked on our list of ‘things to do.’

As we got to the campsite at Hardup dam near Mariental, we were tired and it was getting dark. The polite lady told us there was no room. A dam, surrounded by fields with no room for a car and a tent. “There are 20 campsites and they’re all taken,” she stated in plain monotone. This despite the guidebook saying that the campsite offers no running water or electricity and therefore only space is required to ‘offer’ a campsite. It was full up. The minions on gates have no power they just learn the rules and enforce them. We borrowed a mobile phone (sat phone sim card has been lost by the courier somewhere...) and found another campsite 50kms away who had space. We traveled, we arrived. The lady is lovely, genuinely, the place is/will be amazing when it’s finished. But for now we have marble and zebra skins adorned campsite bathroom!

We are exhausted, we’ve covered over 500kms in 16 hours, cleared our first real border, been in four campsites in three countries and my evening inspection under Redvers revealed he has lost the drain plug for his gearbox and has no, zero, nada, gear box oil left. We’re in Namibia, in a luxury campsite under construction with a stationary vehicle and tired bodies.

Morale is low. Tomorrow will be better.

Posted by ibeamish 23:04 Archived in Namibia

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