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Author Topic: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane  (Read 12237 times)

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Offline bmad

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #80 on: August 12, 2009, 06:56:21 am »
bump

 :biggrin:
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!
 

Offline doublediamond

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #81 on: August 12, 2009, 11:47:19 am »
Alright alright enough already...... stop the whining  ;)

On most journeys to almost any destination on this inhabitable lump of rock we call home, you will cross paths with various types of travelers. Travelersí that are intrepid, resourceful, open minded, rugged, eager to grasp and to savor new experiences, willing to leap headlong into the relative unknown with hedonistic  abandon and total disregard for the outcome. These bold souls are labeled adventurers, seekers, explorers, bon-vivantís and lovers of life. Over the ages our folklore & history books have romanticized their exploits & marveled at the insurmountable odds they so frequently and effortlessly overcame. We have named towns, cities & ports after them.

Basically, travelers like me, no Önot really, but had you witnessed the response I received from people of all socio economic groups , from the most well heeled Europeans in their air-conditioned luxury 4x4ís to poorly Sheppardís and farmers in recycled clothing, you too would have labeled me such. I was frequently amused by how genuinely and sincerely intrigued & often stunned people were that I was traversing Namibia on a motorbike; by myself. What to me was the most natural thing in the world had otherís shaking their heads in awe at how absurd it was to risk life & limb on a motorbike in Africa. Had you forewarned me that I could expect the responses I received, I would not have believed it.


I did however meet many travelers who fittingly deserved the accolades that the uninitiated mistakenly bestowed on me, some of them I will still introduce to you, some almost passed me bye, but I am grateful they didnít, their stories either moved me emotionally or inspired me, sometimes both.

Adam & Nicholas were 2 such travelers, I met them In Ai- Ais on my second night.
They were on the last few kmís of a 6 month odyssey from Cairo to Cape Town in their Landy Defender 90. Late into the night these two intrepid young adventurers regaled me with their exploits & humored my inquisition. But Adamís telling of their tripís low point had us all vainly attempting to hide our tears and swallow our emotion. A 6 year old girl ran across the road in front of their Landy in Ethiopia. She was unhurt initially, lucid & conversational with only minor injuries as they were not travelling at high speed. But sadly, a doctorís misdiagnosis of the bump to her head led to tragedy. She died later that night from swelling on the brain. Adam & Nicholas spent the next few weeks in an Ethiopian jail negotiating their freedom. These 2 young men, not much older than my daughter, carried a guilt that cloaked their fun loving demeanor and a sadness that veiled their courage with shame. I lamented with them for the magnitude of suffering this senseless tragedy caused to all its innocent victims. Even at the telling of the story was I impressed with their humility but even more so when on my return discovered that Adam Pickard & Nicholas Ackerman have an outstanding pedigree with Nicholas been the grandson of Raymond Ackerman.

My daughters 18th birthday was on the 27th July & based on calculations I was not going to make it home on time if I followed my planned route. I consulted the GPS to find I had travelled 1560km in 4 days (average of 390kmís for those interested) and I still had 1100 kmís to go just to reach Epupa the northern most point of the journey. And then I still had to begin my homeward leg, and from the Angolan border I had no waypoints or destinations in mind for my journey south. Perhaps I had been over zealous in what I thought was possible in the time I had on hand. This prompted me to review my decision to spend a night in swakopmund, given the choice I would rather overlook swakop & make sure I got to the Kunene River, than to visit swakop & have to turn back early to head south and homeward.



Day 5 Solitaire Uis (372 Km's)


Wind, The Arch villain of this tale, was up bright & early & once again in a tempestuous mood. A group of Italian tourists were departing the lodge at the same time as me, I pulled out the parking lot in front of them, & as I turned onto the C14 the most almighty gust of wind slammed into me to windward & blew donkey & I right off the road into a donga, I struggled to stay upright, but managed to keep it all together.
The Italians stopped to ask if I was ok & told me it looked as though I was lifted off the road & dumped in the ditch. It was the most insanely strong wind I have ever encountered. They helped me push donkey up & out back onto the road.

2 kmís from there the wind just died, completely, as in nothing, niks, nada - it was the most bizarre experience, as though the wind had become bored tormenting me, itís swansong sucker-punching me off the road & then moving on to torment another hapless victim. I kid you not when I tell you from that moment on and for the remainder of my trip I did not experience a breeze that was even worth mentioning. It was amazing how much more of the landscape I was able to absorb & appreciate, just having the distraction of the wind removed.

By 9am I was posing for the obligatory photo at the invisible line around the earth depicting the most southerly latitude the sun can appear directly overhead at noon during the winter solstice. Named 2000 years ago for the constellation the sun was dawdling in at the time i.e. Capricorn. However 2000 years is a long time & the sun is now in the constellation Sagittarius. Since then we have renamed Jan Smuts Airport & the City of Pretoria, Rhodesia & Bombay, but the tropic of Capricorn outshineís  them all when it comes to holding onto its name..




By 10am the desert was warming up & the mercury climbing. I was stopping more frequently to peel of the layers of warm clothing.

The C14 continued to intersect the Namib Naukluft Park on its meander north towards Walvis Bay. The Gaub & Kuiseb passes chiseled through the rising topography of the land. Elevating me just enough to reflect back on the comparatively flat savannaís flushed with tall grass, harvest in color and evidence of the preceding seasons torrential rains.





