West Coast and Saddle Hill Namibia

Louis Kruger

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Joined
Mar 9, 2010
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4
13/03/2010
Left early morning for Groenrivier. I’m joined by Attie, my school days friend which I’ve known for 32 years. We meet up with Hardie (Hagar) in Malmesbury. Hagar holds the record for the most consecutive camps for the SA Caravan Club (I might have the name a bit wrong), over 220!

At Groenrivier we wanted to enquire abour permits and met a lady McDonald at the only house in the area. She and her husband are the only remaining residents apart from SANPARKS officials in the area.

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She took us on a tour of her house and showed us the enormous grayfish she caught.

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She still catches crayfish and fish in front of the house for the pot. A wonderful lady in a wonderful place.

Later we tried getting our own grayfish but the tides would not allow. We spent the afternoon having a boerewors braai and a few cold ones right next to the sea.

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We slept over in Hondeklipbaai at the Honnehok. Watching the Stormers win and enjoying the company of Attie, the owner.

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In the bar one cap stood out amongst thousands of others.



14/03/2010
Experienced the ugly mining activities en route to Noup. On to Springbok where we met up with the rest of the party. After lunch and Grand Prix (Ferrari 1 & 2) we crossed the border and on to Norotshama. Here we had a great swim and evening braai.

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15/03/2010
Early breakfast and detour after detour to Luderitz, 150km in total!

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We had a nice swim at Seeheim and enjoyed lunch at the hotel in Aus. Obelix guest house was our residence for the night.

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Obelix must boast one of the best bar and braai lapas in a town in Africa. During the course of the night the old timers did their best to make me nervous for the dunes. All about “klein jakkelsies” and reversing down the dunes!

16/03/2010

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Off to the desert. This being my first visit I was a bit tense for what lie ahead, even though everyone said I had the right equipment (Cruiser). This made me even more nervous as everyone expected you to make it. The desert is spectacular and was even better than expected. The Cruiser took all the sand in its stride. It was really great to make use of the true ability of the vehicle.

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The vehicles in our group were:
2 x 105 Cruisers (no problems), 2 Cruiser bakkies 4500efi (no problems except for one of the two National Luna fridges on the one bakkies catching fire just before Piekenierskloof, destroying everything on the back of the bakkie), Land Cruiser 80 4.2 (suffered a few punctures which was more a result of condition, had to get a fair run-up to the big dunes), Prado (no problem), Nissan Navara 2.5TD (no problem), Pajero 3.2DiD (no problem and impressed me with ease it took on the dunes with low scoop in front and low running boards), Ford Couried 3.0TD (experienced engine problem and considerable loss of power in the dunes, had to get to Saddle Hill and out again with a struggle , 2 flat tyres), Isuzu KB 320 (no problems).
All the vehicles proofed to be more capable than I initially though. Even though the 4.2 Cruiser needed the right driver to make highest dunes. (we also later found out the tyre pressure was at 1 bar)

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Arriving at the camp before sunset some guys crabbed the opportunity to try and catch something.

17/03/2010
We took the high dunes. Getting out of the Cruiser at the first “challenge dune” my first thought was “not in this life time”.

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Eventually I did and got to the top on the second try with the Cruiser singing at top revs and using all its power (a wonderful sound). My co-driver had to remind me to breath at the top and even after that I was like a panting dog. It was an out-of-this-world-adrenalin-thumping-experience. At the top we were confronted with a further few obstacles and then coming down at snail pace from a dizzy height!

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While some went fishing in the afternoon we went on a sightseeing trip north to Spencer Bay and the wreck of the United Trader. Stunning scenery and interesting history of the area was learned on the excursion.

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We enjoyed fresh steenbras on the coals in the evening.

18/03/2010
South to the crayfish waters. A nice challenging drive with the mist so thick in places you can only just see the top of the dune you need to summit.

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Crayfish was enjoyed in abundance for lunch. My co-driver, being an avid fisherman and diver could not believe his eyes under the water. He said it seemed like hundreds of small crayfish scattering all over the place when you stuck your hand underneath the rocks for the big ones. A few guys walked in the shallow water and collected crayfish as well.

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More fishing spots.

We also visited Saddle Hill Town or whats left of it. The desert took most of it back.

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Some really challenging dunes on the way home with a lot of twists and turns.

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Looking forward to the crayfish salad for dinner and of course “Fines Night”, time to pay for your mistakes during the last few days!!

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Uninvited guest. The jackal turned out to be a bit of a pest. Chewing everything from toothpaste to shoes. Doors had to be closed at all times.

19/03/2010

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Home after a trip pumped with adrenalin, good food, old friends, new friends and even more respect for my Cruiser.

Total kilometers: 3147km
Moving time: 42h01

{Admin edit - tidied up some of the picture links to that they all display correctly ;) }
 

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Julian

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Sep 9, 2012
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Awesome trip and pictures thanks for posting, looks fantastic
 

Crispin

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Stunning. Thanks! Makes me home sick :cry:
 

Andy Walker

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Mar 6, 2010
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Can't wait to have my own photos to make everyone else envious with.
I'll get there one day - probably a few years away yet.
It looks amazing
 
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TonyP

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Thanks, very envious right now :mrgreen:
 

Andrew Prince

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Feb 23, 2010
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Hi Louis,
Thanks for sharing this trip report with us! Fantastic pics and scenery - nou verlang ek al weer huis toe!

In case there's any confusion, a bakkie = pick-up!

Cheers,
 

TobyJug

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Mar 31, 2010
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Hi Louis,

Superb pictures... looks like you had a fantastic trip...

Makes me miss travelling soooo much....



Andrew Prince said:
Hi Louis,
In case there's any confusion, a bakkie = pick-up!

hehehehe I knew that... :p But I am a foreign [email protected] too in this country although I am not from a country as beautiful as yours...
 

Louis Kruger

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Mar 9, 2010
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Thanks Andrew, copied it from my report on the SA site :oops: and must admit that I have never called it anything else in my life even though bakkie is an Afrikaans word.

It sure was a great trip!
 

Andrew Prince

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Feb 23, 2010
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Yip, I must confess that I'd read it already on LCCSA ;) But we're grateful for you sharing it with us here!
The scenery is about as different from anything we've seen in the UK over the past few months as you can imagine. We have pics of snow, rain, mist and mud :twisted:

Cheers,
 
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