Monthly Archives: May 2019

5 May: Fish Canyon to Felix Unite Camp

As agreed yesterday, I rode in the lunch truck to lunch, so that I could get to the supermarket before it closed, to get supplies for dinner.

The ride from lunch to 129 km was spectacular but taking photos on the iPhone doesn’t do it justice. At 122 km we came to a T intersection and got the first view of the Orange River. Along both sides of the river are vineyards surrounded by desert. The first lot of greenery I have seen for quite awhile.

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Have reached the Orange River and the border between Namibia and South Africa. Tar and vineyards and only another 50k to camp!

At Assenkehr, the turn for the supermarket, there was a huge shanty town built mainly from cardboard, hardboard, or thatching on the sides and corrugated iron on the roof. There were hundreds of houses and I couldn’t see any services, sidewalks or roads. I couldn’t imagine living in a place like this. At least it doesn’t rain hardly ever here, so not much issue with house leaking or mud. I spoke to one of the TDA staff afterwards who advised that the people here would work in the surrounding farms and vineyards.

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Shanty town at Aussenkehr

At the supermarket I bought bread, 3 packets of bread rolls, tomato sauce, cheese and 4 packets of sausages and butter, and then managed to get it all into my apidura (bike bag) and a back pack and set off. I couldn’t certainly feel the difference in weight going up the hill back to the main road.

The ride for the afternoon did not have much climbing but it was a slight up gradient all the way into a head wind and very hot. There was not a single spot of shade the entire ride. I was worried that I was going to run out of water but about 20 km before camp Jen and Stephanie came past in the cruiser and did a refill of water.

The Felix Unite Camp is very pretty and we have a lovely cabin (called Cabana) with a view of the river. We are at the end of the row so on the right hand side we have lovely river views as well as out the front. However this means 4 walks to and from the truck carrying bags but worth it for the view.

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After a big 5 days mostly on dirt arrive for the rest day at the Felix Unite Camp on the banks of the Orange River.

When I got into camp I was told by Errol, one of the TDA staff, that I hadn’t paid my bill at Fish Canyon. When I looked at it none of the stuff on the tab was mine, numerous coffees, coke zeros, and chicken wings. The system is bad – they don’t ask to see the key or any identification when putting stuff on a tab, which is pretty frustrating. I was especially frustrated as these items had clearly been added after I checked my tab was clear and went to bed.

We had a barbecue for dinner with Gerry, Lenore, Fritz, Karl and Terry. Terry is from Australia and joined the ride in Livingston. This is Terry’s fourth go at doing this ride. In 2012 Terry was knocked off his bike in Sudan and came too a few days later in hospital. He has since gone back and done Sudan to Nairobi, and then another year Nairobi to Livingston, and now has come back this year to do the final section.  For dinner we barbecued sausages with fresh bread, baked potatoes, plus a vegetable parcel with whole pea pods, mushroom and baby corn, it was very nice – and a nice bottle of chenin blanc.

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Start of the day riding through Fish River Canyon National Park

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Views from the road

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Views from the road

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Views from the road

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The road today

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Almost at the end of the dirt

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4 May: Seehiem to Fish Canyon Road House

Today there is 93 km to ride with 480 of climbing and 360 down, however the gravel for the first 29 km is going to be very bad, and given that I am dreadful with gravel I have decided to go with the lunch truck to lunch and then ride from there. I wasn’t aware that a number of riders had organised to get a ride with Tallis until the end of the gravel and then ride from there, otherwise I would have taken that option.

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 Tough first 30k today

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Leaving Seeheim Hotel. Hotel being restored after fire.

From lunch the ride was easy to the finish which only took 1 hr 15 and I  didn’t feel like I had gone for a ride at all. Once again amazing scenery.

