Treasure hunt in Marienfluss valley?

Once again we get up early, because we are facing a long stretch to Purros. Fortunately, during breakfast we don’t know yet how difficult it will be … Last night at around 1:30am Camp Syncro suddenly came to life because a few locals left for where ever with roaring vehicles.

Hardly 400m outside the camp, we already have to insert the first photo stop, because next to the piste few skinny goats stand in the morning light – apparently a worthwhile subject for our guides. Goats, so what?, I think and stay behind the wheel of my beloved Land Rover. The same corrugated metal track that leads to Camp Syncro leads, of course, away from it – unfortunately there are no alternatives.

Since I apparently got up on the wrong side and, inexplicably, have a bad mood, the track seems to be in even worse condition than yesterday. Stefan creeps with his Landy ahead as if he was on a treasure hunt. Bombing down the track with anything below 80km/h does not seem logical, but what do I know. I’m a Namibia-rookie. So I am sitting sullenly in our hot and dusty box (aka vehicler) and sneak behind the guides. At least Akiko takes the same opinion as I.

According to our map a place called “Red Drum” must be just ahead of us and I’m looking forward to seeing a road crossing in the featureless landscape of Kaokoveld. Oh boy, how could have imagined that Red Drum is just that – a red drum in the middle of nowhere. It marks the junction (if coming from the south) for Marienfluss valley to the east and Hartmann valley to the west.

A red drum at Red Drum in Kaokoveld
A red drum at Red Drum in Kaokoveld

Not far from Marble Camp (alt. link) we stop for lunch. The brave Swiss we met a Camp Syncro will apparently stay overnight here. Not a bad place. We wouldn’t mind either calling it quits here for the day. Off-road driving is a lot of fun but can get tiring. Stefan and Marga seem to notice this and change the route spontaneously. Instead of following the Chumib river from Orupembe south-east we follow D3707 which a grader has just finish clearing up “for us”.

On the way from Orupembe to Purros
On the way from Orupembe to Purros

After the slow pace the previous hours it’s a big relieve to “fly” over the even track with 100km/h. The landscape is wonderfully meager, wide and deserted. For the first time in my life I see a jackal. I’m quite surprise how small they are. I didn’t know they’re the size of a large fox. The stretch to Purros is a long haul despite the perfect track conditions. It seems to drag on forever.

When we finally get there I’m positively surprised. The guy who welcomes us at the gate speaks English, the camp is pretty, the hot water for the showers is ready and we’re the only guests at the camp tonight.

Namibia 2009 photos

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