You are more likely to travel:
- when you don’t know that most roads are dust roads suitable only for 4×4 cars and you are driving a small passenger car,
- when you are not aware that the distances you will be covering are huge and there will be no one in sight,
- when you don’t know that if something happens to your car, the nearest service station is hundreds of kilometres away,
- when you don’t know that forgetting to buy fuel can be a matter of life and death when you get stranded in the middle of a desert,
- when you don’t know that some of the roads are like driving through a nature reserve full of animals that can cross your path and suddenly end your journey,
- when you have spent so much time in an urban area or developed country that you forget there are some places where your navigation system and cellphone have no signal and your only option is to walk in search of the highest mountain hoping to find a network,
- when you forget that bottled water can be a luxury in some places and you need to keep enough of it in the trunk (boot) in case of unexpected events.
Never trust a navigation device
I won’t even mention the fact that in one of the cities where we had to find the lodge where we had reserved a room for the night, there were two streets with the same name and our clever navigation system decided to take us to the one which was in a very high-density suburb, in the worst part of the city. The street was dark and the houses looked like they had seen better days. It was a scary moment. I grew up in a ghetto myself, but that place sent the shivers down my spine. That’s the last time I trusted a navigation system again.
At one point we found ourselves in a national park with no map. At the beginning, I felt safe, because I had brought my favourite navigation system that had previously taken me everywhere without a hiccup. I even had a backup navigation system, just in case. That didn’t help. We got lost and there was no network. To make it worse, the roads were so bad I felt like I was driving on a sandy beach. The fact that I was driving an off-road vehicle did not make much difference. A few times we almost got stuck in the sand. After a while, we lost all sense of direction. For a moment I thought we were not going to find our way out of the park. Fortunately, we managed to find the exit, but more than two hours later than we had planned.
Just when you think you are experienced, you have seen it all, you suddenly realise that you still have a lot to learn. But it’s all part of the fun of travelling on a budget where the success of everything part of the journey depends on you.