The place where we are staying – Canyon Road house – is an amazing place, lots of old cars from the 1940s – 1950s, inside and out. At night the headlights of the old cars are the lamps around the outside. The inside is decked out like a 1950s diner. In the bathrooms are a box saying “Pandora’s box” with a sign “do not open” – of course most people do and every time a loud hooter goes off in the bar and the sign from the box pops up “Your shout”.

As it is only just 11 am it’s like having a day off. I got a room which is lovely, with a great shower. I wanted to go to Fish River Canyon which is the second biggest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. However whilst the lodge has a tour it doesn’t go to the Canyon which is a bit weird but I guess most people who come here come via their own transport, and no many people would turn up via bike. To get there my options are to ride 22 km each way on gravel that TDA advised is pretty horrid, or hitchhike, neither option takes my fancy.

I spent a lovely afternoon reading, having a leisurely restaurant meal, and a nap.

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Canyon Roadhouse

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Canyon Roadhouse

For dinner was a vegetarian cottage pie. I did not eat much due to not riding and I had the roadhouse burger for lunch.

At the riders meeting we were advised that the place we are staying tomorrow for the rest day, the restaurant service there is torturously slow for meals.

The service in Africa can be very frustrating, there doesn’t seem to be any concept that if you know you are going to have 63 riders and staff arriving, plus bus tours, maybe get some extra staff and supplies. Especially as this is an annual occurrence.

We were advised to stop at 129 km on the ride tomorrow and buy food that we can carry on our bikes to barbecue. However a bit of a hiccup – the supermarket at 129 km shuts at 1pm. This is the only place to buy food, and given there is gravel in the morning no certainty of getting there before 1 pm. So we decided I will go in the lunch truck to 80 km and then stop at 129 km to get food for two nights for Brett, Shirley, Dan and me.

We went to the bar to have a drink after dinner and before I went to bed I checked there was no outstanding balance on my tab.

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Coffee and strudel stop. Place set up and run by a couple who previously ran a cattle property. They set this place up alongside the road and, as the guy said, they now farm the tourists.

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3 May: Konkiep Lap to Seehiem Hotel

Today we have 127 km to ride, with only 520 metres up and 920 k down.

It is getting noticeably colder in the morning and darker, so it is getting later as we set off. To start off we have a lovely smooth gravel road for the first 31 km then paved all the way until 2 km before camp.

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Cold morning: fire and toast for breakfast

I rode with Brett and we stopped at the town at 31 km. We went into a shop that is like a 4-Square in NZ and managed to get a SIM card finally, and return the message to my daughter Tracey to ring her as soon as possible. I also got some more money out of the ATM.

There was a very nice cafe next to the 4-Square where we and numerous other riders stopped. We had a very nice cup of tea and carrot cake.

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Old church in Bethanie

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Back on the tar at village of Bethanie

It was a very easy ride to lunch and after lunch we had a bit of climbing but stunning scenery to look at. Amazing mountain ranges as far as you could see.

Nasty 2 km of gravel once we turned off the main road just before camp, but we had made really good time and were in camp by 230pm.

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Dropping down to the Fish River

We are camping by a hotel which is old and historic, and by where the train used to run. However, it was mostly burnt down a year ago by a disgruntled employee and a lot of it is just shell. There is still a bar with a veranda and a swimming pool, and a few rooms have been rebuilt. The TDA riders made the most of an early day and a bar with a veranda to relax in the sun with a cold drink.

I had a swim in the pool it was icy cold but very refreshing.

Dinner was Spaghetti bolognaise. At the riders meeting it was announced that at the next and last rest day we are having TDA riders Olympics in teams. Details to follow.

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Publican and bar at Seeheim Hotel

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2 May: Beta to Konkieo Lapa

Today we have 153 km to ride, with 950 metres up up and 1030 metres down.  A lot of very tired riders. Today 3 are not riding at all, and 20 – including me – are riding from lunch.

The first 20 km of the road this morning was horrid, and I was very pleased not to be on it. After this the road improved for the rest of the day.

