We are so dusty. Our fingers are ingrained with it, our hair is dry and matted, our clothes leave small clouds in our wake as we walk. We are Pig Pen in “Peanuts”. Everything in the back of the truck is coated in white, red and grey dust, including our holdalls which thankfully do a pretty good job of keeping the dust out. We are not sure whether the water at the Puros community campsite is drinkable so we are using the ten gallon barrel we filled at Kunene. Everything takes thought. We have a limited supply of firewood and it takes at least half an hour for the fire to be ready to cook on.The sun goes down and it gets dark around 6.15. which then makes cooking more complicated. The fridge (yes, the fridge!) runs off a battery which needs about fifteen minutes of driving time to charge. There aren’t necessarily food shops… Its interesting to have your life governed in this way when we are so used to everything available all the time. Its strangely liberating too because you are forced to only think about the essentials and can ignore all the other clutter of a western life.
It took several hours for the low cloud to burn off but by late morning with the sun warming us, we had itchy feet again and set off for Puros Canyon a few K down the river. We drove through the sand back to the village, passing a grazing giraffe. Puros looks rather like a set for a spaghetti western; scattered mud huts with stockades spread across a very broad sandy plain and rocky mountains all around it. We turned off the “road” and back to the riverbed track. Just outside the village is what they call the “fountain”; a spring which feeds the river. All of a sudden out of the dryness there were clumps of plants and then a trickle of water and cattle grazing on actual green grass. The pink-rocked gorge was fairly wide and the stream slowly built into a shallow but respectable river. The track crossed it several times, the truck wheels throwing up great showers of glistening water.
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