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15 November 2011 / leggypeggy

On showers—sometimes like hens’ teeth

That's the shower tent hanging off the back of the truck. It takes a bit of adjusting to get the gravity feed just right.

Whether you’re overlanding through Africa, Asia or South America, you’ll find that water can be scarce and showers can be even scarcer.

Twice in Africa, I went 13–15 days without a shower. On this trip, I think nine days is the longest stretch I’ve had.

This hasn’t been because I want to torture my travelling companies; it’s because there simply hasn’t always been a place to have a shower. Oh, heck, I take that back. This truck does have a shower tent, but I’ve never used it—mostly because the water has been ice cold in spite of the fact the water bag has been in the sun for several hours. I don’t have to have hot water, but I don’t do cold, cold showers either.

So staying sort of clean can be sort of a challenge. Bucket showers were common in African villages. They haven’t been so available on thir trip, but you can concoct your own option. I’ve also brought two small bottles of waterless handwash liquid, and by using it a drop at a time, I’m just finishing off the first bottle. Moist towelettes are handy, too, but I reserve them for ‘critical’ body parts. My feet, legs, arms and neck can stay dirty. 🙂

I have to admit that since we reached Vietnam, I’ve been able to have a shower almost every day. Most budget hotels and hostels have cold-water showers only, but when the temperature outside is blisteringly hot, it doesn’t matter. In fact, it’s quite refreshing. Although I recommend having your shower later in the day, after the sun has done a bit of a warm-up job.

The main issue in these bathrooms, which I’ve mentioned before, is that the shower head usually hovers over the toilet seat.

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