March 28, 2011

300 days - Dassie’s heart attack (aka dead alternator) & More spectacular scenery

Countries visited – Namibia & Botswana
Miles travelled –  2739 miles
Sunny days – 27 days
Coldest night – 14’C Shark Island, Luderitz
Warmest day – 37’C Abu Huab River, Namibia
Cheapest fuel – £0.63, Namibia
Best food tasted – The scrumptious farm lunch with Oryx that Ina made for us at Steinfeld’s Land Rover Garage.
Worst meal – Wimpy burger with soggy roll….NEVER AGAIN!
Best wild camp – Steinfeld Farm, near Keetmanshoop, Namibia – stars were amazing!!!
Most useful things – Finding LR parts in Swakopmund (brilliant customer service), great value and very helpful.  Albert & Christo improved Nick’s understanding of the Land Rover by 1000% (not hard to do in reality)
Least useful things – Overlanders passing us without stopping when we broke down and seeing lots of commercial overlander trucks full of 20 something Americans who think making lots of noise at 4.50am is a hoot!  We are getting old after all.


1) Our first proper breakdown where we didn’t have a spare to repair Dassie straight away. Our alternator decided to start self-combusting on the road to Luderitz. Well timed in an area where you can’t leave the road as it’s a diamond mining area and there is no phone reception….. an aptly named gentleman called Gabriel, came to our rescue and towed us alarmingly fast to a campsite in Luderitz.  Nick changed the alternator like some sort of mechanical God – he is getting better with the Haynes manual.


1) Adding Lions, Hippos, Wildebees, Elephant, Black-Faced Impala, Red Hartebees, Black Backed Jackals, Banded Mongoose, Dwarf Mongoose, Secretary Birds and many more beasts to our “spotted” list.  Flying over and into the Okovango National Park and meeting our friends (Sim & Kate) that run “Elephants for Africa”.  Amazing to see elephants at close hand, amazing food, people and memories.  Gin & Tonic sun downers after the Makoro boat trip a must – we will be back!!
2) Meeting some more “like minded” overlanders in Swakopmund, Aus & Windhoek. We thoroughly enjoyed listening to traveller’s tales and having a good laugh.   Hope to see you again guys!
3) Driving the Skeleton Coast National Park, amazingly stark with the contrast of dunes and fierce crashing waves…..and yes – there are lots of skeletons.
4) Visiting the Save the Rhino Trust camp, they have really cool showers.
5) Seeing the Garub wild horses en route to Luderitz, a great place to while away the time watching inter-politics between the horse groups.
6) England winning the 6 Nations


1) We have passed the Tropic of Capricorn 3 times already.
2) Nick has had his fix of fixing Dassie by rejuvenating her suspension (coil springs and shocks) on a perfect workshop floor…a sandy campsite
3) We were ‘upgraded’ to a chalet at a guest farm due to an impending thunderstorm, which was going to potentially flood the river then the campsite. Totally unexpected, and a most welcome night in a real bed for us. If anybody is passing from Soussusvlei to Helmeringhausen then do stay at Barby’s guest Farm, really lovely.
4) An alternator is quite heavy, especially if you have walked 2km from the post office with it….even heavier when you drop it in the engine bay and you skin your knuckles whilst getting it out and you are getting sun burnt!

Nick & Vicks
Stonehenge to Cape Town 2010/11

Botswana: The Bradt Safari Guide, 3rd: Okavango Delta, Chobe, Northern Kalahari (Bradt Travel Guide Botswana)   Nature Wonders OKAVANGO DELTA Botswana  Cry of the Kalahari

No comments: