Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The past holiday, continued!

So, with the car fixed, we took an amazing drive to Betesda, 70km from Sossusvlei.
It was after the rains, so there was a lot of grass and greenery around. The drive up was amazing. Our Land Rover overheated once, and we had to stop for a little while to let her cool down.  This was the view from our stopping spot.
 There was quite a bit of wildlife standing around during our trip up, too.
 Some of the views along the way was just too amazing!
Isolde took most of the landscape photos, and they are amazing!

We finally arrived at our campsite. The campsite we had booked was taken, weirdly enough. Even more weird is that this is not the first time that Betesda messed up our bookings. However, the place is amazing enough to make of for it. In the end we all agreed that the campsite we eventually got was way better anyways:

 This was the view....

          This is what the campsite looked like when we finally had everything up:

Some more views of the campsite...


One really nice campsite, huh? Anyways, the first day we just unpacked, and had a good nap. Aiden slept through for the first time on a camp on this night, too. He must have been really tired from exploring. The next day we just lazed around a little, and then we went to see the Hauchab fontein, and quiver tree forest.

The kids had a chance to nap in the car..

Aiden really enjoyed the fountain!

 We ran out of daylight before getting to the quiver tree forest, but we got this cool picture anyways:

 On the way back we stopped at the river crossing...

 Actually, we stopped about every five minutes!

 Aneske was along for this trip too, and she looks like she enjoyed it.

The next morning we kicked off early to go and see Sossusvlei.  

 It's 70km  from the campsite, and then there is another 70km of blacktop before getting to the vlei. The next time we will be camping inside the nature reserve!

Neverteless, there was plenty of pretty around... 
 Hmm.... it was lovely!
No matter where you point your camera, you get a nice picture. This place has to be visited to be believed!
 Finally we got to the dead valley itself. Does not look so dead now, after all the rains..
 Aiden wanted to crawl all the way, and was being a little pest about being carried.

Ah, water in the Sossus... this is truly rare, only for a few days per year, and not even every year....

It took us three hours to break camp the next morning, and the trip back was uneventful apart from the Land-Rover overheating almost constantly. Needless to say, I made some work of the cooling of the car later in my holiday...But for now, here are a few piccies of the trip back:

The rusty cars at the Solitaire petrol station are quite photogenic...
We stopped under the Kuiseb bridge for a breather. The Landy's one front brake de-laminated and I wanted to take it easy on the brakes. So, we decended the pass with a handbrake and in first gear. Isolde chewed up her fingers from stress, and a stop here was quite needed!

The rest of the holiday we chilled at home, doing some small odd jobs around the house. Eckie's Galenderwagen was also fixed, and we took the cars to the duns for some testing:

 The cars performed quite nicely, and we managed to get back home safely after following some route mapped out on my new GPS.
I picked up a crack on my windshield on the Sossus trip, so that will need replacement on my next holiday. So far I am quite proud of the Landy, even though she is quite thirsty!

Towards the end of the holiday, we managed to fit in a fishing trip. It was on mother's day, too..

 We dug a massive hole on the beach... It was freezingly cold, but this sort of thing has never stopped us.
It was nice to have Eckie and Helen along for this fishing trip...

 So.... finally, at the very end of the trip, I managed to get the Landy's cooling sorted, and we managed to make it all the way to the lighthouse... travelling an average of 40km/h over soft sand with the wind from behind....

We picked up a bit of driftwood and so on...

The last couple of days of my break was spent cleaning up the back yard. It took us quite a few loads to get rid of all the muck.

No before/after pictures, though. I guess there will be some in the video once I do finish that.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

One more holiday gone!

It's at the end of another successful holiday, and I find myself in Frankfurt Airport with some time to reflect on the past few weeks.

We managed to pack quite a bit into the last holidays. First and foremost, we managed to get the Landy back on the road. On our road trips it was giving us 5.3km/l on the open road, and 3.7km/l in town/on sand. So, I christened it "Rand Rower" ( Afrikaans speaking people should be chuckling now ) Obviously, some more tuning is in order, and I still need to sort out center diff lock and low range on the transfer case. That is a little project for next trip.

During the first week of the trip, it was Bernt's birthday, and he took us on a sailing cruise around Walvis Bay to celebrate. It was beautiful and awesome. Thanks, Bernt!

 We had a lovely group of people out, and it was a day to remember.

Hmm... I am running out of time here, I'll post the rest of the holiday update at a later, unannounced ( hopefully soon ) date.