Road to Luderitz

With 90kms to go to arrive in Luderitz there was an unexplained sinister clicking noise coming from the engine. Then there was no more power steering and the engine was overheating so it was turned off and we moved off the road. 

Road to Luderitz

Not the road we were on but a tarred one like this – disappearing into the distance

The road was long and straight and dry. We had not seen a vehicle going either way since we had left the wild horses and I was sent to flag down the first vehicle which passed. This made me realise how unwise it would have been for us to be on our own. It is a vast and sparsely populated country. Added to this there was no cell phone reception! If you don’t believe in prayer getting immediate answers, maybe our experience will change your mind.

As I walked up to the edge of the road my first reaction was total despair. How long would I have to stand in the hot sun in the hope of a vehicle driving past? Then I just said, “Please Lord, help us out of this situation.” Less than 2 minutes later over the hill came a car and, with all that followed, we were blown away. The car was also an SUV driven by the local pharmacist and his wife and he knew all about engines. He climbed up the front, leaned over the engine and started to pull and pull and pull out the longest belt I had ever seen.

Digging for the belt

Digging deep to get the belt out

Apparently there is not a separate belt to turn each of the various parts of the engine, as in older engines, but just one very long one and this had broken. He was not impressed when Lyn had forgotten to check what parts she had brought with her and none was a belt. When travelling in a place like Namibia one must be prepared for any situation. The other miracle was, when I returned from the edge of the road, Lyn was talking to her husband on her cell phone! She said that just before the car came she held her phone up and discovered there was a signal. Unbelievably our ‘mechanic’ was also able to access reception and called the local garage/car repair shop owner to request a tow.

Oh dear, it was Sunday, not a work day in Namibia! This was his day to be in the pub. Call again tomorrow! Shortly thereafter 3 fellows on motorbikes arrived, friends of our saviour, who still had his head in the engine. After much discussion it was agreed to get our vehicle back a km to a small railway siding and park it behind the little building there. What?!! Leave our vehicle out on a lonely road all night? Not something we would have done in SA. Our new friends helped us to unpack our loaded vehicle and put all our belongings and ourselves into theirs. Once our vehicle was ‘hidden’ we went on to Luderitz.

Adolf Luderitz

Adolf Luderitz

Luderitz is named for Adolf Luderitz, a German explorer, who encouraged the Germans to colonise Namibia, at that time called German South West Africa, in the early 1880s. He found the beautiful bay of Luderitz and decided to create a settlement there. As a result, the first German settlement on the continent of Africa was established.

Our accommodation Kairos Cottages

Our B&B was the white building 

We were driven right to the front door of our B&B where we were greeted by what was to prove to be one of the most wonderful hosts we have ever met. When she heard our saga she immediately made tea/coffee and brought out some cake even though it was not part of our booking. She also offered us the use of her son’s car as he was away for a few days. Luderitz hospitality proved to be fantastic.

View of Luderitz from our accommodation

Glorious view from our B&B and so refreshing after the long, hot and dry day

We used this little car to go out for supper but fortunately did not need it the following day as Lyn had arranged for us to go on a safari to visit the ghost mining town of Pamona and the enormous arch at the coast called Bogenfels. These 2 places are within the secure area of the Namibia Diamond Company and one can only visit if with a registered guide. Passports are required and recorded for identification. It was an incredibly interesting day out. Such a change from yesterday.

Luderitz S to N

A view of Luderitz from South to North. Our B&B is the white building right at the back of the picture