Namibia Travels–Chapter 1


At the border post - proving that we actually did get there - eventually

It started out so well. The bright sun in its cobalt sky, popcorn clouds providing a picturesque beauty to an otherwise harsh semi-desert landscape; the air conditioner, keeping the Toyota’s cab a cool 25 degrees in the 41 degree heat outside. The sign saying we were 20 kilometres from the Namibian border had just flashed by, signalling that we were about 130km from Upington, and the real start to our Namibian adventure.

Suddenly the vehicle shuddered, and with a loud thud, a comb of coolant swept backward from the hood, covering the windscreen and the sides of the bakkie. Switching off immediately, we coasted to a stop and I stepped out of the vehicle into the white-hot day to have a look at the damage. The raised hood revealed a 30cm gash in the top of the radiator where it had burst. This bakkie was going nowhere and might well spell the end of the Namibian trip.

I started the vehicle and limped about 100 metres or so back to a picnic spot we’d seen and walked around trying to find a blob of cell phone reception. Fortunately, we’d thought to hire a satellite phone from SAT4RENT – a small company delivering superb service (more of this company in a future article). With an unexpected stroke of luck, we were able to telephone Outsurance and organise a tow-in service. ‘There goes my no-claim bonus’, I thought as the operator politely told me the tow-in vehicle would be with me in approximately 50 minutes.

“She’s either insane or she didn’t listen to me telling her we were 130km from Upington,’ I said to Mrs Chips who was perspiring freely in the heat.

The magnitude of the disappointment was difficult to describe. Months of preparation in relation to ourselves, our camera and camping equipment and the vehicle; all looked like it was going to come to a wretched end. There was nothing to do except sit in the scant shade of the roadside picnic spot and reflect on everything that all that had transpired to date.

At breakdown site north of Upington - waiting for tow in truck

Getting creative with the view at hand. Waiting for the tow-truck


What do you do when you have to sit and wait for 3 hours for the tow-truck? Sit and wait I guess.


About Freud Fission Chips

Despite the banality of the name, FFC has led an intensely varied life. Grateful for surviving almost three years as a 'troepie' (soldier for non-South African Readers) in the Angolan war, he determined to wring as much out of life as possible. Currently providing Business Analysis services, trading on the stock market and developing web pages to pay the bills, FFC also dabbles in wildlife, landscape and people photography, writing, and far too many interests for his own good. He has also travelled extensively in southern Africa (working on the sound theory that a moving target is more dificult to hit). These peregrinations also include over 1500kms on foot through some of the worlds most spectacular scenery. It hasn't all been plain sailing, beer and skittles, and endless beds of roses... Chief amongst the prerequisites for surviving Africa, with its mind-bending characteristics, is an appropriate sense of humour.... So, for now, he will be recounting the amusing among the annoying, the frustrating wrapped in the funny and extracting the mirth from the melancholy... Oh yes, there might be some alliteration too.
This entry was posted in Humour - or humor, Photography, Travel - Namibia. Bookmark the permalink.

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