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Faces Of The Namib

Alan

G-Wagen Club SA
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#1
IMG_4231.JPG Well seeing no one is posting any feedback I thought I would start.

The trip was planned during last year by a friend who then extended the invite to the G Club to make the trip a closed group. i.e. most participants would know each other rather than travelling in a group of strangers.Some of us were lucky enough to set of on Wednesday while the rest of us only managed to leave Friday morning. After meeting at the Petropoort just after the N1 N4 split were were on our way to Zeerust for a quick meet, greet and breakfast with the Zeerust boys that would only leave on Saturday. Breakfast was organized by the Zerust boys and was very enjoyable.
On my way to Zeerust I had my first slight worry as my Radiator water level light came on. I was not too concerned since I replaced the water with anti freeze and thought there might have been a airlock which was now sorted. After topping up fuel and water in my case and after breakfast we set of for the border on our way to Khalahari Sands just after Kang in Botswana. The border crossing was a breeze and we were soon on our way. Along the way just after the border my water warning came on briefly and went off again. Thinking I might still have to add more water and because it went off again I was not concerned but kept an eye on the gauges. The light later stayed on again until Kang, but the temperature did not go up anything out of the ordinary. At Kang I topped up again and on the way to the camp the light came on again, and that is when I suspected something is wrong.
At Camp we set up the trailer and tents quickly and settled down. It was still early with plenty of sunshine contrary to the voetspore team that seems to like to arrive at night :). We made fires and while all were relaxing I quickly had a look at what could be the problem on my G. I immediately saw one water pipe on the recirculation loop had a tear just after the clamp. I removed the clamp cut off the end and pushed it over again and clamped it. Filled with water and that was the end of that.
 
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Alan

G-Wagen Club SA
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#2
Day 2.
Day two saw us getting up at our leisure and having a quick coffee and rusks getting ready to depart 9:00. We are on holiday you know!
After leaving we had a hot drive to the next border post into Namibia, which also went smoothly. After the border we again filler up with cheaper fuel and also heard the first signs of the Zeerust boys.
Our next overnight stop was to be at Goba Lodge in Gobabis.
Again we arrived early to enjoy some sunlight and drinks after setting up camp.
Here we were joined by Hennie,Natalie, Riaan, Cillier, Fernando, Roberto and Jose from Zerust.
A nice braai was had followed by a nice nights rest for the next day.

IMG_4234.JPG IMG_4235.JPG
 

Alan

G-Wagen Club SA
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#3
Day 3.
On our way to Solitaire where the actual Faces of the Namib tour begins.
This day we first drove through Windhoek where we again filled up (we did this a lot) and bumped into Hans who is touring Namibia and possibly SA in his nicely prepared Professional.
We had a long chat with him and hope he will contact us if he travels through SA.
After Windhoek we got to the first gravel roads. They are great in Namibia but beware if you are towing, make sure you have stone guards or netting or anything of sorts to protect what you are towing and your car.
I knew about it but did not get time to prepare properly for that.
Along the way we had beautiful scenery and even a good shower of rain to the extent that we had to be careful of deep puddles. The wipers were on full speed to keep the windscreen clear of water for visibility.
At Solitaire we again filled up, bought wood and did the last preparations before tacking the odd 500km through the dunes to Walvisbay over the next 5 days.
 

Alan

G-Wagen Club SA
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#4
Day 4 - 8. Dunes, dunes and more dunes.
This day we started off early and met up at the roadside. A short trip towards Walvisbay saw us entering a gate into the Namib Naukluft Park. This is where the fun started.
After first driving a stony spoor we arrived at the first red sand and some promptly got stuck. This is something we would see less and less of as everyone started to get to know their vehicles.
Hmm, seems there is a problem uploading files. Previous post I could not add photos and now this post even after rebooting will continue one I can upload files again.
 

Alan

G-Wagen Club SA
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#7
Great, Thanks Chris. Please feel free to add more photos. Makes the thread so much more enjoyable.

@Andrew When are you going to join us on a trip? I think it is long overdue!?
 

Andrew

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#8
I estimate God willing, another one year and seven months and then my blessed children must pay for their own stuff! But thanks for remembering me bro. Just post pictures and I might make it!
 

Alan

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#13
Thanks guys, it was again an amazing experience. The desert just has some magic powers.
Hmm, Riaan decided to rather get a lift in a Amarok which sadly had problems and could not finish the trip due to VW Garage incompetency. Turned out to be a one way bearing on the alternator that was faulty but could not be diagnosed by VW. An older (proper, not plug and play) mechanic running his own business diagnosed it immediately and fixed it albeit it was too late. Hennie please chime in if my story is not accurate.
 

Alan

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#16
OK, so we got some pictures from the dune days. Thanks Chris.
One of the photos shows us camping in the Kuiseb Riverbed, where Hennie diagnosed the problem with his Amarok. He drove off to Walvis and we all decided to stay and wait for him to get back the next day. Unfortunately this did not materialise but we nevertheless had fun while waiting. We decided to do some drag races. All in low range first gear and idle, let's see who was the slowest. :) Hehehe, I could oblige. Then we had some real drag races and while I was driving and could not see the results there were some real surprises. Maybe some of the spectators can fill us in.
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After lunch we had to move on knowing Hennie would not be joining us. Len the tour leader took us to the next overnight stop.
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Len took us over some good dunes and it was fun. Some dunes were even very challenging. Being the first after the tour leader has some advantages but also disadvantages as can testify. Len went up a dune and then found it was a bit close to a ravine after getting to the top and followers must keep left. Dirk being the first was so overjoyed of getting to the top and following the tracks of Len that he found himself in the ravine and his Toyota Prado fell onto it's side. Besides a slight ding on the rear he got away with no other damage other than being rattled. The two Land Cruisers were summoned to assist with getting the Prado back on it's wheels while the rest of us waited below until it was safe to go up. At this stage the sand was already loose and a few of us battled.

My G was one of the vehicles that battled but eventually Len asked if he could try. I obliged and he took a completely new line and made it up. It was not a lack of power but rather the disappointing performance of my tyres. At least I know they are good everywhere else.

On the second last day of the dune trip Len took us to a "Gat" to play and boy did we have fun. I also took on the challenge and on my way up slipped a gear an when that happens you are toast. Reversing down into the hole an then try to get up the other side as high as possible to capitalise on the momentum and try to get up again. This hole also proved too much for "Bosluis" as my G was christened on a previous dune trip. After lots of attempts even by the master himself I had to be happy pushing three Land Cruisers out of the hole with a rope.
Sorry no pictures yet of this memorable event.
 

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