Gap Year 4x4http://www.gapyear4x4.com/A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single stepGraffiti CMS 1.2 (build 1.2.0.2308)Tue, 14 Sep 2010 21:37:43 GMTWelcome back to British summerhttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/private/private-friends/welcome-back-to-british-summer/Tue, 14 Sep 2010 21:37:43 GMThttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/private/private-friends/welcome-back-to-british-summer/trevorb0Private_Friends<p>Hi and welcome back to a typical wet and cool British summer. Just been catching up on your Namibia blog section. Warthog...mmm! </p> <p>Just been to Iceland for 2 weeks the summer hols, and need to save up again, but some of the off-roading looks VERY interesting indeed....not just 4x4 needed but super jeeps, but eeek on the prices, and that's just to eat or sleep and before you even hire an entry level car! But the scenery, you gotta go...maybe a joint expedition when bank balances are healthier!!? Speak soon. Trevor and Jane</p>Day 411 - 412 Botswana : Ghanzi - Kanghttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/26-botswana/day-411-412-botswana-ghanzi-kang/Mon, 31 May 2010 17:44:53 GMThttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/26-botswana/day-411-412-botswana-ghanzi-kang/Jan026 Botswana<p><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day411412BotswanaGhanziKang_FEC8/Day%20411%20Botswana_2.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-top-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px" height="210" alt="Day 411 Botswana" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day411412BotswanaGhanziKang_FEC8/Day%20411%20Botswana_thumb.jpg" width="260" border="0"></a> </p> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="2" width="594" border="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" width="133">Trip Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="142">307km (191m)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">Total Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="165">10212km(6347m)</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">Road Condition</td> <td valign="top" width="144">100% tar</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Time to travel</td> <td valign="top" width="146">4.5hrs</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Cost of diesel</td> <td valign="top" width="148">P6.65(£0.64)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Stopover<br>Kang, Botswana</td> <td valign="top" width="149">Kalahari Rest Camp</td> <td valign="top" width="152">S23 31.215 E22 36.583</td> <td valign="top" width="165">P140 (£14) - Great showers, lovely sites, electricity when genny running only</td></tr></tbody></table> <p>We woke up still feeling pretty shattered from the previous day's l-o-n-g trip but we wanted to pushed on.&nbsp; Although the showers were great (converted galvanized buckets with a shower head poking through) and there was plenty of hot water for both of us, the sites were a bit dry and dusty, so we packed up and left.</p> <p>We were heading for the campsite designated on T4A in Kang but when we got there it was a petrol station with some chalets alongside and we were told "just find a spot between to camp".&nbsp; It didn't look great and besides, it was the Super 14 final, we needed a TV to watch.&nbsp; Having passed the Kalahari Rest Camp some 30kms back, we decided to turn around and head back there for the night.&nbsp; It was a great idea as they had a restaurant and bar and, more importantly, a TV which would be tuned into rugby a bit later.</p> <p>We found our site and while Trevor unpacked the tent, I tried to decide what to make for lunch.&nbsp; We had managed to pick up some fresh bread, so what to have with it?&nbsp; The warthog!&nbsp; Seeing that Trevor had never had any before.&nbsp; So I hauled out the fillets, sliced them into thickish medallions and fried them in some oil olive.&nbsp; We'd have them plain and unadorned (just with some sea salt) so that we could get the true flavour.&nbsp; Oh my god, we were in love with warthog.&nbsp; He had not died in vain and was glorious, meltingly tender and so full of flavour - like aged pork.&nbsp; YUM YUM.&nbsp; With tummies full of an amazing lunch and having had a hot shower, we headed off to the bar to watch the rugby final.&nbsp; It was a good match but with no Sharks to support lacked a little something for us!</p> <p>Back at our camp, Trevor got the fire started, we threw in some potatoes and onions (we are ADDICTED to these!) and I prepared..... warthog again.&nbsp; We had so enjoyed lunch, that I got out the sirloins that we had taken, cut these up into a few thick steaks and braaied them till they were just done.&nbsp; Oh, just wanted to mention that this warthog was young (hence being soooooooo tender) but was not a huge boy so that sirloins and fillets were not the size of beef fillets or sirloin but much smaller!!!!&nbsp; A meal from heaven.&nbsp; As we sat, wrapped in our blankets in front of the leaping flames of a warming fire, under an incredibly clear sky so full of stars that it was difficult to pick out individual ones, we drank a toast and gave thanks.</p> <p>Have I mentioned that it has been getting progressively colder as we enter winter in the southern hemisphere?&nbsp; With our sub-zero sleeping bags out, thermal jim-jams on, we added our blankets on top and were warm and snuggy as we slept.</p> <p>We woke to a new day and a new challenge.&nbsp; We had been talking about staying for a few days as the owner had said that he would take Trevor hunting for a springbok.&nbsp; Our idea was to take the meat we could fit into our freezer, ask the owner to freeze the rest and take it down to Gaborone to donate to the SOS Childrens Village there.&nbsp; Fate stepped in, as she often does, unexpectedly at times.&nbsp; Sully had been over-due a service so to compensate, Trevor decided to do a cursory check over her in preparation of a service in Gaborone.&nbsp; Disaster!&nbsp; She had enter the realms of a grown up Land Rover and developed an oil leak...... No!&nbsp; So after cleaning everything off and spending some time peering closely at Sully's undercarriage, Trevor discovered that it was the transfer box that was leaking.&nbsp; "Bother" was <u>not</u> the word that I heard coming out from under the car!&nbsp; An expensive problem to fix but in the meantime how do we sort it for long enough to get to Gaborone now about 450kms and another longish day's drive away?