Day 226. Saturday 5th August. From C34 50k’s from the Skeleton Coast to Somewhere in the wilderness. In a river bed between Sesfontein & Kamanjab? Namibia.

We rose this morning to a glorious setting. On a hill, in a valley with mountains all around.

With no carnex to fold up and put away, we were on the road by 9.15am. Not knowing how far we would get for the day, we headed first to Sesfontien, about 170k’s away. The road, alternating between very good, to quite bad. Both Adam & Erica had recommended we visit Sesfontein as there is an old German Forte there.

About 50k’s short of Sesfontein we passed through a quarantine control gate and just the other side, a diesel fuel pump. Yes, we would have made it but we decided to tank, regardless.

One never knows, with these rural towns, just how big they are and with what facilities. I can only say that the journey was not worth the effort. The “German Fort” is now a Safari Lodge and underwhelming, architecturally.

The rough objective was to head east towards the Etosha Game reserve but there is no main road directly to it. We found a dotted line on the map that was the most direct route. It had a designated road number. P2232.

After driving along a torturous track for about 4 k’s and trying to decide which track of the many we should follow, decided to turn back. It’s quite amazing where these vehicles can go. On the way back we stopped a Ute going the way we had come from and asked them about the viability of the track to get us to our destination. The White driver consulted two Black occupants, who seemed to think we would make it OK, but they were not…enthusiastic.?

From deep sand to rough rocky sections we came to a river with a short, but near vertical approach. The river wasn’t very wide and tracks in an out seemed to indicate it was not too difficult. Half way across we came to a stop. Unable to got forward or back due to the muddy bottom and a boulder we had become wedged against. Off with boots and socks and into the knee deep, stinking water.

Lesson 1 Always walk it first. Fortunately there was a sturdy tree about 30m away on the far side. For those that say a winch is a waste of space. No it’s not. In no time the winch had us over the boulder and onto firm ground. I have to say it was the first time I had used synthetic winch rope. I found it far easier to work with.

Fortunately the water was just below the point of entering the cabin. Out of nowhere, three people appeared to watch proceedings. Intelligent, good natured and wanting to help. God knows where they came from or how they knew we were there?

For their interest we gave them a T shirt each. Adam had given us a bag full of about 30 of them in various sizes, wanting to make space in Zikit. We have been carrying these blessed T shirts, always forgetting to give them to people who approach for hand-outs. The three chaps seemed delighted with their plastic wrapped gift and forgot about asking for money.

Time to look for a camping place.

Two hours later and by 5pm, we had been driving up the dry river bed with no sign of exit. Poki was getting hot from struggling in deep sand so we found a point where we could pull up onto a ledge, out of the river bed, and set up camp.

There are endless signs of wildlife. Tracks and droppings. We passed quite a few Giraffe, Springbok and a group of monkeys exiting a tree, en masse as we disturbed their lives.

Right beside us is a pile of Elephant dung. More than a few days old by the looks of it but we could well see one or more, wandering past us in the morning. We are on a well trodden route to the river, when there is water in it.

What is disturbing is that we are not quite sure where we are? We have driven about 20 miles. I guess we will come out where the river bed takes us? This is where a drone would have been an asset,

Tomorrow Jen will be able to update you with our progress. There is no wifi, so it could be a day or two before we are able to post

Again, not needing to erect the caranex, we set up camp and while Jen was doing cleaning and organising, I checked the vital signs of Poki and re-drilled and bolted a mudflap mount that had broken away. Other than that, all seemed in order.
Just to give you a little more context, we are following tyre tracks in the sand. Only, we don’t know where they are taking us! What’s more, those tracks split at forks. Which one to follow? Yes, we have a compass and the sun always gives you a rough idea of direction, but water takes the easiest course.

While searching for sleep, neither of us dared talk about the implications of a breakdown. We are well set up for self recovery from being stuck, but not from a major mechanical issue.

Lesson 2. Don’t take tracks unless you have a more detailed map of the area.

Dust coats everything. It’s certainly getting warmer as we trend north, and inland.

Additional pic’s will be loaded when wifi permits. Now complete at 2am..:)

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  1. A true African safari.

  2. Jen Dennis , I wish I could say I there Is a great restaurant serving some excellent wines just up the road ??? But You really are in the middle of Bloody Nowhere ? Being a real London Wimp , I get spooked if there are no street lights??? So reading your blog makes me feel even more Wimpish ! Hopefully today you figure out what best route up to Etosha , as It’s supposed to be amazing for animals I can’t wait to read your reports !
    Take Care Alex

    • Hi Alex, a long way back to Franschhoek for fine wine..:)

      Probably unlit streets in London are more dangerous!

      A day off today then Etosha tomorrow. Just had Poki washed too..:(

      Hope you are being very good..:)

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