Africa

From Sesriem to the Ai-Ais Resort in the Fish River Canyon, Namibia

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Eighth part of the trip to 15-day Namibia we did in August 2016. On this occasion we start from Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei to continue our road route to the Fish River Canyon, stopping to sleep in the Ai-Ais Resort.

We woke up five minutes before the alarm rang, at 5 in the morning. In half an hour we had already dressed, washed our faces and picked up the sleeping bags, mattress and tent. We drank coffee in one gulp and set off. At the gas station they confirmed that the road we had followed to reach Sesriem was the most complicated possible. That is, the map we had bought online was a total crap. Then we ask for directions to Ai-Ais, we sent a postcard and headed to the next stop of the trip.

At half past five it was still night and you could hardly see anything on the track road. At the entrance of the national park there were already about six cars queuing and on the track did not stop to reach vehicles at full speed. As if that were not enough, the trail of dust that they left in their path made vision even more difficult, so during the first half hour we went very slowly.

Along the way we saw how the moon became yellowish and bright, while at the other end of the sky, the rising sun began to dye the clouds red and pink. We saw a car stopped with a couple of French people who did not speak English. They were consulting the map and wanted to know if there was much left for the diversion to Sesriem and Xavier gave them the pertinent explanations in a half-invented French.

The road was in very good condition and the car almost had to be stopped so that it did not exceed 70km. The only complex area was when we passed by Zarishoogte Pass. There you had to go with caution because of the elevation of the terrain and the curves, but there were few kilometers. That area is curious because the earth is maroon.

2.45h later we arrive at Maltahöhe. There the gravel road ends and the asphalt begins. We stop to eat in a curious restaurant full of antiques everywhere in the Total gas station. We drink coffee ($ 15) and a tomato, cheese and ham sandwich ($ 40) and take the opportunity to go to the bathroom ($ 3). At 8.45 o'clock we got back on track.

In Keetmanshoop We stopped at the Puma gas station in the town center to refuel ($ 300). If we had known that there was an Engen with a Wimpy's hamburger a few kilometers past the town in the same B1, we would not have deviated and would have taken advantage to eat something.

At 13:30 we pass Grünau and from there comes one of the roads that leads to Fish River Canyon (C12 and then take the C37). However, we did not know if we were going to have time that day and we were already tired, so we decided to go directly to the hotel. Then we knew that it would have given us time and that in addition to being a good road, it would have been better to visit the same day.

Ten kilometers from Grünau we find the deviation from the C10 towards Ai-Ais. From that point you have to follow a 73 km track road. The road was in very good condition and although it marked that you could go at 100km / h, it is better not to exceed 70 km that the sandy roads are very treacherous. When about 20 km were missing, the road was complicated and, although the official maximum speed was 60km, we did not exceed 40km / h. The last two kilometers consisted of climbing a mountain and lowering it completely until reaching the Fish riverbed.

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