&nbsp; Without oil in the transfer box we were in danger of creating all sorts of major issues with other expensive parts.&nbsp; So after a cup of restorative tea, a biscuit and a chat, we decided to leave the following day, not before topping up the transfer box with the 1l of transfer box oil that we had been carrying in the spares kit.&nbsp; Hunting for Trevor would have to wait again as this problem took priority and needed to be resolved and fixed in a hurry.</p> <p>We settled in for the afternoon pottering around, packing Sully up as much as we could and decided that we would cook another piece of warthog for supper (too much of a good thing, I can hear you thinking?&nbsp; Not a chance!).&nbsp; This time we pot-roasted a small piece of rump/leg in red wine, veggies and potatoes in our dutch oven (cast iron pot) over the fire and it was just as delicious as the previous meals.&nbsp; We rolled into bed ready to get up early the next morning for final packing and making our way slowly to Gaborone. </p>Day 410 Botswana : Okahandja - Ghanzihttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/26-botswana/day-410-botswana-okahandja-ghanzi/Sat, 29 May 2010 07:16:18 GMThttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/26-botswana/day-410-botswana-okahandja-ghanzi/Jan026 Botswana<p><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day410BotswanaOkahandjaGhanzi_F4CD/Day%20410%20Botswana_2.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-top-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px" height="199" alt="Day 410 Botswana" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day410BotswanaOkahandjaGhanzi_F4CD/Day%20410%20Botswana_thumb.jpg" width="260" border="0"></a> </p> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="2" width="594" border="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" width="133">Trip Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="142">771km (479m)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">Total Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="165">9905km(6156m)</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">Road Condition</td> <td valign="top" width="144">100% tar</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Time to travel</td> <td valign="top" width="146">9.5hrs</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Cost of diesel</td> <td valign="top" width="148">P6.65(£0.64)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Stopover<br>Botswana</td> <td valign="top" width="149">Thakadu Camp, Ghanzi</td> <td valign="top" width="152">S21 44.362 E21 40.709</td> <td valign="top" width="165">P100 (£10) - Great showers, individual campsites, restaurant, friendly management</td></tr></tbody></table> <p>Friday dawned as our last day on the farm.&nbsp; We made plans to leave with Bossie and meet up with him in Windhoek back at their house for a few more days with him and Jackie before heading south.&nbsp; But as we left, something made me check our passports to see when our visas expired.&nbsp; BUGGER!!!!&nbsp; Although we had requested 60 days when we had entered at the beginning of the month, the visa had been issued for 21 days, I had not checked... and this was the last day.&nbsp; We went off to Windhoek to the Home Affairs office to request an extension, and although we had paid nothing to enter Namibia, they wanted us to pay US$60 each for an extension.&nbsp; Not a chance!&nbsp; So we contacted Bossie &amp; Jackie and with some haste made our way to the border, 320kms away.&nbsp; </p> <p>Not what we wanted.&nbsp; </p> <p>We hadn't said our proper goodbyes to Jackie &amp; Bossie.&nbsp; </p> <p>We hadn't been able to tell them what an amazing time we had.&nbsp; </p> <p>We hadn't been able to say thank you.&nbsp; </p> <p>We left because we had to.</p> <p>Again we crossed over to Botswana with little incident or hassle and within 20 minutes were on the road to Ghanzi.&nbsp; Some 20kms from the border we stopped to unpacked the frozen warthog meat and gemsbok liver that we had secreted away in the roof box in a cooler bag - they definitely weren't going to confiscate this from us at border crossing - not without a fight anyway!&nbsp; But we needn't have worried because we weren't checked anyway.&nbsp; Always does to be cautious though!</p> <p>An exhausting 771kms later and we approached it as night slowly crept in.&nbsp; After a bit of shopping and drawing of cash we made our way to Thakadu in the dark, pitched the tent, went for supper in the restaurant and fell into an exhausted sleep in the freezing cold, clear night.</p>Day 406 - 409 Namibia : Windhoek - Okahandjahttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/25-namibia/day-406-408-namibia-windhoek-okahandja/Fri, 28 May 2010 17:55:11 GMThttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/25-namibia/day-406-408-namibia-windhoek-okahandja/Jan025 Namibia<p><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day406409NamibiaWindhoekOkahandja_DD77/Day%20406%20Namibia_2.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-top-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px" height="199" alt="Day 406 Namibia" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day406409NamibiaWindhoekOkahandja_DD77/Day%20406%20Namibia_thumb.jpg" width="260" border="0"></a> </p> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="2" width="594" border="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" width="133">Trip Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="142">200km (124m)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">Total Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="165">9134km(5677m)</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">Road Condition</td> <td valign="top" width="144">100% tar</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Time to travel</td> <td valign="top" width="146">3hrs</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Cost of diesel</td> <td valign="top" width="148">N$7.69 (£0.69)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Stopover<br>Namibia</td> <td valign="top" width="149">Bossie's farm</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table> <p>We were heading north again for a single journey but before we left it was off to town to provision up for the week ahead.&nbsp; Visits to Checkers, Tuis Nuiwerheid (Home Co-op that sells homemade cakes, rusks and biscuits), the liquor store and a final meal at Blue Olive and we were back on the road again to meet up with Bossie at Okahandja before making our way to his farm, Hortensia, another 100kms further away on mostly gravel road.