From Walvis Bay to Windhoek

From Walvis Bay to Windhoek

The walk kicked off on 4 June from the Walvis Bay Yacht Club, Namibia. The launch was amazing with many distinguished guests coming along to wish me well. The most notable was Mike Horn, arguably one of the greatest adventurers of all time. Great to chat to him and compare stories. Only chatted for about 5 minutes but learnt so much in that time. From there we headed off and made about 36kms before setting up camp to the back drop of some amazing sand dunes that stretched as far as the eye could see. We were joined for the first few nights by Ed Humphreys the Australian Consul to Namibia. It was great to have his knowledge of the area and it helped ease us into the walk.

20160604_17_Walvis Bay Yacht Club_Launch_Matt with adventurer Mike Horn 20160604_27_Walvis Bay Yacht Club_Launch_First steps 20160605_36_Sand dunes in Namib Nauklaft NP

Night 3 was one to remember! We went to bed about 8pm and at about 10pm a freak sand/electrical storm hit. It flattened 2 of the 3 tents and 4 of the support crew ran for cover and slept in the support vehicle before we could assess the damage in the morning. The clean up the next day took a few hours and put us a little behind schedule but we managed to make that up that afternoon even though we were walking into a strong headwind all day. It was the first rain that part of the dessert had seen in 2 years and getting completely smashed by sand wasn’t fun. I think I am still getting sand out of my ears!! From there the weather cleared and out came the wildlife. After having flamingos and seals to see us off at the start we were now being greeted with zebra’s, antelope, baboons, ostriches, donkey’s and springboks. Pretty amazing walking along with this wildlife around you. One night we even had Zebra’s come and visit us in our camp at about 3am to say hi. Personally I was more interested in sleeping but nice of them to give us a warm welcome. We then headed into the mountains and took on the infamous Gamsburg pass. It is about 20kms of winding roads and takes you up in elevation about 1000 metres. It was a tough climb as this road features as one of the most dangerous roads in the world and by walking it you can certainly see why. After reaching the top we headed towards the capital Windhoek and after 420kms of walking in 11 days we arrived at the Windhoek Airport (30km the other side of the city). Pretty happy to have made it this far and we are right on schedule.

20160607_08_Zebras on the side of the road Winding road up the Kuiseb Pass 20160611_03b_Gamsberg Pass_Matt 3qtrs of way up Namibian lanscape

The hardest part so far is certainly doing it living under the poverty line. The walk, even though it is hard, doesn’t compare to doing it living on so little food. After 11 days I have lost 8kgs which is a little more than I had hoped by this stage and it is something we will have to monitor, but at this stage I’m feeling ok. I am still very committed to finishing this walk living under the poverty line but am mindful my health is also important. Blisters have also been a bit of an issue, they covered the balls of both feet by day 5 but popped themselves so after a bit of first aid I had both feet bandaged up and was on my way again. They have held up fairly well since and day off my feet today has been a great help. They don’t really affect my walking much other than it takes a few minutes for the skin to soften up a bit after each break.

20160608_19_Blisters 20160608_19c_Blisters bandaged up

Tomorrow I am lucky enough to be a special guest on NBC’s Good Morning Namibia breakfast TV show and giving a keynote presentation to Year 11 Students as part of the Rotary Club of Windhoek’s Adventures into Citizenship Workshop, an annual event attended by 2 learners from each of the High Schools in Windhoek. The president of the Rotary Club is also taking us to visit two of their community projects – Aris Primary School and attached hostel that caters for the children of the farmworkers from the surroundings farms and Oponganda, a community center in one of the less privileged suburbs of Windhoek. We will donate soccerballs to both projects (a big thanks again to Mac Miller for supplying balls for us to donate) No time to rest after this as we get back on the road on Friday and head for the border. The border is about a week’s walk away. I am looking forward to Botswana but in saying that I will miss Namibia as it is an amazing country and the people here have supported the walk more than I could have ever hoped for. It is great to have people stop me on the highway to wish me all the best and know that I have their support. Well time to get some much needed sleep and prepare for the next stage of the walk.

Thanks for following and I’ll update you again soon.