A long walk to Epupa

A South African couple shares here today the marvellous adventure they had when they walked 3 600 kilometres from Cape Agulhas to Epupa Falls in Northern Namibia. Cape Agulhas is South Africa’s southernmost tip and Epupa Falls Namibia’s northernmost point.

Due to a foot injury Lauren had to endure, the Brown’s had to stop their walk for a period of five months. They returned home for Lauren to recover and then proceeded with their long walk to Epupa. The couple walked a total of 157 days to complete the 3 600 distance.
Erlo Brown and Lauren Brown, both 30 years old, lives in Hermanus in South Africa is a couple with a passion for life. Erlo is a photographer, filmmaker, teacher and explorer. Lauren holds a BSc in Animal Science but pursues her dream of being an artist and a jeweller.
The couple literally walks their life together, and has been on foot through many spots in Africa. Erlo boasts the achievement of having walked the entire South African coastline.
Talking of dreams, it was in fact Erlo who had a dream that he and Lauren walks the Namibian coastline and for them to share their journey with others through this landscape, a documentary and a book.
“It might sound over simplified, but it was really as simple as that. Once we knew that we wanted to walk we had to start saving. We taught English in South Korea for 2 and years, saving for our walk”, explains the couple in an information piece they shared with Namib Times.
Here are more of their journey: “We chose a coastal route because we can use seawater to make drinking water. The coast is also a great place to be for environmental research and see the human impact on our oceans. The coastline also offers a natural line, easy to navigate, and is cooler with a dynamic beauty. We followed the coastline all the way in South Africa. Unfortunately, we were only able to walk along the Namibian coastline from Walvis Bay to the Ugab River.
The rest of the way through the Skeleton Coast was off bounds and instead we had to walk inland.
We carried all our food, water and supplies with us. While we were in the desert, we pulled a custom-built cart that carried everything.
We used a manual desalination pump to make water from seawater. We slept in our tent each night, making sure we pitch our tent out of sight. We only ate food that need no heat preparation. Biltong, chocolate, cheese, nuts etc.
The Namibian landscape is unique, probably one of the most unique in the world. The sheer vastness of it was staggering. We learnt although much of it is desert, it can still rain very hard. We had a few encounters with the desert rain that left us in awe.
We met dozens of people along the way. All of them have been intrigued and friendly. From the farmers in the South giving us accommodation and biltong to the Ovahimbas in the North tending their goats. We only had good encounters with the Namibian people”, the Browns explained.
There were scary moments too.
“Our scariest moments all include wild animals. One evening in Damaraland, we were woken by a Spotted Hyena that was standing just outside our tent calling his buddies to come and see what he had found”. Erlo managed to scare the hyena off. Adding they heard lion and hyena for a good week or more every night. They also encountered elephants along the way, but they were always friendly.
Other very unique moments were skinny dipping on a deserted beach, watching sunsets laying in their tent and eating chocolate. There were the magnificent stars to look up to every night and of course looking and listening to the mighty Epupa Falls.
Walking such distances requires a good pair of shoes, the couple explains. “We’ve used so many shoes on past walks, none of those shoes did very well. We now walk with an American sandal that we customised with special soles”.
Even for the toughest pair of shoes there is an end. Theses sandals held a full 2 000 kilometres but the sandals gave up near Walvis Bay and from here to Epupa it was “tekkies” and “vellies”.

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