&nbsp; </p> <p>We settled in for the night with a plan to awake early the next morning to go hunting for a gemsbok.&nbsp; So all of those who are sensitive about hunting, please stop reading now.&nbsp; Off we went in the bakkie with the silenced 7mm rifle in the early morning rays of the sun - me driving and Trevor and Bossie on the back as lookouts.&nbsp; About 45 minutes later as we traversed a field and the sun rose a little higher in the sky, a gemsbok came into sight.&nbsp; Bossie tapped the roof of the bakkie and I stopped.&nbsp; He took aim and fired.&nbsp; The bullet dropped the gemsbok as it entered and exited the brain.&nbsp; We ran over and Bossie slit the throat and began to bleed the animal as we looked on.&nbsp; To this point I had always been able to skin, gut and butcher an animal (something we had done in Ethiopia when we bought the goat to eat) but I had never actually killed an animal or thought I was capable of it.&nbsp; In terms of me being a carnivore (well an omnivore but a definite meat eating card carrier), I felt that there was something missing - if I could do everything else, what was stopping me from killing an animal?&nbsp; It seemed a little cowardly.&nbsp; So over the stiffening body of the gemsbok, Bossie made plans to take us shooting in one of the corridors of grazing land.&nbsp; As the dead gemsbok was now lying about 50m away from the bakkie and behind a fence, Bossie raced off to pick up the staff so that they could help us to drag it to the bakkie and up onto the back.</p> <p>Off we drove, back to the farm where the gemsbok was hoisted up into the rafters to hang and allow the head man to skin and gut it.&nbsp; This was done within an hour leaving the carcass to hang for a day till it was butchered the next, after which we ate breakfast and then work on the farm began again.&nbsp; We spent the morning rounding up cattle, ate lunch and back out into the fields rounding up the rest of them <a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day406409NamibiaWindhoekOkahandja_DD77/a_P1000833.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-top-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px" height="179" alt="a_P1000833" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day406409NamibiaWindhoekOkahandja_DD77/a_P1000833_thumb.jpg" width="244" border="0"></a> - some more willing that others!</p> <p>Once work was finished and as the end of the day approached, Bossie picked up the rifle again, we hopped back into the bakkie and we went off to set up the targets for a bit of shooting practice.&nbsp; Trevor picked up the rifle and several shots later, had come close to the bulleye in the centre actually almost grazing the mark.&nbsp; I had been sitting behind on the back of the bakkie with, Zoya, Bossie's beautiful 6 month old huskie <a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day406409NamibiaWindhoekOkahandja_DD77/a_P1000830.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-top-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px" height="184" alt="a_P1000830" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day406409NamibiaWindhoekOkahandja_DD77/a_P1000830_thumb.jpg" width="244" border="0"></a> when he asked me if I wanted to have a go.&nbsp; Now, I have to say that I have shot before and have been quite successful with clay pigeon shooting, so I picked up the rifle.&nbsp; With clay pigeon shooting I shoot right handed because I keep both eyes open during aiming but with the rifle, I shoot left-handed.&nbsp; It took me ages to control my breath and take aim, but eventually I managed and shot.&nbsp; Walking over to the target 100m away, we all checked and I was chuffed that at least I had got the target!&nbsp; It was a shot to be pleased with as it was outside the bull but inside the next ring.&nbsp; So another try.&nbsp; And this one felt grand.&nbsp; It was right on the bulls eye!!!!!!&nbsp; We made a pact there and then, Trevor and I, he would shoot a gemsbok and I would go for a warthog.&nbsp; We needed another gemsbok for the next door neighbouring farm as they needed meat for their staff and we would go for a warthog as Trevor had never eaten one and once we had taken the good meat, we'd leave the rest for Bossie's staff as they had asked if they could have some warthog to eat.</p> <p>Wednesday was another early morning as we rose in anticipation of the work ahead.&nbsp; Cattle branding and de-horning was on the cards for that day but first we would spend the early hour looking for a gemsbok for Trevor to shoot for the next door neighbour, Hendrik.&nbsp; We went back home for breakfast having not found a single one.&nbsp; And work started again.&nbsp; Once it was done, the cattle were left in the kraals due for a government inspection the next day.&nbsp; That afternoon we picked up the rifle and went for another drive, again no gemsbok but as we returned home, Bossie tapped the roof of the bakkie to stop me and to&nbsp; let him drive as he had spotted a young lone male warthog ideal to shoot for the pot.&nbsp; I hopped up onto the back as the warthog ran away.&nbsp; My heart sank with disappointment but we carried on and within 500m we found another about 100m from the roadside.&nbsp; I lined up for a shot, gently drew in my breath, let it out, held it, gently pressed the trigger and saw the warthog drop in front of me.&nbsp; He had been looking at me with some curiosity and presented a perfect target as the bullet entered his brain just above his eyes and exited from behind his left ear, dying instantly.&nbsp; I secured the rifle before we ran over to the dead warthog and his throat was slit to bleed him.&nbsp; We dragged him over to the back of the bakkie and took him back to the farm to skin and gut him and leave him to hang till the next day.&nbsp; It was strange how easy it had been to shoot the warthog - I'd thought that I would never have been able to do it.&nbsp; I had a moment of excitement when I saw the warthog drop and then enormous relief washed over me when I saw that I had had a clean shot and had not caused any stress or pain to the animal.&nbsp; But not being able to do it - not a chance.&nbsp; I had experienced less anticipation than aiming at the target the previous day.&nbsp; I was chuffed!&nbsp; <a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day406409NamibiaWindhoekOkahandja_DD77/a_P1000839.