Where to wild camp when in a hunting area? (Support Team Diary Entry 6th Sept 2014)

Past Omaruru, we enter the lands of game and cattle farmers. To keep the animals in,  there are wire fences either side of the road. There are warthog everywhere. I worry they will attack Emma but they run off as soon as they see us.

He hasn’t seen us yet.
oh! Now he has.
Now he has … there’s a 3rd photo in this series but its of an empty space.

When we first arrived in this area and set up for lunch, a car appeared out of the dusty road. The man who got out, warned us that we might, accidentally (on purpose?), be shot if we camped. He suggests the next game farm as a place to stay. Emma runs her final 16 km of the day (like its a normal thing to do). I’m a bit concerned for her and Mike’s safety, since we are on hunting territory, but am thinking that no-one aims towards the road and that mistakenly harming someone dressed in bright pink is going to be tricky to explain. DSC01437 Woocash and I go in search of a place to camp. We haven’t found the next guest farm but we turn down a track signposted to a B & B. A mile down and we are in a forest: trees looming close to the path and vines hanging down. It feels like a scene from “Big Fish“. The track forks and we turn left. We are unexpectedly in a farm. There’s no-one around and its a little spooky. We turn round to take the right fork which arrives at a wide sandy river bed. There’s a car track across and we follow it to an island thick with trees and vegetation. There we are met with padlocked gates and a sign that reads:

Warning Dangerous Dogs

and below,

There is life after death:

Enter and find out.

Naturally, we’re curious to take up the challenge. However, getting to a hospital would take a long time and delay the run. Hoping the dogs can’t get over the fence, I get out the car to help Woocash turn the car round. We head back to the main road to look for somewhere better, where we won’t be mistaken for fair game and shot. Not a thing and its getting late. On the Tracks4Africa map we can see that 25 km in front is a camping lodge. Emma has gone as far as she is going for the day. We load everyone and everything onto Cleo, make sure Emma has something to eat as she needs to eat within 20 minutes, and head towards the lodge. We travel slowly. The sun is setting.

Photographic evidence of the sun having set.

We arrive at Omaha Guest Farm in the dark. The gates are padlocked. I toot the horn but no response. We’ve got nowhere else to go. Being slightly off the road, we decide we’ll camp to one side of the gate. In the hope that no-one is going to shoot us right outside their front door. I’m trying to figure out what will be quick to cook as Emma needs a healthy meal each day and lots of rest, when, the owner and his wife appear. Arif is from Manchester! Our home city, that we all love. They invite us in. Using a bathroom for the first time in a week is fantastic. Emma comes out of the toilet with her eyes sparkling, “I washed my hands and my face!” she grins. Its a joy to be clean, well some bits anyway. This is a luxury we haven’t had for days. They also have delicious prawn curry to share. Cold water to drink. Cold water to drink is a wonderful thing, especially in a hot country, after running 40km. And an adorable 2 year old girl who plays with me. After a happy dinner, its an early night as always. The next day, the whole family came out to cheer Emma on as she runs past:

Their little daughter went running up to Emma whilst the dog kept a watchful eye.
Their little daughter went running up to Emma whilst the dog kept a watchful eye.
All the family :)
The lovely Omaha family who took us in for the night
Emma and Mike are off into the distance, not much time for stopping and chatting.
Emma and Mike are off into the distance, not much time for stopping and chatting.