The desert happened proper about 80 to 120kmís from Walvis Bay. The white dessert sand refusing to absorb the suns rayís & reflecting them back with impunity, casting a heavenly sheen across the landscape. The frequency of 4x4ís painted rental white and heading south was increasing. Passing with a wave they kicked up chocking thick white dust causing temporary white outs and temporary consternation.




Tar roads into Walvis & then the 35kmís onwards to Swakop, found me quenching donkeyís thirst & enjoying lunch at a seaside restaurant.


Sand dunes to my east

Atlantic ocean to my West



I could not have chosen a more picture perfect day to pass through these towns. The ocean as flat as glass and in a shade of blue that increased in intensity as it stretched to the horizon where it melted with the blue of the sky which not wearing a single cloud came streaking back over my head. The oceans pungent freshness, that you taste more then you smell, hijacked my senses and awoke a longing that I have carried through many lives - to live by the ocean.


I almost got stuck in the sand trying to take this picture

The salt roads of the C34 and donkey & I are Zen like cruising comfortably at 150 kmh. After Henties we turn right onto the C35 the GPS has us heading North East to the White Lady Lodge in UIS.






« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 07:36:55 pm by doublediamond »
DON'T EVER COMPROMISE YOUR FREEDOM, YOUR DREAM, YOUR INDEPENDENCE OR YOUR TRUTH !!
 

Offline madmike999

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #82 on: August 12, 2009, 12:41:22 pm »
can't wait for the rest of the story. make a book!
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Offline funacide

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #83 on: August 12, 2009, 02:34:54 pm »
Kewl, can't wait for the rest...
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Offline Frog

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #84 on: August 12, 2009, 03:00:00 pm »
Inspirational. :thumleft:
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Offline ThinkMike

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #85 on: August 12, 2009, 03:53:42 pm »
Good Stuff DD!!!!!! Well you know that a trip was brilliant when the RR takes longer than the trip itself!!

I eagerly await.....

TM
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Offline doublediamond

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #86 on: August 12, 2009, 04:08:39 pm »
Good Stuff DD!!!!!! Well you know that a trip was brilliant when the RR takes longer than the trip itself!!

I eagerly await.....

TM

haha thanks TM ps. ur snide comments will have u picking up ur bike by yourself when we next ride together  ;D
DON'T EVER COMPROMISE YOUR FREEDOM, YOUR DREAM, YOUR INDEPENDENCE OR YOUR TRUTH !!
 

Offline Oetie

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #87 on: August 12, 2009, 06:18:14 pm »
Brilliant report, luckily for us there is 6 days left still to come!!
Live life to the fullest!!
 

Offline Cane Rat

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #88 on: August 12, 2009, 07:25:38 pm »
AWESOME! You should really consider putting this in book form. I for one would not mind having your book on my coffe table. this is the stuff dreams are made of and I think you've got many a dawg drooling. Can't wait for the next one.
Wat ek is, is net genade.
Wat ek het, is net geleen!
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Offline Lootch67

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #89 on: August 13, 2009, 01:05:34 am »
Awesome stuff!!
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Offline bmad

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #90 on: August 13, 2009, 07:19:52 am »
Well done DD, you have not dissapointed us  :thumleft:
Looking forward to the next installment.

I recall reading in the papers the story about the two travellers (Scott and Adam) and the Ethiopian girl saga. Very sad indeed   :'(
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Offline bmad

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #91 on: August 13, 2009, 03:23:24 pm »
What tyres do you have on your bike?
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!
 

Offline Brink

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #92 on: August 13, 2009, 04:32:35 pm »
Heidies  :ricky: :thumleft: :ricky:
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Offline MellowJo

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #93 on: August 13, 2009, 08:35:19 pm »
Nice DD, keep at it !! It sure brings back memories from our trip at the end of April 2009

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=32003.60

We also really enjoyed the D707  :ricky:

Keep posting mate    :deal:
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Offline bmad

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #94 on: August 17, 2009, 06:52:30 am »
tap tap

 :peepwall:
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!
 

Offline lightning1

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #95 on: August 17, 2009, 11:30:29 am »
Excellent stuff!  :)

By now you must be ready for some more off-road in the surrounds of Hartebeespoort Dam?  :)
Loving the journey!

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Offline funacide

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #96 on: August 17, 2009, 11:37:34 am »
Excellent stuff!  :)

By now you must be ready for some more off-road in the surrounds of Hartebeespoort Dam?  :)

No he needs to finish the trip report... No riding till the report is done  :deal: :deal: :deal: :deal: :deal:
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Offline lightning1

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #97 on: August 17, 2009, 11:42:11 am »
That last photo is definitely going to lead to a little comment from Malibu. She loves legs!  ;)
Loving the journey!

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Offline doublediamond

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #98 on: August 17, 2009, 12:19:05 pm »
Hi All,
Sorry for taking so long to complete RR, My family had a minor crisis this weekend that has disrupted our lives a little & I have just not been able to get to finishing.
Think Mike's statement that it takes longer to do the RR than it does to do the trip is becoming a self fulfilling prophecy I am afraid.
I will be back soon to update just have other priorities right now.
Much Love, Light & Laughter
Craig
 :) :) :)
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Offline Oetie

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #99 on: August 17, 2009, 12:30:59 pm »
Good luck with the crisis, we will wait patiently :thumleft:
At least is this report more forthcoming than the one promised by one of the Jameson brother :patch: :peepwall:
Live life to the fullest!!