Day 9 – Swakopmund

20 Sep

The Beast had some issues today….

When the roads became tarmac again just outside Swakopmund I stopped to increase the tyre pressures from their gravel settings, I discovered one rear tyre badly shredded. Thanks to quick efforts from Avis and with the luck of being on an easy staging day on the way towards the Skeleton Coast and so having time available, the Dunlop boys fitted new tyres. Any of the last 2 days I would have been 2 days away from the nearest spare tyre and on a schedule with sights to see, so I got lucky.

Its a little bit worrying how quickly the tyre went to hell, and I’m not sure why it did unless it had a slow puncture. Need to be extra careful with pressures for tar versus gravel and choose 2wd or 4wd carefully. And not go so fast.

Also needed a fuse for the 12v power socket. The Beast has 3 sockets and the fuses for all 3 had gone, 2 before I even got the car and one 2 days ago. I replaced it with one from the fuse box that was used by a non-essential light, but today I hoped to buy a couple of spares.

For 90 minutes I trekked to every car dealer, parts shop, 4×4 shop etc and couldn’t find one. I drove 20 miles back to the south to the other town in this part of the coast, Walvis Bay, and found a Ford dealer. 

Just like the last 10 people I’d asked, the parts man said sorry. Haven’t got any.

Unlike the last 10 people, this guy went out of his way to help me, eventually ordering in spares from the capital, Windhoek, to replace the two he then nicked out of a customers car to give to me!

Brilliant. And continuing the theme of that sort of kindness that has saved my bacon on Overland trips all around the world.

So then back to Swakopmund and the very swanky Bon Hotel, which appears brand new, empty apart from me and the receptionist, and is awesome except for the stunning photos of sand dunes all around the place that make mine look pahetic…

It’s funny how often overland travel is like this. You’re on the edge of a desert thinking ah shit I’m going to be stuck for 2 days waiting for a tyre, there are no fuses so if the last one goes I’ll be stuck without GPS or charging, I’m almost out of fuel, it’s 30 degrees and I’m covered in dust, and a few hours later you have two 2 new tyres, 2 new fuses, 150 litres of diesel, crisp white cotton sheets, and a plan to go hunting for shipwrecks on the Skeleton Coast that is still game on.

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