Hi Hip Hurrah. Almost eighteen months after finishing this adventurous road trip I have completed my personal account. It will hopefully be printed by Christmas as a memento for myself and loved ones. I will thus not be publishing it on the Web for open viewing but have enjoyed posting a few memories from this trip on my blog.
Skeleton Coast 22nd May 2015
We arrived at SpringbokWasser the entrance to the Skeleton Coast Park at 12.06PM. We discovered we had a puncture rear left, and changed it on the other side of the gate. Even though we did not have to dig a hole as gravel was firm, LeBrun’s piece of hard wood and bottle jack were of great value. Out of there at about 12.45 PM. Took about 40 minutes to do the 40 odd Kms to Torra Bay. As we neared it weather changed to grey and chilly mist. Torra Bay is only open as a resort in the December and January season for fishing but people do live there so a couple of guys used our plug kit to fix the puncture and their compressor to inflate. We left the spare on for the remainder of the trip and no more punctures! We travelled South on the C34 coastal road for 103 Kms until exiting the park at the Ugab gate at 4.10 PM. Oil Wreck, Flamingos and Ship Wreck along the way. Very bleak and did not see much.
On the C34 in the Skeleton Coast Park travelling towards Ugab gate 2.07 PM
In continuation on thoughts around the Digital Age (Post 11 May) I was further prompted by a talk I attended at the Wits Club on Thursday the 23rd June given by Arthur Goldstuck and entitled: “The technology trends shaping the next decade”. Extremely stimulating and though statistics came into the presentation ala the Accenture talk more gadgetry based given Arthur’s background. Will these Global trends transpire in South Africa? Some will, as evidence already points to. Cashless transactions being one but others will be resisted by societal constraints. Robots may be utilised in deep level mining as the Unions will find it difficult to argue both for job protection and safety at the same time. However when it comes to service roles such as domestic work and even nursing this will be resisted.
As I said in an earlier blog I hope to post more on this trip. Today a Tuesday is the anniversary of our return to Johannesburg a year ago which you will note was a Sunday. The post is drawn directly from my travelogue which still has to be finalised and edited.
Sunday 31st May. Up early, breakfast, tidy up, pack – on road by 6.30? Long ride home. Got onto N14 to Upington, and then to Sishen. Saw the rust dust of the open cast iron ore mining, then Kuruman, then Vryburg. I don’t know where we got off the N14 but we headed for Parys and encountered some terrible roads. Parys dead on a Sunday afternoon but found an urban cowboy bar, replete with seating made out of car tyres and had our end of tour drink. Then onto Joeys. I was first to be dropped off, 6.30 ish.
Joburgers will tell you our climate is the best in the world. Admittedly stretching it a bit if I, one, we, haven’t/hasn’t at least visited every city in the world! Best climate in South Africa – Yes of Course -:). Beautiful cloud formation. Geographers and Pilots would know which one it is. Frequently though as we head towards winter the sky is completely clear ala the blue in the photo once the cloud cover has burnt off and warm in the middle of the day. Today top temp is going to be 21 C. Yes we can freeze our proverbials off even in the day and the clear nights at 6000 feet altitude can drop the temp right down to freezing and even some time lower. Yes, Northerners we don’t understand 20 below! What about summer? Well we don’t have the incessant wind of CT or the unbearable humidity of Durbs. We have hot days and warm nights without either. Sadly our regular Highveld lightning and thunders storms departed about 30 years ago. Global warming? Go Joeys!
This day a year ago I phoned Mom in the morning from Etosha Aoba Lodge (Onguma Reserve) in Namibia to hear the sad news that my companion Sheba had died during the night. I had her as a Pup from an abandoned litter that Animal Anti Cruelty rescued and even then she was the spirited one. She was such a character, talked incessantly when she wanted to tell me something. The basic things I could recognize, go out, eat food, speak to dog trainer, shout at other dogs but the rest I didn’t have a clue and told her so. I have decided not to post the last photograph of her but rather one as an 8 week old puppy and one as a mature dog at 9 and half.
Today a year ago the team indulged me by travelling the 200 plus kilometres from our lodge near Etosha’s Namutoni entrance to the town of Ondangwa. I was in search of my former Airbase referenced in my Memoir. The town has grown considerably and after shopping at a large Checkers we asked a number of people where the Airbase was or had been. We were pointed in the direction of the Airport and we found it going out of the town towards Oshikati. It was difficult to align my memories to this new vision. In my Memoir I note that I was at the Base on the 19th May. So this revisit was 35 years to the day. The photograph below of this new airport gives a location of where perhaps the actual runway of the Airbase was. I also took a photo of a Tower adjacent to a perimeter wall which is possibly the same Tower used for a Naval gun mentioned in my Memoir.
I hope to post more memories from this road trip on this site. This is the first one remembering our departure a year ago even though it was a sunny Thursday in Johannesburg rather than a wet Saturday. A band of four merry men in a trusty Toyota trailing two motorbikes. The image posted is of me in front of Dune 45 which is so called I believe as it is 45kms from the Sesriem entrance of Namib-Naukluft Park on the in and out road to Sousousvlei. Photograph taken Tuesday 26th May 11.25 AM on our way to the Vlei. Clear blue sky and two people on the top.