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="225" alt="a_P1000839" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day406409NamibiaWindhoekOkahandja_DD77/a_P1000839_thumb.jpg" width="194" border="0"></a> </p> <p>That evening was spent at Hendrik's farm celebrating his birthday with his family but having gone without the gemsbok we were full of earnest promises to continue to look for one the next day.&nbsp; We had a wonderful time with Bossie, Hendrik and their friends, dispatching a little whiskey in honour of his birthday and went on our way for an early morning the next day.</p> <p>Up again early, this time not to hunt but to wait for the vet to arrive so that she could check for pregnancies in the cattle still in the kraals.&nbsp; A full morning's work as we marked, seperated and noted down each result.&nbsp; Back to the farm for some lunch with the vet and off again to wait for the government inspector.&nbsp; That done, back into the bakkie to hunt for gemsbok.&nbsp; Trevor was left terribly disappointed as we found nothing.&nbsp; One day though.</p> <p>We spent some time harvesting the meat that we wanted from the warthog, packed it into our freezer along with some of the gemsbok liver that we had taken.&nbsp; Can't wait!&nbsp; And the rest of the evening packing Sully up ready to drive back to Bossie &amp; Jackie's place in Windhoek the next day.</p>Day 402 - 405 Namibia : Windhoekhttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/25-namibia/day-402-405-namibia-windhoek/Mon, 24 May 2010 18:45:23 GMThttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/25-namibia/day-402-405-namibia-windhoek/Jan025 Namibia<p><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day402405NamibiaWindhoek_CBC0/Day%20402%20Namibia_2.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-top-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px" height="200" alt="Day 402 Namibia" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day402405NamibiaWindhoek_CBC0/Day%20402%20Namibia_thumb.jpg" width="259" border="0"></a> </p> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="2" width="594" border="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" width="133">Trip Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="142">203km (126m)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">Total Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="165">8935km(5553m)</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">Road Condition</td> <td valign="top" width="144">100% tar</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Time to travel</td> <td valign="top" width="146">2.5hrs</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Cost of diesel</td> <td valign="top" width="148">N$7.69 (£0.69)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Stopover<br>Namibia</td> <td valign="top" width="149">Jackie &amp; Bossie's home</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table> <p>We woke up to blue skies, the kind of blue we've only ever seen in Africa, and with a chilly wind blowing.&nbsp; </p> <p><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day402405NamibiaWindhoek_CBC0/a_P1000829.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-top-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px" height="184" alt="a_P1000829" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day402405NamibiaWindhoek_CBC0/a_P1000829_thumb.jpg" width="244" border="0"></a> But after a couple of cups of coffee and some rusks, we packed up and hit the road for the short drive to Windhoek.</p> <p>We met up with Jackie &amp; Bossie at <a href="http://www.chameleonsafaris.com/chameleon_backpackers.asp" target="_blank">Chameleon Backpackers</a>, the business that they own and run in Windhoek - a lovely backpackers with rooms from dormitories to luxury en-suites at a very reasonable price.&nbsp; We weren't going to be staying there though as we would be with Jackie &amp; Bossie at their house.</p> <p>Bossie cooked supper and we all chatted well into the night about our respective adventures.&nbsp; </p> <p>Friday dawned and off we went to town but on our way decided that we would indeed visit the geological survey that the farmer at the dinosaur footprints had made us promise we'd visit.&nbsp; After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing around the airport and a quick visit to the new control tower, we finally arrived at the building (S22 36.004 E17 04.954) that houses the survey.&nbsp; In short, it is a museum of natural history that covers the history of dinosaurs and mining in Namibia.&nbsp; It was really interesting and well worth the hassle to find it.</p> <p>Then we wandered around Windhoek, window shopping and foraging for lunch.&nbsp; If you're in Windhoek, don't miss a visit to the Blue Olive Deli &amp; Restaurant (S22 34.315 E17 06.222), buying some local fabulous meat from the butcher next door (S22 34.314 E17 06.249 Trans Kalahari Butcher) or some biltong and dry wors from Biltong &amp; Bites (S22 34.344 E17 06.158) just across the road.</p> <p>Saturday morning was spent shopping again and Saturday afternoon braaing and in front of the TV watching the semi-finals of the Super 14 rugby.&nbsp; Yes!</p> <p>Sunday lunch was at Joe's Beerhouse and what a meal we had.&nbsp; If you are into all-you-can-eat buffets and you love venison, then this is the place for you.&nbsp; Joe's motto is "Our house wine is Jaegermeister" and you just know that you're going to have a good time.&nbsp; We whiled away 4 hours eating, drinking and chatting to the people around our shared table and finally wobbled off back to Jackie &amp; Bossie's place.&nbsp; That night we made plans with Bossie to join him on his farm just outside Okahandja to help him with some cattle branding, pregnancy tests (the cattle, not me and the vet would do the test and we'd seperate the cows!) and maybe do a little hunting as his staff needed some meat.&nbsp; With those plans hatched we went to bed, excited at what the new week was to bring.</p>Day 401 Namibia : Swakopmund - Aabadi Bush Camphttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/25-namibia/day-401-namibia-swakopmund-aabadi-bush-camp/Thu, 20 May 2010 14:31:07 GMThttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/25-namibia/day-401-namibia-swakopmund-aabadi-bush-camp/Jan025 Namibia<p><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day401NamibiaSwakopmundAabadiBushCamp_C601/Day%20401%20Namibia_2.