Windhoek to Walvis Bay to collect Cleo

(Apologies for the lack of photos but the internet connection is too slow to upload them).

Whilst Emma and Mike are flying to Windhoek, Woocash and I head to the coast to pick up Cleo. We’re hoping that she has all the kit still with her. Sending Cleo by Ro-Ro (roll on roll off) instead of container became the only option as sponsorship failed to come in and the dates started to slip. Ro-ro is faster and I’m conscious of the coming African summer, but you have to leave the car unlocked. We locked everything up in a big old chest and we padlocked all the items together and gave the key to the Captain.

We head to the coast in a combi, which I would definitely recommend to other travelers. You can catch the minibus taxi from Rhino Park in Windhoek. The 14 seater minibus waits until all the seats are filled for the journey. It costs N$150 each and takes 5 hours. There is a locked trailer into which your luggage goes. We had one bag but they might charge if you have more. One of the other travelers, as he got on the bus, made a comment about preferring the back to the front … because in the front there is nothing in between you and whatever you are going to crash into. Naturally, then, someone else happily piped in about how a car crashed into the side he was sitting on when he last traveled in the minibus.

The driver turns out to be awesome. Highly skilled at predicting other people’s bad driving. The travelers are friendly, and the lady behind me starts singing (beautifully) to pass the time. Its hot and and I put up a hoody as a screen from the sun. The road is smooth tarmac.

The journey entrances me. I have never been in a desert before. Beautiful and uncompromising, overlapping brown and crème sand dunes, some small, some huge, and in the distance blue mountains.

There are warning signs for “Sand” and “Fog”. My mind wanders to thinking about water tanks, how much water we can carry and where we will be able to fill up. We arrive at the coast and turn left. This area is famous for shipwrecks and I feel sorry for the sailors who landed here.

When we get out the taxi, it is cold and windy.

Windhoek, Namibia

I can’t believe we are in Namibia. The last few months have been frantic, getting the car ready, getting the necessary equipment, trying to get sponsorship. And now we are here. We are almost at the beginning.

Just arrived! Having caught the early morning flight from Cape Town
Just arrived! Having caught the early morning flight from Cape Town

Namibia is cold, not cold like the UK, but there is no central heating in the houses. The night we had to camp I barely slept for cold. It brings into perspective what it is like for people who don’t have money for warm clothes or a duvet. Windhoek seems wealthy but there are also those who live in shanty houses, and struggle for food and basic necessities.

But the cold will be good for Emma, it is cool enough to run until about 11am.

Nambia is also dry. We are in a desert. I’ve learned to keep lipsalve with me at all times. And the nights are long. It is dark from 6pm until 6am. Windhoek is pretty safe during the day but its best to be home by night. A couple of nights ago two men broke into the hostel and attacked one of the guests with a knife. He was swift and clever enough to be able to defend himself but the intruders stole several laptops. It is a reminder to be careful.

What strikes me most, however, is how friendly and helpful most people are. Villa Moringa, a gorgeous place, where we stayed initially, are storing most of our kit for us, whilst we sleep in cheaper places.

Drs Keletso and Barbaria Nyathi, who run Maerua medical practice have been looking after us. I contacted Keletso after reading his profile on Explorers Connect. (If you are planning an adventure you should check out Explorers Connect). Keletso is a doctor and ultra runner interested in adventure so, I thought he might like to join us. Sadly, due to work commitments he couldn’t but, he and his wife, have welcomed us, given us essential advice on what we need to do to be legal and will be teaching us first aid. They are incredibly hard working, constantly laughing at life and a pleasure to be with. I can’t wait for them to meet Emma.

New friends, Drs Keletso and Barbara Nyathi of Maerua Medical Centre, Namiba.
New friends, Drs Keletso and Barbara Nyathi of Maerua Medical Centre, Namiba.

Indira, Keletso and Nyathi’s receptionist, has been showing us around. She welcomed us into her story and educated me on what life is really like to grow up in Katatura. She took us to her grandmother’s house where she was raised and to a local restaurant. For dessert, we went to the meat market where we discovered the most delicious Namibian spice to have with a BBQ.

We have also been preparing for Emma, Mike and Cleo’s arrival: finding out where to get the last bits to kit out the car (Cymot); contacting radio stations (Kosmos, RadioWave, One Africa); making sure our agent who will be getting the car through customs has all the necessary documents; and getting to know the city.

Tomorrow, we shall set off on a 5 hour minibus taxi journey to Walvis Bay to fetch the car, Cleopatra. Fingers crossed she comes through with everything intact.

Things we learnt:

Its winter bring warm clothes in August

August is peak season, book accommodation in advance

Its very dry

You can buy almost everything here that you can get in the UK

You need a GB sticker for the car

You need to get a Cross Border Certificate for cars on a temporary import

Paint your car white, everyone else has, its probably a good idea.

Cleopatra – the movie star

Cleo is finally off on her travels to Africa.  Before she left she made you this movie about her assets (with a bit of help from Womenclimb)!


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Moving comfort

I have to be honest, I had never heard of Moving Comfort and it was only by chance that I came across them.  But… they have become one of my favourite brands of sports wear that I’ve ever come across.  A few months ago I wrote a blog post for Sports Sister online magazine.  You can read my blog here.  In return for writing blogs, they send contributors a gift of a Moving Comfort sports bra.  The type of bra I received was the ‘Juno‘, all of the bras they make have their own unique name.  My initial thoughts were that this was extremely generous of both Sports Sister and Moving Comfort to give away free gifts.  Then after testing out the bra I realised how extra lucky I was to be given this gift.  The bra is incredible.IMG_0957

Review – Juno bra

The material that the Juno bra is made with is really soft and feels great on your skin.  It’s also pretty thick and durable so I have no doubt that I will be using them for a long time.  This is especially useful when you are running with a pack on you back and there is a change of rubbing.  The material across the front has qualities similar to neoprene.  It absorbs moisture from your skin and dries off pretty quickly so you don’t feel sweaty and wet while exercising.

IMG_1275  The shoulder straps are adjustable with IMG_1277velcro which is brilliant as, lets face it, not every woman is exactly the same shape.  This is also really good as if you are training extra hard one day you can adjust the straps to get more support and if you don’t need them so tight one day then you just loosen them.  You can also undo them completely if you decide to sunbathe in the park after a run!!!


The bra has both racer back and a three-hook adjustable chest strap.  I find this absolutely brilliant as the only bras I would run in are racer back so that the straps don’t slip down and become a nuisance while I’m running but it’s also fantastic to be able to make the chest band to the fit that I want it.  Having three hooks makes it far more supportive and sturdy than two hooks.  Moving Comfort bras also come in a massive variety of vibrant colours and patterns so there is something to suit everyone.

After wearing this bra for a while I then wrote to Moving comfort and asked if they would be interested in supporting my African run by providing me with the bras I will need for the run.  Fortunately for me they were very interested.  And I soon received a few bras.