Crossing boundaries

Up to now our life has been fairly peaceful but that is about to change. Generally, Emma, Mike and I wake up at dawn. Emma and Mike set off for 10 miles and I poke a disgruntled Woocash out of bed. He’s pretty sure he didn’t sign up for this, he thought he was going to be doing mechanics not rising early in the morning and being a general skivvy. We pack up the tents then bump our way ahead to cook breakfast for Emma’s mid morning break. There, Emma, stretches, has a massage from Mike, eats and can rest a little. They set off on another 10 miles, we go ahead and find a shady tree (harder than you’d imagine) and cook lunch. Emma has a longer break to get past the heat of the day. Then at about 3pm, she’s off on her final 10 miles and we go ahead, ideally, find a quiet secluded spot, put up the tent and prepare dinner. Emma stops along her route for water and stretching and we head off occasionally for food and water.

On 18th September we cross the boundary fence that cuts across thousands of kilometres from the west side of the country to the east. Breaking the country in half.

The boundary fence is ostensibly there to prevent foot and mouth outbreaks in the North of Namibia from spreading to the South. But it is much more than that.

The area we have just passed through consisted of desert and then largely commercial white owned farms. In the North, the land is, mostly, black communal farms. The fence prevents free passage of people, goods, and wild animals along their migratory routes. And, apparently, tourists regularly have their fresh meat confiscated. That’s not a problem for us; we don’t have the luxury of a fridge.

Communal farmland, means we've accidentally stopped for breakfast on the cows' route. Mike giving Emma a much needed but painful massage
Communal farmland, means we’ve accidentally stopped for breakfast on the cows’ route. Mike giving Emma a much needed but painful massage

For the team, the difference comes in the number of people. Everywhere.

After we cross, I stop at a village shop to ask for bread. It’s the first village shop we have entered. Until now we used supermarkets in towns. The women in the shop are lovely and friendly. They laugh that I am so dirty and one of them comments that, “sometimes its nice to be dirty”. I agree. Elizabeth, who runs the shop, has no bread but says that she is going to Rundu later that morning and will get us some! I am surprised by her helpfulness (not something I’m used to in my culture). If you are ever on the road from Grootfontein to Rundu her shop is just north of Mururani, please pop in and say hello from me.

In the afternoon, we have gone ahead to look for a camping spot as usual but the village Katjinakatji keeps going and going. Every few yards, there is another group of houses. There are no quiet side roads. We are well past the distance Emma wanted to run and eventually, I tell Woocash we have to stop at a point that seems a little quieter. There are three teenagers, I ask them if we can camp there, outside their homes. As teenagers are, they are a little playful. One of them tries to convince me that it is his village. Having tested me out, they tell us we are welcome to camp and head off to play football.

Then the younger children come asking for sweets and money. Not knowing if they have access to a dentist (or toothpaste), we give out crisps. Kids are always hungry. In the UK, a sure way to increase numbers at a youth club night was to advertise free food.


We entertain them with the camera and some playing cards (which they are really happy with).

I think the little kiddie is probably scared of Woocash

We don’t speak a common language. Fortunately, Elizabeth turns up with bread and explains to the children what we are doing.

Elizabeth in action: look at the little girl's concentration
Elizabeth in action: look at the little girl’s concentration

We teach them to cheer Emma, “Go, Emma, Go”. They are fascinated by everything we have and do and try to help as much as they can. At one point, they have a discussion amongst themselves. One of the little girls runs off and comes back with a machete, as they think we need it! I let them, one at a time, up the ladder to look in the roof tent.

Mike warns us over the radio that Emma is really tired. She is attracting a lot of curiosity. Having explained this to the children, they cheer her in and then soon leave us to rest.


I’m impressed by how considerate they are. Night comes in and adults pass by in the dark. The cheekiest little girl comes back with her mother and we attempt conversation. The mother smiles and says, “it is good” that we are there.

Day 19
Total Distance Run by Emma: 809 km / 503 Miles

Flies, Scorpions and Roy’s Camp

Emma taking a break, make no mistake, this run is tough.

The hotter climate brings more bugs and animals. Slow moving flies with teeth: attracted to warm bodies, they settle down peacefully and then without warning they bite. “Argh f…!” It’s generally a suicidal move for the fly as we smack them down with satisfaction. According to natural selection theory, these guys shouldn’t exist, they are too slow.

5 days after leaving Africat we trundle into Roy’s Camp.


Its shower time! Hooray! Clean flip flops and feet, (although, to be honest, we all seem to like not washing for 5 days and its better for our skin). Roy’s camp is an oasis with grass, a swimming pool, bar, a place for scrubbing pots and clothes, other tourists, wifi and electricity.

The lovely manager of Roy's Camp
At the Bar

Cameras, computers, and radios all get plugged in and I get cracking making dinner before Emma arrives:

Main Course:
Tuna and Tomato Pasta
Eggy Bread with Syrup, Cinnamon and Banana

Eggs are good for runners, but Emma doesn’t like them so I’m trying out alternative ways of cooking them.

With clothes washed, team fed, and water containers filled, the wifi tempts. It’s in a quiet relaxing area under a tree. A friendly guy gives me some compliments and invites me for a drink at the bar … or his room. I’m easily flattered. But I am married to our cause (of course) and, er, in a relationship and instead stay up until 2am trying, with frustrating, occasional success, to upload photographs to the blog.

At some point the lights all go out and the people are silent in their tents and cabins. There are frogs rustling in the leaves around my chair. Snakes prey on frogs. In the distance, a yowling sound, possibly baboons or wild dogs. Antelope run silently through the camp. Not wanting to be eaten, stung or bitten without anyone knowing, I head back to our tent in the pitch black and only find our site because the bike has reflectors on it.

The next morning the alarm doesn’t go off which is bad for Emma – it means she’ll be running in the hottest part of the day and we’re getting nearer the equator.


Woocash has foolishly left his clothes drying on a rocky wall. As he lifts his underpants he discovers this little thing snuggled under them,

The smaller the scorpion the more deadly
Can anyone name the species?

Luckily for him it didn’t crawl into them …

Days 17
Distance run by Emma: 696 km, 433 miles