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-top-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px" height="199" alt="Day 401 Namibia" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day401NamibiaSwakopmundAabadiBushCamp_C601/Day%20401%20Namibia_thumb.jpg" width="260" border="0"></a> </p> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="2" width="594" border="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" width="133">Trip Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="142">346km (215m)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">Total Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="165">8732km(5427m)</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">Road Condition</td> <td valign="top" width="144">100% tar</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Time to travel</td> <td valign="top" width="146">5hrs</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Cost of diesel</td> <td valign="top" width="148">N$7.69 (£0.69)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Stopover<br>Namibia</td> <td valign="top" width="149">Aabadi Bush Camp</td> <td valign="top" width="152">S21 54.155 E16 20.185</td> <td valign="top" width="165">N$120 (£11) - Open air shower &amp; toilets, clean, plenty of hot water, wood for fire.&nbsp; Lovely.</td></tr></tbody></table> <p>We waved goodbye to Swakopmund, Peter &amp; Elza, eisbein, sea gulls and the west coast and set off for Windhoek but not before popping into Walvis Bay for a quick visit to the bird life (and the subsequent blog by Trevor!!).&nbsp; </p> <p>On our trip, several thousand kilometres ago (sounding familiar???) we had met up with a fantastic couple, Jackie &amp; Bossie, with their girls, Kayla and Caitlin, travelling up to Uganda.&nbsp; We had bumped into them in Malawi at Kande Beach and had spent some time with them fixing Jackie's laptop and having a bit of a knees-up with them when we braaied with them the previous evening.&nbsp; Anyway, during that time, Jackie &amp; Bossie had said we must contact them when we got to Windhoek.&nbsp; Which we duly did, so our next stop was to spend a few days with them in the capital city.&nbsp; But before we hit Windhoek though, we decided to stop in at Aabadi as we had travelled a good way that day anyway.</p> <p>We finally pulled into Aabadi and it turned out to be a little gem.&nbsp; The manager of the campsite was really hospitable and spent time welcoming us and building up a huge campfire for us to cook on and sit around and keep warm.&nbsp; The night time temperature although we had come inland away from the coast were continuing to drop and we were at this stage sleeping under our sub-zero sleeping bags and with our thermal pajamas on.&nbsp; Long time since we wore pajamas!!&nbsp; But not before the donkey was stoked and we had a steaming hot shower.&nbsp; The camp fire was a welcome source of heat for us and we ended up sitting around it, sipping warming brandy coffees and watching the stars before we finally crept into our bed and went to sleep with the gentle yipping of jackals in the distance.</p>Day 400 Namibia : Crispy pork and duckhttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/25-namibia/day-400-namibia-crispy-pork-and-birds-swakopmund/Wed, 19 May 2010 15:04:00 GMThttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/25-namibia/day-400-namibia-crispy-pork-and-birds-swakopmund/Trevor025 Namibia<p>Jan had been badgering me for a while to write another page for the blog.&nbsp; In order to pacify her, I made a deal. I would write an entry when the number of days we had been on the road equalled the number of birds I had recorded (Jan: snnnnnnnooooorrrrrre).&nbsp; A safe enough deal as the days would keep mounting up and by now I had recorded all the common birds and had never got closer than 20 behind.&nbsp; However Namibia had other ideas!&nbsp; Arriving at Nambwa Camp on day 393, I was still well inside my safety net at 370 birds.&nbsp; One day later and 9 new recordings things were starting to get serious.&nbsp; 394 versus 379, the gap was now down to 15.&nbsp; Not quite sweaty palms but close.</p> <p>3 days later we hit Etosha and I neatly bypassed sweaty palms straight into eye-twitch territory. 17 new sightings in 3 days!&nbsp; Only 4 behind the days and we were on our way to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay with all the new West Coast sea-birds and the salt pans with their associated water birds.&nbsp; We arrived in Swakop on day 399 and by early evening I was up to 398 birds.&nbsp; Ah well..here goes. (And no, that is not a gun Jan has to my head, it just looks like one)</p> <table width="600" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="3" border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="300" valign="top"><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/382-Marico%20Flycatcher_2.jpg"><img height="165" width="205" border="0" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/382-Marico%20Flycatcher_thumb.jpg" alt="382-Marico Flycatcher" style="border-width: 0px;" /></a> <br /> Marico Flycatcher</td> <td width="300" valign="top"><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/383-Double-banded%20Courser_2.jpg"><img height="165" width="225" border="0" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/383-Double-banded%20Courser_thumb.jpg" alt="383-Double-banded Courser" style="border-width: 0px;" /></a><br /> Double-banded Courser</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="300" valign="top"><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/384-Northern%20Black%20Korhaan_2.jpg"><img height="165" width="199" border="0" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/384-Northern%20Black%20Korhaan_thumb.jpg" alt="384-Northern Black Korhaan" style="border-width: 0px;" /></a> <br /> Northern black korhaan</td> <td width="300" valign="top"><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/385-Red%20Crested%20Korhaan_2.jpg"><img height="165" width="222" border="0" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/385-Red%20Crested%20Korhaan_thumb.jpg" alt="385-Red Crested Korhaan" style="border-width: 0px;" /></a> <br /> Red-crested korhaan</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="300" valign="top"><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/388-Purple%20(Rufous-crowned)%20Roller_2.jpg"><img height="165" width="209" border="0" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/388-Purple%20(Rufous-crowned)%20Roller_thumb.jpg" alt="388-Purple (Rufous-crowned) Roller" style="border-width: 0px;" /></a> <br /> Purple (Rufous-crowned) Roller</td> <td width="300" valign="top"><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/392-Spotted%20Eagle-owl_2.jpg"><img height="165" width="225" border="0" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/392-Spotted%20Eagle-owl_thumb.jpg" alt="392-Spotted