More Namibia! Taking advantage of good internet…
During our travels last year Dave and I would often run into the same people. It seemed everyone was more or less on the same route when travelling through the Americas. It was great and sometimes came at a time we were feeling homesick or grumpy.
The tradition seems to continue even way over here in Africa. We met a young couple, Magnus and Tina, from Sweden in Solitaire, Namibia one evening in our campground. We were impressed because they had a cool rented safari truck with roof-top tents but also because they were travelling with their two young girls: My, 7 (pronounced me) and Ella, 4.
In return they wanted to know everything about our motorcycle travels. We left them that morning after exchanging contact info, saying if we somehow could include Sweden into our travel plans we’d call them for sure.
Dave and I had planned to leave Solitaire and head to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, then from there to Rundu, which would take us across the Caprivi Strip into Botswana or Zambia, eventually making our way back north-east.
But Dave really wanted to see the Skeleton coast, which ran north up the west coast and we decided to go for it, which meant taking a different route from Solitaire. The day we left will be a fond memory for years to come, the ride was absolutely beautiful; a red sandy gravel road (a little slippy but manageable) that neither Dave nor I expected to turn into a pass that would give us great views of the road below we’d ridden for miles.
From Solitaire we spent two nights in Windhoek staying at Urban Camp, a very cool relaxing place right in the middle of the city designed to look like a safari camp.
I love the outdoor living Africa affords: outdoor showers, open-air restaurants, poolside bars and the big canvass tents, like the one we slept in. We had our own tent but this one we could stand in and it had real beds.
After a few days off, we started to make our way west. We stopped at a gas station and I noticed familiar faces. It was the Swedish family having lunch at a picnic table. We filled up then rode over to talk to them. They were surprised to see us as we’d said we were headed east. What good is travelling though if you can’t change your mind once in a while?
After we’d eaten with them it was decided we’d travel together for the next few days as we were all going to the same places. Dave, Magnus and the girls took off in the truck to a nearby store for steaks as they had all the stuff needed for a braai, (BBQ). Tina and I stayed behind and girl-talked. We very much enjoyed hanging out with these guys and their adorable little girls for three days. We visited a humungous seal colony (over 50,000 seals and yes, it smelled horrible!).
Together with our Swedish friends, we also traversed a section of incredible random patch of mud just after the Skeleton Coast park gate, which I got nice and stuck. But so did other people in trucks for the record. For my part, I suggested after repeated attempts to throttle my bike out of the suction-cup mud, that we use the tow-strap on Magnus and Tina’s rented 4×4. That worked fine.
After we were sorted, Dave noticed a passing 4×4 with a winch and he and a half dozen people worked on pulling out the truck that was also stuck. I actually love this kind of stuff; it’s part of the adventure.
The cutest kids ever, My (pronounced Me), 7, and Ella, 4 in their roff-top tent homes. Their job each night is to make the beds before sleep. Photo: Heather Lea
We were quite sad to leave Magnus, Tina, My and Ella once Dave and I decided we really did have to start making our way back east toward Namibia’s Caprivi Strip into Botswana to see Victoria Falls.
They were off to Etosha National Park to go on a safari. Dave and I couldn’t do that as they don’t allow Meals on Wheels in these parks. Dave and I left about a half hour earlier but a few hours after we all split up, we were pulled off on the road to air up our tires, adding some PSI as we were now back on pavement. We were feeling lonely and had just had a frustrating experience at a gas station where a bunch of local guys were trying to sell us stuff and were crowding in too close to us and our bikes.
We heard a honk and a couple we’d met a few days ago from the U.S. who’d given us cold water on the side of the road, waved and jumped out. They were concerned something was wrong with our bikes. As we were all talking, another safari truck pulled up and honked. There were Magnus, Tina and their girls.
It was fun to have a little party on the side of the road and Dave and I left feeling like we had friends everywhere.
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