This is part of the twelfth section of our around the
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from Zambia
or read our previous visit to Namibia
14/7/06 On the Namibian side there was a female dracula at customs who obviously wasn't enjoying her day and immigration was a pleasant opposite. Twenty minutes to cross and a free visa issued on the spot. There were however cross border charges, CBC's, road taxes or whatever they may be called of $US 14.00 for the foreign registered motorcycle. The flat arid countryside, lightly timbered and a straight road a bit unappealing till we arrived at Kongola and a small riverside campground west of town. A new campground with raised platforms situated under trees overlooking the river. Kudu were sighted as we arrived and a troup of baboons were moving through. In the evening hippo started making noises and we spotted a couple in the waters and heard them grazing all evening just below our camp. Birds and frogs a constant cacophony in our first isolated camp for a while.
15/7/06 Namibia is an unusual mix of past and present. All along the Caprive Strip are small villages of grass huts but the towns have most of the modern conveniences and products of the west. Automatic bank machines, unleaded petrol, well stocked supermarkets etc. We have had a steady tail wind since arriving back onto mainland Africa and with the daytime weather warming had a steady but uninteresting, flat same type scenery, for our 400 km ride to Rundu.
16/7/06 Kay informed me this morning that she intends to go back to Australia for a couple of months from Cameroon, in about a month's time. The changeover from travelling together to travelling alone or back together again requires considerable adjustment. Immediately our lives are separated as each is thinking in a different direction. The trip ahead is of little interest to the person not participating and instead of being a discussion it becomes a solo thought process. The jobs shared need to be untied and the jobs relied upon, now need to to be taken on. The back up opinion to every decision disappears so mistakes will be made, at least for a while. A few months later the whole process may again be reversed. We travelled to Tsumeb, the hopping off spot for us to prepare for Angola, just 250 km to the SW and the furthest south we expect to be this trip. Along the way we flushed the engine with an engine conditioner designed to remove sludge and carbon build up. One product was added to the oil, another put through the carburettor. This we followed with an oil and filter change, hopefully it might help the increasing oil consumption and rattles, immediately noticed more power and smoother running. The flat sandy soils of this region of Africa continued for toady's 300 km's.
17/7/06 Frank, at Executive Auto Repairs, right in the middle of town, arranged to get our rear tyre changed and then allowed me to use his workshop to prepare the three parts that needed welding. The bash plate was cracked, the rear rack broken from the Afghan accident and a crack in one of the pannier supports. I cut and drilled support pieces and attempted the welding but it was a bit embarrassing, many holes and bad joins. Frank willingly took over and an hour later had the jobs done. An offer of payment for the work was rejected. Buy me a drink, but he doesn't drink alcohol. We had also experienced this level of generosity and helpfulness in Namibia on our last visit. The country has the feeling of a big rural town where everyone is friendly.
18/7/06 We discovered that our stash of US emergency money had become wet, most likely in the Comoros, and had stuck together and grown mould. Luckily the notes were still separable and although we tried washing them gently most mould remained as black spots. A couple are likely to be unusable, some will be difficult to exchange in US dollar fussy Africa where only pristine notes are usually accepted. This could leave us a bit short of hard currency. Put the motorcycle back together this morning and lay about in sunshine in the afternoon. A group of two families, from Germany, travelling together, moved through the backpackers on their all expenses paid two week trip to Namibia. Many Germans settled here over the years and much of their influence in attracting countrymen for holidays or emigrations still occurs.
19/7/06 Namibia is a cheap county full of western produce. We are almost seven months into the trip and our clothes are showing the wear and tear. We both bought new pants and shirts, hats and last minute items before heading into expensive less well stocked countries.
20/7/06 We had been told locally that Rundu is an easy
place to get an Angolan visa but already having ours from Tanzania we rode
the 300 km to the border in early morning. It had been a good season when
we were in this region six years ago and was again now. The grass is tall
and brown, the stock fat and dams full. The border at Oshikango is bustling
with minor exports and imports mostly carried by cross border locals and
a few trucks. There are now a reasonable number of tourists and businessmen
crossing to make the procedure familiar to the officials and we were easily
out of Namibia in a few minutes.
Move with us to Angola
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