Diary Day
ashley's Diary
Date 09 Aug 2006
Country Namibia
Weather Sunny
Diary Namibia (9th August) A few facts for the factually interested: Namibia is a huge country with very few people and was a rare fish in that it was a German colony from the late 19th century until the South Africans (British) took it in 1915 and was then awarded to SA as a protectorate by the League of Nations at the end of WWI. The UN renewed this following WWII, but refused to sanction full annexation. During the Cold War it became a plaything of the West (represented by SA) supported by the USA and the East represented by SWAPO and supported by the Cubans (the proxy of the USSR) Well, there’s simple, isn’t it! The demise of the USSR meant that eventually Swapo took over as the USA lost interest and Sam Nujoma (leader of Swapo) won the democratic elections in March 1990 under a far too long constitution (aren’t they all) Anyway, the economy is in reasonable shape depending on diamonds, uranium, cattle and Italian tourists (known as the “Fahionistas”) It has one of the lowest population densities in Africa (1.9 million people in a country of 825000 square km) which means we’ll be able to have some really loud arguments without being overheard and has a lot of different tribal groups including the Owambo (1 million) Kavango (160000) Afrikaner (65000) German (20000) and the Welsh (currently 6 and temporary) to name but a few. Picked up half a bearing cup on the road to Katimo Mulilo (the entry to Namibia from Zambia) unfortunately it was embedded in the rear left tyre. One of the reasons I like tubeless tyres is that they tend to go down slowly as this was. I don’t know if you’ve seen them, but this “sticky rope” stuff for repairing tyres is wonderful. You don’t even need to remove the wheel…just remove the foreign object, ream out the hole and insert a piece of “sticky rope” and hey presto…no leaks. One of my tyres has a repair done in Egypt that is still going strong so can’t be bad. So Clare went off to do the paperwork whilst I spent 5 minutes repairing the tyre. I have been very rude about my tyres on the equipment page, but am slowly changing my mind as even though they all look completely shagged they keep working (mostly) and have now done over 30000 miles. So we set off along the Caprivi Strip and after about 50 miles a huge bang and the car lurched to the left…”Dad, they’ve shot us!” was Polly’s comment. The tyre had obviously sustained some internal damage to the sidewall and had decided enough was enough. Changed the wheel quickly using my bottle jack as I regard the Hi-Lift jack as a potential assassin (if you have ever used one you will know what I mean!) and found a lovely campsite by a lake to stay for the night.
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