Day 390 - 391 Namibia : Choma - Katima Mulilo

Day 390 Namibia

Trip Distance 410km (255km) Total Distance 6454km(4011m)
Road Condition 100% tar    
Time to travel 6 hours    
Cost of diesel N$7.69 (£0.69)    
Zambezi River Lodge S17 29.174 E24 17.074 N$150 (£13.50) - Lovely site, clean ablutions, Protea Hotel site with all amenenities, great hospitality

We woke up to shouting as the owner castigated the manager for not having taken camp fees from us at day break.  She was waiting for us to get up but her protestations meant nothing to the bully and she raced over to take our money from us.  We handed it over and as the kettle was boiling I went for a quick recce around the site.  I was left feeling really disappointed as the ablutions were run down (although there was hot water), the pool half filled looking like a swamp and teeming with mozzies, taps dripping everywhere, thatch falling out of the roofs, doors that didn't close properly - a real feeling of neglect was all around.  We decided that staying was not an option.  So we had breakfast, packed up and left.

Before we reached Livingstone, our first stop for some lunch, the airconditioner started pumping out smoke into the cab.  Even turning it off didn't stop it.  We stopped Sully, jumped out and with Trevor checking under the bonnet, still found nothing.  The aircon had stopped working but without a thorough check we couldn't find what was wrong.  By Livingstone, we were having to drive with the windows open and still no airconditioner although the smoking had stopped. 

Chicken for lunch again and once more on the road.  As we left Livingstone, we were stopped at a roadblock with a sinking feeling.  Our "fine" coming back to haunt us?  But no, this was a stop to ensure that we had paid our council tax.  Council Tax??  Yes, all paid up when we entered Zambia.  No, this had to be paid on leaving Zambia as well, he said, as he checked our receipt.  Fleeced of a further ZKw40 000 (£5), we continued on.  And once more the aircon billowed smoke into the cab.  We were starting to worry.  With the very real possibility of this being an electrical fault that we couldn't see or fix, we decided as we approached Katima Mulilo that we would try and enter Namibia and the SADC on our new carnet to see if we could get to Dickie Sharpe's in Katima to have the aircon sorted. 

We said goodbye to Zambia without any issues, passed through into Namibia without a second glance (at our new carnet) and set off for the garage.  But it was Saturday afternoon and with everything closed, there was nothing we could do except find a site to camp and have it seen to on Monday.  We tried Hippo Camp first but found that with the recent heavy rains, it was flooded and inaccessible so we went for the second option of the Zambezi River Lodge (now run by Protea Hotels) and it was fabulous.  We found a spot under the shade of the trees next to the river and with a magnificent sunset on its way, settled ourselves in.

On Sunday after a restless night (was the early entry in Namibia/SADC going to come back to haunt us?), we got up at dawn with Trevor poking around at the aircon under the bonnet.  There surely was something he could do?  And he did.  As with all thing electrical or electronic, if it's causing a problem and you can't fix it, and you have to and can live without it anyway, disconnect it.  He did this till we could get it sorted.  But continued to work at it.  Changing his mind, he cleaned all the connections, tightened them up and put it all back together again.  We'd test it out on Monday again before having it looked at.  With that packed away, out came the fishing rod a_P1000651 and some steak (to feed the barbel!!) and a couple of hours later we had swapped Trevor's barbel for some wood for a braai that night. 

We spent the rest of the day at the pool relaxing, particularly as there was a free bottle of sparkling wine included (for Mother's Day, we were told!) and reading our books under the shade of the gazebo.  Finally as it started to cool down, it was back to Sully for supper a_SG100879 and off to bed for an early start the next day as we needed to get Sully seen to (well, the aircon anyway) and shop for the next week or so to take us through the other side of Etosha National Park.

#1 Debs on 5.21.2010 at 12:41 PM

Glad your both well. Loving the updates & pics, hope Sully was easily fixed.

Debs & Darren xx

Hiya both

Hope everything is ok your side with the new neighbours! Sully wasn't as bad as we thought - we spoke to the 4x4 man in South Africa and he thinks its a blocked filter that keeps freezing up.  She's in for a full service and fix in a couple of weeks.  We're still loving the journey but are having to make some decisions now as to whether to come home or carry on for a bit.  Watch this space!!


Jan & Trevor