Mar. 4, 2017—One day Dave and I found a distillery selling delicious gin. We bought a bottle then returned outside to find I had a flat tire. At that time it was my second in a few weeks. I’ve since had a third.
Dave spent some time working on that while I made lunch then we carried on. It was our plan to stop for fuel in the next town but when we got there it was a ghost town with only a handful of destitute-looking folks sitting along the road.
There was nothing to do but coast along slowly. My bike will show me info on how many miles per gallon I’m getting. I tried to keep it in its sweet spot. Dave rode behind me with his flashers going. We were in the desert. It was hot and there was no shade. I would run out of fuel before the next town. When that happened I’d be stuck on the side of the road and Dave would have to ride ahead, find fuel, load up our fuel bag and return. That could be hours.
I suggested we flag down the next car and see if by chance they were carrying fuel or would offer to dash ahead and get some.
We were in luck. A guy stopped and after Dave told him the problem, offered to syphon fuel from his fuel line. Dave got under the hood and unclamped the line. The guy got into his truck and tried to start the engine, which of course didn’t work but it did project fuel into a bottle we were carrying. After a few tries we had about three litres. We offered the guy money but he wouldn’t take it. He did mention we might be able to find fuel at a farm 40 km (25 mi) down the road.
We found the farm and stopped. Coincidentally, the guy had a BMW 1200 adventure bike as well. He fuelled my bike to the top and wouldn’t accept any money. In our travels we’ve had our tanks filled for free over half a dozen times. I’m beginning to think we could save some money here if we just ‘ran out of gas’ everyday. We bought some biltong and dry wors (dried sausage) and carried on into a small town called Aus where we spent the night.
After this episode, we decided to buy a Camel Tank for my bike, which we’ll order and have waiting in Europe before heading to Russia, where we’ll have very long distances between fuel stops.
On Mar. 5, Dave and I made our way along hundreds of miles of teeth-jarring, sandy roads deep into the Namib desert to visit Sossusvlei National Park.
The orange sand dunes were what I had very much wanted to see in person. Once Dave and I arrived we learned we could not take motorcycles into the park.
Some dirtbags in the recent past had ridden all over some of the dunes, which are considered sacred. Thanks for ruining it for everyone…
So we had to make a new plan; either we pay $55 CAN ($40 USD) ea for a tour on a bus into the park or we could hitch. There were many private vehicles going into the park but most of them had no extra seats or were crammed full of luggage, as in the safari vehicles.
We walked around our campsite that night but either no one had room or they had already gone into the park that day.
In the morning, we rode through the park gates and parked our bikes then hung out at the permit area. Within five minutes we found a couple from Sweden who had plenty of room in their truck. We sat inside and immediately felt the gratitude of air conditioning.
We drove together the 65 km (40 mi) into the park. It was hard not to ask them to stop every three minutes for a photo.
The last 5 km (3 mi) is very deep sand and horribly bumpy. We were very glad not to have the bikes here for the sand but they would have handled the bumps better. I hit my head on the top of the truck a few times before learning how to sit so I wouldn’t break my neck.
The name Sossuvlei means dead-end marsh. There seemed to be nothing ‘marsh-like’ here now but at one point, there was a pan full of growing trees. The spot is now actually called Deadvlei as the trees are all deader than dead. But they do offer very cool photos with beautiful backdrops.
We took some time to hike up one of the dunes, which was definitely a must-do but maybe not in the afternoon heat of the day. We were all absolutely fried within 1.5 hrs and felt sick most of the evening from heat exhaustion.
But it was worth it, as you can see by the photos ☺
How To Cool Down in the Namibian Desert
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