Ray Chalpin solo walk from Cape Town to Beit Bridge – day 17

Posted on 24 November 2009

Enjoying the opportunity to sleep in, I did exactly that and hit the snooze button as many times as possible… but baking sun was heating the bedroom a little too much for comfort and I just had to get going. I also needed to finish packing the pack… again and again and again, so it really was time to get up.

The day was really spent playing online (bandwidth & power – two valuable commodities!) and packing the pack several times, each time getting the weight distribution a little better for me and the back system just perfect. The Vaude Accept pack really has a whole load of adjustment options, so you can really play around with it and set it up just for you – really cool, but you can get horribly tangled too, so watch out and seek help if you’re not sure what to do.

New software was loaded onto the SportsTrack unit too! Very exciting! For those who don’t know, this is the unit that makes it possible for you to track me online when I am on the move. Pretty nifty I tell you! What the new software enables is that any new additions / modifications to the system can be downloaded while I’m in the middle of nowhere – referred to as “Over the Air” updates.

While taking a close look at the maps for the coming few weeks, I clarified in my own mind my strategy for approaching towns, etc. Safety is obviously a major concern and the last thing I want to do is be in the wrong place at the wrong time… again. As a result, I’m planning my arrival & departure in towns to be out of the known problem periods thereby reducing risk as much as possible.

I look set to arrive at the Karoo National Park late next week, which will be my last ‘rest’ before Kimberley really. While I will take some days off between Beaufort West and Kimberley, I will be in the middle of nowhere really with not much to do… so I consider the Park as the last big thing.

Water looks set to be my biggest issue in the weeks to come as distances between towns increases and the Karoo summer takes hold of things. Because I am carrying everything on my back [no trailer this time], weight is a major factor. I’ve got capacity to carry 15,5L which can get me through four days, five if needed. Ideally though it’d be for three.

Ok, bed time for me – last time in a proper bed for a while… so I’m gonna make the most of it!

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