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Namaqualand National Park – Part 3

Wednesday, 18 April, 2012

Leaving Boulderbaai

Departing from the caves we still short one member of our group.  Thomas has not arrived.  Maybe we have to get used to not travelling along with Thomas.  It sounds a bit like that song of the chap that had to get used to not living next door to Alice anymore.

[Thomas!  Where the heck is Thomas?] 

A short distance away from the caves on the road back there is cell phone reception for probably about 200 meters.  From there Pieter manages to get hold of Thomas on his phone.  Thomas and his wife are at Garies already.  So they can be here within the next hour or so.

Knowing that Thomas is underway we head for Varswaterbaai.

Along the road to Varswaterbaai there are indeed spots that have fresh water fountains.

 

We follow Martin on the two spoor tracks, keeping as close to the see as we can.  (Some places offer more than one road.)

 

We come to one of the two more challenging parts of the route.  The board gives a good indication where the trouble may start.

The first part is thick sand, but everyone gets through without a problem.  Then we get to a hard patch.  From there you need to negotiate the twee spoor track over a dune in an “S” before getting to more even sand, but still thick.

This is the exact spot where Thomas got bogged down last year with his 2×4 Colt.  He now has a 4×4 Jeep Cherokee, but this time he has Pieter’s trailer to contend with.  While awaiting his turn, Koos finds his Crocs from last year that he left there while we were doing battle extracting Thomas from the sand!

[Thomas!  Where the heck is Thomas?]

After two unsuccessful attempts Martin suggests that we let our tyres down from 1,5 bar to 1 bar or lower.  I take mine town to 1,2 bar.  Then Martin speeds off with quite a commotion.  After a while it becomes quiet.  Martin has radio contact with three of the vehicles.  As we hear nothing from him we assume him to have been successful.

One at a time we tackle the stretch of sand.

Thereafter it is easy going.  Along the way we see a colony of seals.

We also spot a beautiful Blue Crane bird.

Varswaterbaai

It is cold and overcast when we arrive at Varswaterbaai.

Tonight is Koos and his family, and our turn to make the food.  We pitch our tents rather hurriedly.  Two pot breads need to be mixed and given time raise in the sun, and the sun is going down fast and with it the required heat.

Eventually the fires are burning, with the sun setting.  And still no sign of Thomas and Marienka.

[Thomas!  Where the heck is Thomas?]

There is no signal to make a call.  So apart from being concerned about them, there is nothing much we can do about it.

The chicken wings and kebabs are coming on nicely.  The two breads did prove a bit but not much, but they are being baked.  The chocolate cake for desert is doing its thing it the pot.

Then we see the headlights of three oncoming vehicles.  We all watch in suspense to see whether it is Thomas.

The first vehicle that pulls up is a double cab Land Rover with a trailer.

“Hey, that’s my dad’s trailer,” says Pieter’s son.

The second vehicle is also a double cab Land Rover.

“Hey, that’s my friend Nekkies,” says Martin.

The third vehicle that pulls up is a white Jeep Cherokee.

“Hey, that’s Thomas!” everyone exclaim.

OK, at least now we know where Thomas is!

The short version is that Thomas became stuck and that the guys with the Land Rovers came to his assistance.  One of these guys happened to be Nekkies of Getaway Off-road Centre in Wellington who regularly services Martin’s Land …