Although we left home a month ago, having already hitchhiked from Durban to Cape Town, stepping into Namibia feels like the start of the trip. Mostly because it’s a new country, and we’re suddenly no longer ‘at home’, but also because our original plan to get to the Americas had failed miserably.

We’d wanted to catch a boat from the Cape across to Brazil, and then go up through South and Central America and on into North America, but for various reasons we had no luck with that.

Instead, like all good journeys, we’re now on a completely unplanned route. Our new route is to travel up the length of Africa and then cross the Mediterranean into Turkey. From there we’ll either go West into Europe or East into Asia in order to get to America.

We’re not walking fit yet, so everything feels heavy and cumbersome. We literally have our lives on our backs. It’s not much, but it’s what we’ll live off for the next few months. It’s crazy to think it all fits in a single backpack!

The desert temperatures are insane, it’s got that typical heat shimmer, and the sporadic black rocks make it feel like Mars. The Namib desert is said to be the oldest desert on the world, and as far as the eye can see is sand. It feels formidable, but we’re pretty confident we’re gonna score a lot of sympathy points and getting lifts will be easy.

So we walk, and walk. Nothing. About 2 hours and 10km’s later we’re in the middle of nowhere, there’s nothing visible ahead, we’re already feeling low on water, and now we’re searching for shade. It’s a good reality check, and although we’re well travelled a good reminder of how things can go in Africa if you’re not careful.

Nonetheless, we remind ourselves that all long trips start with baby steps. Namibia is the second least densely populated country in the world – maybe lifts won’t be as easy as we initially thought. We’ll have to turn back and stock up better for tomorrow.

Solid start. Typically us. Under the stars that night we can hardly sleep with the excitement for the road ahead.

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