You can never have enough spare tyres. This was something we learnt very quickly as we drew closer to the end of our some 5500 km journey across Namibia. As we were making our way out of one of the most spectacular and rugged landscapes, an ancient and now dry riverbed near Skeleton Coast, we blew a tyre. After spending some time searching for a way to access the spare tyre (a tiny keyhole at the back of the bumper), our luggage and bodies became coated in a fine layer of desert sand.

Fortunately for us, we were within 10 minutes of a nearby town where we could get a spare. This town, as it became known to us later, was a pivotal point in the story of the First Nations People. Yet a spine-chilling encounter with one of the inhabitants meant for us to rather revisit the town at a later stage when we might be brave enough, and with more tyres in tow. A few hours later, whoosh, another flat tyre. Luckily, we had just bought the new spare. But, to our disbelief it was in fact two flat tyres. As night was closing in, we changed the one tyre and pumped up the other, taking the chance to refuel and find a place to rest at the next town. A much-needed oasis in the desert.

The next morning, we repaired all the tyres and headed off once again. As we were just about to crest the top of a steep grade, we heard a familiar noise. Another flat. Fortunately, by now we were experts at changing tyres and were on our way within 30 minutes. Well, some of us (me) just watched. Four tyres in less than 24 hours!
It was astonishing at how many people stopped to check if we were alright. The openness and friendliness of the Namibian people and her travellers were a delight in the blistering sun. Perhaps it is something we are no longer accustomed to living in big cities.
My journey with the ocean is quite similar. That even though the ocean is this majestic and vast being, the unexpected can still occur. Sometimes we brave the strange encounters with the tumbling waves, making for fond memories of fishing with our grandparents. Other times, we feel like we need to be more prepared before standing up on the wave-washed rocks. The ocean holds memories and knowledge that seep into our daily lives. And tells us to be bold, strong, open, and as wild as the ocean.
By Jessica Leigh Thornton


Posted on 28 May 2023 09:51:03

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