It’s been a big three weeks but I have finally reached the half way point of the walk.
While it has been tough physically and mentally that has certainly been cancelled out by the sheer beauty of the scenery, animals and the people.
They do call the Namib Desert one of the harshest in the world and it is hard to argue. Rainfall in some of these parts totals as little as 10mm a year with little to no vegetation at all in some parts. But in saying that, some of the mountain ranges and the natural beauty is breathtaking and needs to be seen to be appreciated properly. The rocking mountains, wide open plains and scattering of wildlife is exactly how you expect Africa to be.
The wildlife is something else, the other day I was walking along gravel roads and saw Oryx, Springboks, Zebras, and Cheetahs all in one morning just going about their business. To top it off, three Ostrich ran out onto the road right in front of me. Sensational!
Then there are the amazing sand dunes, especially around Sesrium and Sossusvlei. We did a bit of a side trip to climb some of the dunes at Sossusvlei which was amazing but even just driving along and looking at them was breathtaking. The towering height, windswept surfaces and razor sharp ridges are one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Definitely plan to go back so we can spend a few days out there one day.
The walking aspect has been tough but still managed to do some big days. I have been averaging around 55kms a day and a couple of days ago even stretched that out to a massive 70km in one day. Probably a little silly but I was feeling pretty good and decided to try and crack the 70km barrier. It seemed like a good idea at the time but I was pretty sore that night and also the next morning it took me awhile to get into the groove, but in saying that I still managed to do 62km that day.
It was a great feeling once we set our eyes on Walvis Bay and I could tick off the first half of the walk and rest my weary and blistered feet – oh yeah and have a shower (24/7 in the same clothes doesn’t not smell all that good, trust me).
The standout for me has been the people, the amount of encouragement I have received from passers-by has been uplifting and encourages me to continue through the tough times. People stopping to offer me water lollies and oranges and doing it with a big smile on their faces is really quiet special. If there is a nicer and friendlier race of people than the Namibians WOW I want to go there because they would need to be exceptionally amazing to beat our West African friends.
From here I will now head north. I am a little nervous because of wildlife but I think that is just me being a little overly precautious. I know there will be desert lions, elephants and Rhinos were I am going but these animals are so scared of us humans I don’t expect any dramas. I am hiring a guide just to be safe and I am assured by the Australian Consulate that there is no better man. He has grown up on the land and knows where the animals are and can tell by foot prints etc as to how long since they have been in the area. It will be similar to walking with an Aboriginal tracker and I am really looking forward to learning as much as I possibly can off him while he is with us.