Kakoaland: technical driving

We are glad we stopped early the day before when we see the road ahead of us…we are shaking all over the place while I attempt to climb up a rockslide in first gear. We can see there have been cars before us, by the rubber prints on the rocks in front of us. I sit very straight while I manage the pedals. The car is able to do this, we know this, it is the driver who chooses the location for the tyres. I can feel one of our front wheels driving over a large rock, our rear wheel follows, the weight of the car dislodges the rock and our rear wheel slips off while the rock ends up underneath the car. I can feel the car come up slightly at the back. I wait for the moment that we land again, but that doesn’t come. I push the gas pedal, but other than the engine making loud noises, nothing happens. Even though the car is on a steep hill, I don’t need the handbrake. I get out of the car to have a look at the situation. The front wheels are stuck in a ditch, but not too bad. Momentum will get them out. The rock that changed position is now underneath the leaf springs and one of my rear wheels is off the ground. A very good position to change tyres, I observe, but that won’t do me any good now.A jack will do, but as soon as you lift the car at the back to remove the rock, there is a lot energy that wants to go down…Eventually we decide to build a ramp underneath the suspended back wheel. This way we use gravity to get the car lifted and we will be able to remove the rock. I put the gearbox in the lowest gear backwards and with a lot of effort the car drives upwards on the ramp we build. Now we can move the rock and the road to the top is free!┬áThe road takes us through a small Himba village. We stop to see if it is possible to get some water. It doesn’t take long before we are surrounded by curious people. We are welcomed, as curious and hesitant , as we are approaching them. Stefan and I hand out noodles and soap. Surrounded by Himba women we try to explain how to use these items. Insecure about whether we succeeded we leave the small settlement.

It takes us another hour to drive to the Omuhonga primary school where we are invited to visit.

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