As we told you a couple of weeks ago, Live Eco is Can Do! Trekking For Trash’s official online media sponsor and we’ll be updating you with weekly blog posts from Michael and Camilla. Here is their story so far:
The Long Dusty Road
Neither Mike nor I slept a wink on Monday night so when we finally arrived in Alexander Bay on Tuesday evening after 16 grueling hours in the car we simply fell into a coma the moment our cheeks hit the pillow! After the months of hard work, planning, brain-freezing logistics and mental pressure we had endured especially in the 4 weeks preceding our departure we had finally made it! We got up very early on Wednesday (3rd October) and decided to try our luck again begging and pleading with the powers that be at Alexcor but sadly were not granted to access to their diamond mine. This meant we were forced to stick to the gravel track between their fence and the main road which heads south from the SA/Namibia border at Alexander Bay.
We set off with little fanfare and emotion. I think we were just so excited to get going we forgot to stop and take it in for a minute! It wasn’t long until we encountered our first Puffy…Michael’s worst nightmare. Besides snakes and the odd tortoise there was little distraction in the way of wildlife or scenic vista’s. This did allow us to focus on the litter along the sides of the road and of this there was an abundance. We managed to cover 96km in 3 days collecting 50kg’s of litter. We were disappointed not to be on the beach but we were certainly on the right route to highlight poor human behaviour. The road was pretty disgusting and we managed to fill our bin backpack with glass booze bottles within one kilometer. Luckily our support driver was able to find us along the road so we could empty it out a few times during the day. It is really shocking that people have no conscience about throwing their trash out of their windows, much less drinking and driving! It certainly explains the amount of car accident debris we collected in amongst the whiskey and black label empties. I wonder if they realise their beer bottles will lie on the side of the road for a million years after they themselves have left the earth.
The first two days were rather easy going but all too soon the prevailing wind picked up to gale force speeds on day 3. This made hiking considerably more difficult, especially for Michael, who’s huge bin backpack acted like a sail in the wind! About 25km in on day 3 the beach of Port Nolloth came into view which sent our spirits soaring. We forgot the pain of the day and headed straight to the little museum on the beach where we met George Mosys, a diamond diver from McDougalls Bay. Behind every line on his beautifully weathered face is a brilliant story that he is only too happy to share. He gave us a very interesting account of the history of the town from it’s days as the copper belt port to the crayfish industry boom to the diamond discovery a century ago.
The Italian restaurant on the beach serves a very good pizza and you’re welcome to take along your own vino, which we did, of course. I might add that Michael and I ordered a pizza and a pasta EACH on top of the fish and chips we had inhaled on the beach 3 hours before. We managed to rent the only pink igloo at the camp site in McDougall’s bay and Erlo and I even braved the arctic sea temperatures to swim out to a rocky outcrop in search of seals. A great first stretch with no complaints!