Eagle-owl" style="border-width: 0px;" /></a> <br /> Spotted eagle-owl</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="300" valign="top"><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/399-Yellow%20Wagtail_2.jpg"><img height="165" width="236" border="0" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/399-Yellow%20Wagtail_thumb.jpg" alt="399-Yellow Wagtail" style="border-width: 0px;" /></a> <br /> Yellow wagtail</td> <td width="300" valign="top"><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/411-Kalahari%20Scrub-robin%202_2.jpg"><img height="165" width="224" border="0" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/411-Kalahari%20Scrub-robin%202_thumb.jpg" alt="411-Kalahari Scrub-robin 2" style="border-width: 0px;" /></a> <br /> Kalahari scrub-robin</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Today we were meeting up with Peter and Elza, a couple we met in the dust bowl port of Wadi Halfa in Sudan.&nbsp; They were on their way up Africa to Germany in their Toyota Fortuner.&nbsp; They had the pleasure of watching us trying to get Sully off the ferry to make space for them to load up their car for the ferry&rsquo;s return journey.&nbsp; Best not to relive that moment..</p> <p>They had suggested we look them up when we finally got to Swakop so we were taking them up on the offer.&nbsp; We met them in caf&eacute; Treffpunktt for a great cup of coffee.&nbsp; After a brief exchange of what happened since we last met, they whisked us off to their home to spend the day with them and to watch the video of their trip.&nbsp; Now to anyone else who has not done a trip like this, the idea of watching someone else&rsquo;s 3 hour long holiday video may seem like a very boring day to spend with people but to us, it was re-living those portions of our trip.&nbsp; We loved it and were quite sad when it ended.&nbsp; However, a great meal of Lasagne and salad soon has us all chipper again.&nbsp; Thanks Elza.</p> <p>Now, I should mention at this point that the other reason we came to Swakop was for the Eisbein!&nbsp; I had been gagging for one since we started planning the trip.&nbsp; Passing through pork-free Middle East only made this worse.&nbsp; The place to eat this is the Brauhaus Restaurant.&nbsp; Shock, horror.. the place had burnt down!!&nbsp; Peter however knew of a place where great Eisbein was on offer and managed to snag the last table for supper that night at Eric&rsquo;s.&nbsp; With the afternoon to kill before we indulged in a pork fest, Peter took us out to see some of the sights.&nbsp; First stop was the golf course.&nbsp; This has to be seen to be believed.&nbsp; Lush verdant fairways and greens surrounding water features and fountains ........ full of grazing Springboks.&nbsp; All this set in the dunes of the Namib.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/a_SG101282.jpg"><img height="244" width="165" border="0" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/a_SG101282_thumb.jpg" alt="a_SG101282" style="border-width: 0px;" /></a> After a quick beer at this &ldquo;oasis&rdquo; we set off to view the Namib Moonscape.&nbsp; This involved a trip up the dry riverbed of the Swakop River and up into the hills.&nbsp; A truly barren and desolate place, you could easily imagine yourself standing on the moon&rsquo;s surface and looking at view like this. <a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/a_SG101284.jpg"><img height="165" width="244" border="0" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day400NamibiaWalvisBay_AA4A/a_SG101284_thumb.jpg" alt="a_SG101284" style="border-width: 0px;" /></a></p> <p>After all this driving around, my appetite was now back and we set off for Eric&rsquo;s.&nbsp; No starter, no bread, nothing that would use up valuable Eisbein space (ok, maybe some German draft beer then, if I really have to)&nbsp; The eisbein did not disappoint - big enough to block out my view of other diners and the skin crispy enough to prevent conversation within 50 yards.&nbsp; Well worth the wait and a great way to celebrate 400 days on the road.</p> <p>Did I mention that I added another 3 birds to my list?&nbsp; Day 400 and 401 birds.&nbsp;</p>Day 399 Namibia : Omaruru - Swakopmundhttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/25-namibia/day-399-namibia-omaruru-swakopmund/Tue, 18 May 2010 13:03:09 GMThttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/25-namibia/day-399-namibia-omaruru-swakopmund/Jan025 Namibia<p><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day399NamibiaOmaruruSwakopmund_B492/Day%20399%20Namibia_2.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-top-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px" height="199" alt="Day 399 Namibia" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day399NamibiaOmaruruSwakopmund_B492/Day%20399%20Namibia_thumb.jpg" width="260" border="0"></a> </p> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="2" width="594" border="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" width="133">Trip Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="142">338km (210m)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">Total Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="165">8386km(5212m)</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">Road Condition</td> <td valign="top" width="144">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="152">100% gravel</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Time to travel</td> <td valign="top" width="146">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="152">6.5hrs</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Cost of diesel</td> <td valign="top" width="148">N$7.69 (£0.69)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Stopover<br>Namibia</td> <td valign="top" width="149">Swakopmund Community Restcamp</td> <td valign="top" width="152">S22 41.040 E14 31.542</td> <td valign="top" width="165">N$235 (£21) - Fishermen's cabin, en-suite, kitchenette, clean</td></tr></tbody></table> <p>Having had only good experiences on the gravel roads in Namibia (you constantly see graders around maintaining the roads, so don't turn down the chance to drive on them as they normally provide a really scenic route to where you are going) we decided to take the C36 route via Henties Bay to Swakopmund.&nbsp; It was a great choice.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day399NamibiaOmaruruSwakopmund_B492/a_P1000819.