The Chain of Shame…

Day 07

Xade Camp 02 to Bape Camp, Central Kalahari GR

Distance : 146.8 km

146.8 km. At an average of 13km per hour. Makes for a loooong day!

Today’s drive reminded me of the preamble to an old ‘Biltong and Pot Roast’ joke…

Pointing to an exceptionally tall skinny guy in the corner, “Who is he?”

“The Kalahari Kid”

“Why do they call him that?”

“Because he’s miles and miles of f*** all…”

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We were only supposed to drive 35 km to our next stop but, after a discussion the night before, decided to push further to reduce the amount of driving we would be doing the next day.

Driving these roads is an experience. By now the road had become very soft, the sand much like dunes at the coast but with grass and dry shrubs encroaching on the track. The road is dead straight for tens of kilometres at a time with gentle depressions and rises following one after the other. This gives the impression that one is constantly driving up hill. Each rise promises a valley and delivers another rise…


If it wasn’t for the GPS readings you would swear you had climbed thousands of metres rather than hanging around the 1000m elevation line.

The most exciting thing that happened the entire day was when Sharpie’s vehicle decided to get stuck in the soft sand. Low range, rocking back and forward only succeeded in burying down to his axles, with the trailer adding a little extra weight to ensure he was properly planted. Much excitement as we all jumped out and started taking pictures of this auspicious moment.

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Cue inspection and decision – towing is the only answer. John worked his car around to the front of Sharpie’s, out came the snatch cable, connect one to the other and out he came. Cue additional pressure release on tyres…but not by much.

John the took (remarkably self contained) pleasure at wrapping the “chain of shame” around Sharpie’s bull bar…


Nothing else exciting for the next 5 hours with the only real break being the one for lunch. We followed the “street” signs – provided that they pointed the same way as the GPS..


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… and eventually arrived at the Bape Camp site. We were hoping that no-one had booked it for the night and fortunately no-one had so we settled in. John then introduced us to the barking geckos – not that he ever found one, and nor did we despite his entreaty to us to please find him one. So, despite not seeing them we knew they were there as “chuck chuck chuck” of the geckos filled the small valley next to us.


Almost full moon


Our fearless driver


Bape Camp

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Stats for the day:

Distance 146.8 km
Min Alt 924.340 meters
Max Alt 1076.140 meters
Max Speed 69.9 km/hour
Avg Speed 13.1 km/hour

Day 07


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