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Crossing the Namib Desert

As we prepare to board our flight home from Windhoek my mind is still just completely blown…Just wow! There are simply no words or photos that can adequately describe crossing the Namib desert on horseback. It’s a major expedition…Jill and I had a midlife crisis (clearly) as we turned 50 this year and asked 11 adventurers to join us on the toughest ride in the world and what a team of incredible women! The spectrum of emotion as you cross the remotest desert for 10 days with temperatures soaring to 40degrees at midday and freezing at night is real. We slept under the stars every night (incredible) sometimes waking up to bedroll zips covered in ice.
Most of all we supported each other through laughs, tears, falls, rubs, enough compeed and drugs to set up a wholesale pharmacy. Covering 320km in the hardest terrain I’ve experienced…navigating ravines on foot with lungs bursting as we emerged at the top, galloping for 5km at time on varying sand, stones and undulating ground, sometimes even with dry ditches to hop over all at speed..the sort of terrain my own horses would break a leg in a nano second never mind gallop. These horses are the hero’s and I am tearful even now thinking about them. We had never encountered such fitness and toughness ever. By the last day we were cantering at a fast pace for 7minutes with such a short recovery rate and then we were off again.
The other hero’s were our team headed up by real life cowboy Andrew Gillies and his most awesome team; Larissa cowgal extraordinaire, Willem and Lya the kitchen team who would put most top chefs to shame (whole different post needed about incredible food cooked on coals), then Colin and Nelson in charge of setting up and taking down camp and the impeccable horse care (the horses were fed hard feed 4 times a day to cope with the endurance) and not least Hannes who drove the monster truck helping with injured or tired horses when we stopped over and enough Lucerne to keep the herd well fed and of course transporting lots of litres water for us and the horses.
BUT the biggest hero’s in my eyes are the team of women we travelled with. We trained and prepared but really you can’t fully for a trip like this. A trip and challenge none of us will ever ever forget….as they say “making memories is what life is all about”. What an absolute privilege…thank you Namibia Horse Safari Company.

Zara's Planet

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