Days 188-192 - The Road Trip begins!

Trip Start Feb 04, 2010
Trip End Oct 05, 2010

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Flag of South Africa  , Northern Cape,
Monday, August 16, 2010

After so many problems getting out of Cape Town it was a relief to see Table Mountain in our rearview mirror as we sped northwards towards Namibia, the car was going well and we followed the coast road  to the small holiday village of Paternoster where we spent our first night camping in the most remote and beautiful campsite imaginable. Surrounded by rolling sand dunes and boulders leading down to the sea we camped metres away from the beach with our tent looking out at the sunsetting over the ocean. We managed to get our tent up with the minimum of fuss and we ate pasta cooked by our own hands on the camping stove with a bottle of wine to celebrate our success of at least leaving Cape Town. With our zebra print duvet (very appropriate in the circumstances we thought), thick blanket and air mattress we were very comfortable in our little tent.
We continued travelling northwards, stopping at another beautiful campsite in the valley of a small stream with mountains all around us and sharing it only with a troop of baboons who ambled passed us as we were cooking dinner. We also visited some San rock art for that archaeology fix for Rob. Took a walk through a slightly signposted route to see different sights and got lost on the way back, but we were intrepid explorers so followed a dried up riverbed back to the car.
We were in wildflower country out here, which might not sound exciting to most but the harsh desert landscape out here is transformed into a riot of colour by the emergence of thousands of wildflowers of all colours. We visited a reserve that was blanketed by orange and purple varieties and the change was amazing. Sadly, this journey was tainted by our exhaust falling off as we travelled down the gravel road. We hobbled into Springbok, the only town of any size in the region north of Cape Town having only managed 1000km of an expected 12000km odessey, on a Saturday afternoon, just before the garage shut for the day.
The exhaust was fixed without a problem but other problems were spotted including a radiator AND oil leak. So we could go no further until this was sorted but the next day was Sunday and so everything shut down for the day leaving us stranded in a dusty Caravan Park surrounded by old people having a holiday that involved them doing nothing except watching TV and drinking beer outside their caravans - why not stay at home we thought!
We were back on the road on Monday evening, but not without fuss, the oil leak was still there, too costly to fix and going on the assumption that regular top-ups of oil will keep us going as we really don't want to spend huge amounts of money and time getting it sorted. Stupid? Maybe, but we shall see!
Continued north to the Namibian border that day, hoping desperately that the car would last until at least we made it to another country for a bit!
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