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="184" alt="a_P1000819" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day399NamibiaOmaruruSwakopmund_B492/a_P1000819_thumb.jpg" width="244" border="0"></a> We loved how the scenery changed from desert to verdant hills and then finally to sand dunes as we made our way passed the Brandberg to the our first view of the west coast.&nbsp; We arrived in the very quaint town of Henties Bay where each house is painted a different colour and where house names and not numbers abound.&nbsp; And when we say quaint, we also mean rather eccentric... and we loved it!</p> <p><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day399NamibiaOmaruruSwakopmund_B492/a_P1000824.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="184" alt="a_P1000824" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day399NamibiaOmaruruSwakopmund_B492/a_P1000824_thumb.jpg" width="244" border="0"></a> Which way Douglas Green (for all the South Africans, out there - you'll understand this!!!)</p> <p>Reading Mike Copeland's Getaway book on Namibia, we decided that our first taste of seafood would be at the Skubbe Bar.&nbsp; And talk about eccentric!!!&nbsp; Here they advertise Viswas, Karwas, Keelwas (for those who can't read Afrikaans, it's Fish wash, Car wash, Throat wash) and from that sign you know it's going to be great!&nbsp; It's a large fenced area with fish cleaning, gutting and washing stations in the form of concrete tables in the foreground, the car wash to rinse off the seawater from bringing the boat in and a substantial bar and restaurant where they sell the freshly caught fish.&nbsp; An enterprising business at it's best!</p> <p><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day399NamibiaOmaruruSwakopmund_B492/a_P1000826.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="184" alt="a_P1000826" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day399NamibiaOmaruruSwakopmund_B492/a_P1000826_thumb.jpg" width="244" border="0"></a> <a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day399NamibiaOmaruruSwakopmund_B492/a_P1000827.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="184" alt="a_P1000827" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day399NamibiaOmaruruSwakopmund_B492/a_P1000827_thumb.jpg" width="244" border="0"></a> Lunch was fabulous as we tucked into a starter of west coast mussels the size of dinner plates dripping in garlic butter and for mains local catch of the day, kabeljou (cod), a mansize portion of chips, rice and salad all washed down with some cold, crisp dry white wine.&nbsp; And with the sun baking down, the skies a deep blue and the sound of the sea gulls swooping around us, I ask you, how can a day get any better than this?</p> <p>After several hours of rest and relaxation, we finally dragged ourselves away from Henties towards Swakopmund.&nbsp; We arrived to the cheapest campsite and were left unimpressed by the look and feel of it and its very close proximity to the local Beach Bar.&nbsp; Not for us, thanks!&nbsp; In addition to which, the night temperature had been changing as we moved west and the temperature at night now was a chilly 10degC.&nbsp; So we opted for the Community Restcamp which, although didn't offer camping, did offer fisherman's chalets at a reasonable price.&nbsp; So we checked in.</p> <p>With mountains of washing pilling up and with a few hours to kill before bedtime, we hauled our sack of washing to another of Namibia's enterprising businesses - a laundry/bar/restaurant..... we could learn something from this.... and spent the next couple of hours sipping colddrinks, picking at a supper of russia and chips (lunch still filled our tummies and our senses) and watching the world pass by for a time in a tumble of warmth and gentle laughter.</p>Day 398 Namibia : Etosha National Park - Omaruruhttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/namibia/day-398-etosha-national-park-omaruru/Mon, 17 May 2010 11:57:45 GMThttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/namibia/day-398-etosha-national-park-omaruru/Jan023 Namibia<p><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day398EtoshaNationalParkOmaruru_8F88/Day%20398%20Namibia_2.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="201" alt="Day 398 Namibia" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day398EtoshaNationalParkOmaruru_8F88/Day%20398%20Namibia_thumb.jpg" width="260" border="0"></a> </p> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="2" width="594" border="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" width="133">Trip Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="142">388km (241m)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">Total Distance</td> <td valign="top" width="165">8048km(5002m)</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="132">Road Condition</td> <td valign="top" width="144">100% tar </td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Time to travel</td> <td valign="top" width="146">4.5hr hours</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Cost of diesel</td> <td valign="top" width="148">N$7.69 (£0.69)</td> <td valign="top" width="152">&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top" width="165">&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="131">Stopover<br>Namibia</td> <td valign="top" width="149">Omaruru Restcamp</td> <td valign="top" width="152">S21 24.761 E15 57.912</td> <td valign="top" width="165">N$120 (£11) - Clean, private ablutions with electricity &amp; braai pits per site.&nbsp; Watch out, close to road. Restaurant on site - try the t-bone, its man-sized!!!!</td></tr></tbody></table> <p>Having had such a fabulous last day in Etosha National Park, we set off southwards towards Swakopmund, our next stop.&nbsp; On the way down, many thousands of kilometres ago, we had met up with Peter &amp; Elza doing the Wadi Halfa barge death defying, heart-stoppingly terrifying car removal (they watched us before having to put their car on and I'm glad we went first).&nbsp; But in the short space of time, we had connected and swapped details for a future visit when we were around their neck of the woods.&nbsp; We had sent an email to them a few days back and with plans to meet up with them, we were on our way.</p> <p>Reading the Lying sorry Lonely Planet on the way down, I'd discovered that there was a site highlighted where dinosaur footprints could be seen.&nbsp; Now that's a find!&nbsp; So 70kms south of Otjiwarongo (don't you just love the town names in Namibia?) <a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day398EtoshaNationalParkOmaruru_8F88/a_P1000816.