Africa

From Cape Town to Noordoewer (Namibia border)

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Although officially it was, that was not the first day of the trip. We should have arrived 24 hours earlier, but because of the plane crash that occurred at the Dubai airport a couple of days earlier, our flight from Barcelona departed 7 hours late. Obviously, we lost our connection to Cape Town. Despite this, we were lucky as they were able to replace us on the next day's flight.

When we finally arrived at the Cape Town airport, our bags were already waiting for us. Due to the chaos that reigned in Dubai, the luggage had arrived before us. A good luck, since our route could not suffer more delays.

About seven in the afternoon we arrived at our accommodation in Cape Town, the Harper's house, a 100-year-old house completely restored in the Green Point area. The room was very cool, but in the hurry to reserve an accommodation the day before we did not realize that the bathroom was shared. Luckily, the bathroom was right next door, it was very clean and had soaps and creams galore. Unfortunately, we didn't see anything else from Cape Town because the next day it was time to get up early to make the first road pull. We had to reach Noordoewer, the first town after crossing the border of Namibia.

At seven in the morning we were already in the car and on the road. 700 kilometers ahead of us, which according to GPS we could cover in seven hours. Of course, when driving through Africa you never know.

To get your bearings around Cape Town you need to have a GPS that tells you how to get to the N7. This is the road of the "Cape Namibia" route linking Cape Town with Namibia. Once you enter this road there is no loss, it is all straight line to the border by a one-lane road in each direction.

It was Sunday morning, so there was not much traffic. We passed one of the large suburbs on the outskirts of Cape Town while countless people were on foot towards their jobs. The first two hours we found a lot of fog, quite thick in some sections and a little cold. The car's thermometer marked 7 degrees outside.

We drove and for hours we didn't find any gas station or restaurant near the road to stop to rest. If you wanted to refuel, you had to deviate and enter some of the villages through which you pass. What there were were many rest areas, which consisted of a couple of tables with picnic chairs and a small roof to shade. In one of them we stop to rest for a few minutes and eat something. We had taken home cookies and had the water bottles that Harper's House gives its customers free.

Later, in Klawer we found the first gas station at the foot of the road, the Trawal Truck Inn, and we stopped to fill the tank. 23 liters cost us 280 rands. The N7 is in most cases a large straight with some undulations, although it also passes through some mountain passes. The maximum speed allowed is normally 120 km / h, although there are some sections where it is reduced to 80 or 100 km / h. It is important to watch with speed, as there are many people walking along the shoulder hitchhiking or you can cross all kinds of animals, such as the baboon pack that we are invading the road.

Springbok is the last great population of South Africa and there we decided to eat. Here are several fast food, including Nando's. We already knew this restaurant from trip to Botswana, and it was one of our favorites. We ate a quarter of grilled chicken with lemon sauce and herbs. There are several sauces to choose from, the most famous is the peri-peri.

After the brief lunch break, we continue with the route. Finally, at half past three in the afternoon we arrived at the border ready to have a good time doing paperwork.

When you arrive at the South African border in Viooldrif you will find a police booth where you have to stop. The policeman will write down the data of the car and the number of passengers on a piece of paper and will give it to you. Then you have to continue to the parking lot in front of the offices. There you first have to go to door 1 «Immigration departures». There you give the passport and the piece of paper. In this window you will be stamped with the passports of departure from South Africa. If you have nothing to declare you skip the door number 2 which is the "Customs" (customs) and go directly to the door number 3 "South Africa Police Service". There it is necessary to write down in a register the data of the car and the driver.

Once this is completed, you get into the car and go to the exit that leads to Namibia. There is another checkpoint in which another policeman asks you again for the passports and the paper they gave you at the beginning of everything. This notes some more data of the car and you can continue until the last box where you have to deliver the piece of paper they gave you when you entered. Once this is done you can drive to Namibia. Here is an hour less, the same time as in the Canary Islands.

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