A Travellerspoint blog

Day Forty Eight – Halfway back

9th November 2011

sunny 38 °C

Given our trials and tribulations we just wanted to get to Windhoek before the weekend so that we could shop around for some new tyres and try and get our warranty validated on the banana suspension. As it stood Windhoek was 918 kilometres away. We hoped that we could set off early, stop in Outjo for a late lunch at the bakery and hit Windhoek by nightfall. All was going splendidly and we stopped briefly in Opuwo, the capital of Kaokoland. The tat mission was ever present and I quite wanted a Himba head dress. There didn’t appear to be any craft stalls as such and we’d all but given up hope until we saw a lady in our car park with a one in her basket. She was with another tourist and so we sat in our car and waited patiently until she’d finished. We called her over and started business proceedings. Three minutes later we had been swarmed. Somers, in the driving seat, had six ladies of varying age and in varying degrees of dress, thrusting necklaces and such through the window. We’d found what we wanted and when Somers told the motley crew to back off, they looked a little offended.

Our next stop was at the veterinary control point. No meat is allowed to be transported out of Kaokoland due to the risks of foot and mouth. The tender and final piece of Erics’ gluteals was sat in a tupperware box at the bottom of the fridge and that delicious piece of muscle was foot and mouth free. When asked I told the police officer and veterinary assistant that we had no meat. He said OK, but didn’t wave us on. The next thing, he was back. When asked about a fridge we told him we had one and he insisted on looking in it for meat. Uh oh. I clambered into the back making it look very awkward, took the lid off the fridge and noticed Eric partially hidden under a couple of water bottles. I scrambled out backwards, clattering and bumping and finally back on the tarmac told the officer he was more than welcome to get in and look. He unwittingly called my bluff and as he climbed in our heart rates quickened. He took a long look and paused. “OK,” he said, “you can go.” Phew.
As I said all was going well until 530kms into the days’ journey our back left tyre blew out. It was supposedly the best tyre on the vehicle and the fact that half of the road bearing surface was now loose was just bad luck. The rubber had come away at the radial wires; I’d given up trying to understand why. Despite the bits of rubber and metal poking out of it, it was still inflated. The inner tube hadn’t given up yet. It was half past four. We had 60 kilometres to go. We poured water on it to cool it down and set off at 30kph, and at 30 we stayed, and prayed, for two hours hoping we’d make it before the tyre croaked.

We arrived just after six thirty, there was a tyre shop in town, we’d have to pay it a visit in the morning and then try and get to Windhoek.

Posted by ibeamish 23:38 Archived in Namibia

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