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="184" alt="a_P1000816" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day398EtoshaNationalParkOmaruru_8F88/a_P1000816_thumb.jpg" width="244" border="0"></a> , we turned off and drove another 30kms on a well-maintained gravel road to the site.&nbsp; The footprints, now declared a national treasure, are on a private farm, entrance is N$20 each to get in and we think well worth the extra mileage and small cost to see.&nbsp; At first we were left unimpressed by what looked like splodges in the rock (the footprints were originally left in mud which hardened into rock, google can tell you more about this!) that if you squinted looked like 3-toed dinosaur footprints <a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day398EtoshaNationalParkOmaruru_8F88/a_P1000807.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="184" alt="a_P1000807" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day398EtoshaNationalParkOmaruru_8F88/a_P1000807_thumb.jpg" width="244" border="0"></a> and we were laughing and giggling at the "footprints" and how unlikely it all was, when we reached the top and turned around to look down at the track and OMG, there they were... and we believed!&nbsp; <a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day398EtoshaNationalParkOmaruru_8F88/a_P1000813.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="260" alt="a_P1000813" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day398EtoshaNationalParkOmaruru_8F88/a_P1000813_thumb.jpg" width="196" border="0"></a> </p> <p>With instructions from the farmer to visit the geological survey site in Windhoek, we left.&nbsp; We didn't quite make it as far as we wanted to and so after 6 hours on the road we decided that Omaruru was a good a place to stop as any.&nbsp; It's a small town so with plans just to stop over for the night, pulled into the first campsite we found - Omaruru Restcamp.&nbsp; If you decide to stay here, do watch out for the proximity of all the sites to the road.&nbsp; They're all close.&nbsp; And the road has a railway crossing on it right next to the campsites, so all day and, unfortunately, all night, trucks bump their way noisily over the tracks with some trucks slamming on brakes and screeching to a slower speed before bumping over the tracks - not a great way to spend a restful night.&nbsp; But our tummies were full of the massive, mansize t-bones on offer at the restaurant, so not much kept us awake.</p>Day 397 Namibia : Halali - Okaukuejo, ENPhttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/25-namibia/day-397-namibia-halali-okaukuejo-enp/Sun, 16 May 2010 15:51:00 GMThttp://www.gapyear4x4.com/route/25-namibia/day-397-namibia-halali-okaukuejo-enp/Jan025 Namibia<p>We decided to have a lie in and ended up only leaving Halali at around 10am.&nbsp; We needn't have worried because as we left, the animals began to appear in their hundreds!&nbsp; At around 12:30 we pulled into the Rietfontein water hole to have a break and some lunch.&nbsp; For the next hour and half we watched in fascination at a stand-off building and building.&nbsp; When we arrived there were 5 lions lazing about at the edge of the water and no other animals<a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day397NamibiaHalaliOkaukuejoENP_DE9C/b_P1000696.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="184" alt="b_P1000696" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day397NamibiaHalaliOkaukuejoENP_DE9C/b_P1000696_thumb.jpg" width="244" border="0"></a> .&nbsp; But slowly over the next 90 minutes, zebra, kudu, springbok, wildebeest and gemsbok drifted in until there must have been over 500 animals, slowly surrounding the waterhole but never venturing towards the water knowing that danger lurked there - desperately wanting water but not being able to get any<a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day397NamibiaHalaliOkaukuejoENP_DE9C/a_P1000717.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="184" alt="a_P1000717" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day397NamibiaHalaliOkaukuejoENP_DE9C/a_P1000717_thumb.jpg" width="244" border="0"></a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day397NamibiaHalaliOkaukuejoENP_DE9C/a_a_P1000709.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="55" alt="a_a_P1000709" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day397NamibiaHalaliOkaukuejoENP_DE9C/a_a_P1000709_thumb.jpg" width="244" border="0"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp; .&nbsp; We waited and waited thinking that at any moment the lions would leap into a hunt but it was not to be....</p> <p>As we drove away, we (well, it was Trevor really!) spotted something large and white moving slowly through the thorn bushes ahead.&nbsp; Now I have heard of seeing pink elephants before....(after a serious jol) but white ones????????&nbsp; Turns out, dear reader, that it was not our imagination but the elephants do indeed look white due to the covering of mud over their bodies - Phew!!!</p> <p><a href="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day397NamibiaHalaliOkaukuejoENP_DE9C/a_P1000726.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="165" alt="a_P1000726" src="http://www.gapyear4x4.com/files/media/image/WindowsLiveWriter/Day397NamibiaHalaliOkaukuejoENP_DE9C/a_P1000726_thumb.jpg" width="244" border="0"></a> </p> <p>We arrived at reception to book in having been told by reception at Halali that Okaukuejo was full, but never taking no for an answer, we tried anyway.&nbsp; Turns out they were at about 40% occupancy!!!&nbsp; Never believe what anyone tells you till you see it with your own eyes.&nbsp; So we duly found a spot, set up, had a shower (this time hot for me and cold for Trevor) and went to sit at the water hole for a few hours before our night drive.&nbsp; It was an amazing viewing and as we sat there, giraffe, black rhino, zebra, elephants, black backed jackals, impala, kudu and springbok paraded in front of us - it was wonderful!&nbsp; From seeing very few animals in the north, here we were being treated to a smorgasbord of them.</p> <p>And so it continued on our night drive.&nbsp; As we exited the gate we bumped into a pride of 8 lions moving northwards and stayed watching them for 20 minutes. Black rhino, cape fox, bat eared fox, jackals, impala, springbok, spotted eagle owls, thick-knees and wild cat appeared during our drive and then slunk off into the night.&nbsp; We no longer felt cheated as we drifted off to sleep that night.</p>