Day 96… Friday 7th July
Set off to a town called Solitaire 164 miles south-east. Heading down the coast to Walvis Bay, there were impressive sand dunes. The coastal towns in Namibia experience sand blown in from the desert and severe fog so drivers have to have their lights on otherwise you may get a hefty fine. Our Dutch friends from last week suffered the wrath of a police officer and paid an expensive fine of 200 euros. Our route went through Namib-Naukluft National Park which was a flat desert and hardly a passing car. Not an ideal place to break down if the car was in trouble. The C14 road is a category C road where you need a 4×4 car as the road is in poor condition with many corrugations. Parts of the road were being upgraded and levelled. The area became mountainous and we followed a dirt track around the bends with impressive views of the mountain range with grasses and undulating terrain. No sign of any wildlife – the environment is too barren. Stopped by the Tropic of Capricorn sign and took the obligatory photo. Several South African families were there as it is holiday season for them. Temperatures today were fairly uncomfortable but our campsite spot had a refreshing breeze which helped. Friendly staff and a bar. Had a great view of the sunset.
The drive today was stunning… albeit slightly intimidating. The landscape is incredibly wide and open, seemingly barren of life, criss-crossed with these long, straight, wide (albeit corrugated) gravel roads. My thoughts at the time were not to stop too much for photos in case the car broke down, but in fact these roads are well travelled by South African tourists and you don’t have to wait too long to see another car… usually another Toyota Hilux pulling a trailer. I would say that if we were to seriously broke down in Namibia we would be able to easily get help, a very different situation to some of the countries we have just driven through where the traffic is much lower and language barriers create problems. Thankfully from here on in we are in countries which speak English and are well travelled.