Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Day 454
51,132 km since the beginning of the journey

Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and civilization has been left behind. The Colony of Seals has been visited, and so have Welwitschia and the Moon Landscape. The shopping centres have been walked through and the choice of the articles is plentiful. And at the cafeterias the situation is the following: when you order a pizza, then you are brought the real good pizza - both in appearance and taste.

The Trans - Kalahari Highway takes through the desert to inland.

And a decent asphalt road it is, but as I have now planned to move directly to the north, so this good and dust-free road will not last for long.

The vast majority of the Namibian side-roads are decent gravel roads of sufficient width and covered with fine dust, which is - by the evening - everywhere inside the car. Spitzkoppe is seen further ahead.

I make a stop and come out of the car to take a picture of the mountains from the distance, and I can hear some strange hissing sound. After a closer investigation it becomes clear that the hissing is not created by the Green Mamba or even by the Black Mamba - but the case is far less exotic - there is a piece of metal in the rear tire and the tire is slowly collapsing .

First of all - the jack out and the rear tire off. Next - something must be done. Option "A" is to take a spare tire from under the car, replace it to the broken one and in the next settlement search for the tire - repair service. Option "B" is generally the same, the difference being - to take the spare tire from the roof,

The weather outside is normal, the tire has chosen a deserted place with no audience to break down - and so I decide in favour of the option C. The option "C" means that I myself will repair the tire at the spot with necessary tools and then it is done and no need to look for tire repair.

At first - the piece of metal out with the help of the pinchers and then the hole will be enlarged with the so-called "corkscrew"

Here is the hole filling - freshly coated with glue and waiting for installation.

Done! It looks as it looks, but the main issue is that no hissing any more. The drying time is to be for 5 minutes, then I check it over, pour some water on the patched spot - and as no bubbles appear - the situation is solved. Next l take out the new compressor, purchased in South Africa, and the tire will turn into the right shape again. The previous small compressor, bought in Estonia two years ago, finally decided to break down, but it was used quite a lot too. After sandy areas - 4 tires to inflate again, and so sometimes 3-4 times a day. A good example, that such tools should be decent.

Just in case the foot-pump is also with, because life has shown that all electrical things finish functioning one day and suddenly and without any warning beforehand. In Namibia the density of human settlements is sparse, the country being last but one besides Mongolia (In Namibia - 2.6 persons/km2, in Mongolia 1,7 persons/km2) so one can drive for hours here, seeing neither cars nor local inhabitants. And without any proper preparation it is not a very wise thing to travel here around.

The question "How many flat tires?" has been asked , but so far it has been this way that the first broken tire happened in Ethiopia, when I got an acacia needle into the tire while driving in the dark a bit off the roadside; and this is now the second time. In Uganda the first tire also began slowly to deflate, but it was enough to take the tire off and wash the edge.

An overnight place between the rocks in Spitzkoppe.

Arch Rock

In the morning sun

Further on northwards. Uis is a small inhabited place with a service station and shop. Here every opportunity to refuel should be used, much safer to move on.


Having inspected the map the locals posed next to the map on the side of the car door.

Visiting The Damaras

But more about them in the next post.

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