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More gravel, sand and corrugations

At 65 km we stopped to take photos of the biggest Socialable Weaver nest in the world. There are about 150 birds in each nest and over 100 nests. The Socialable Weavers are small birds but they have a loud squeak, much larger than expected for the size of their body (same size as a sparrow) and they sound like a squeaky bath toy.

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Social Weaver nests

After helping set up lunch I set off for what was the easiest ride so far this trip. 79 km from lunch to 153 km to camp, with good surface all the way, I didn’t have to get off my bike once. Very desolate and dry but beautiful scenery. Lots of mountains and sand and small groups of cattle who can clearly find food to eat even if I can’t see it. I suspect the farmers top up their diet with hay.

I still have no WIFI so hopefully nothing is happening at home that I need to know about. Luckily I got cash out in Windhoek as the camp sites don’t take cards, only cash.

This area is in drought but as with just about every campsite so far, they are losing hundreds of litres of water with showers that don’t turn off completely and toilet systems that don’t stop filling after flushing.

We have a very cute black stray dog in camp who is extremely friendly and delighted to see everyone. He is very thin, so very happy to eat leftovers and by the end of the evening was clearly full as he got very selective about what he would eat.

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In need of a bath and a flea treatment but nice and full after sharing the riders food 

Dinner was corn kernels, squash, potatoes and beans mixed with beetroot. I ate the corn. Have to say not an appealing meal.

It was nice to get to camp mid afternoon, and I finally got to take my bike to bike clinic and have the gear cabling checked. It’s all very well having a daily bike clinic between 4 and 5pm, but it’s not much use if you aren’t getting into camp until after that time.

I had a swim in the camp ground pool, nice and cool just needed to stay away from the bee swarm that seemed to live down one end of the pool.

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Oasis at the Helmeringhausen Hotel

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Hard to leave for another 50k on the gravel to camp!

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01 May: Sesriem to Betta

Today is 137 k to ride, with 880 up and 460 down all gravel.

Unbelievable but this morning the relief valve went off at 4:30am! No worry about sleeping in.

We had organised breakfast bags as we were leaving before breakfast. We only had one bag but not, so the staff said “Just take on of the other rooms breakfast bag” – I hope that they then went and arranged another breakfast bag! The transport arrived on time to take us back to camp and we were back in time for the riders meeting.

Leaving camp, the first couple of kilometres were ok but then nasty gravel! I just could not get traction and was either slipping and sliding and nearly coming off, or I couldn’t ride through it at all.

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Start of another 5 days on dirt

By 20 km I had drunk all 3 bottles of water so I went into a very posh looking spa and resort called Le Mirage to see if I could buy some water. This is a beautiful place inside and out and the staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming. I wish we had known about this place as we could have stayed here instead.

I got to the turn at 31 km which had taken 4 hours and realised that I didn’t have a hope of getting to lunch at 75 km so walked 2 km to a shady tree (this took nearly an hour in the slippery sand) and waited in the shade for the truck to come back to refill water (on the days that there are no or few drink stops they come past a couple of times).

By this stage I had Stephanie, who was the sweep, with me and we discussed the previous camp and why it wasn’t where TDA had camped previously. TDA head office that does the bookings had only made the booking in December! Seriously TDA get organized, this is an annual trip and it should be booked automatically each year a year in advance! Stephanie was aware that there was a lot of unhappiness re the previous camp and had feedback to head office. Hopefully this was heard for the good of coming years’ riders.

When the truck came back it had 4 other riders it had picked up on the way back at 40 km who had also thrown in the towel so I didn’t feel quite so bad. There were also people who had decided not to ride at all.

By the time we got to the lunch stop at 1:30pm there were still riders just getting in. The road after lunch did improve slightly for a while but it then got nasty again.

I managed to get a room at our next camp, which I was pretty pleased about as it saved having to put up two tents and it’s nice to have your own shower plus a toilet.

Unfortunately, Fiona fell about 2 hours from camp, and has a cut above her eye that Jen will need to stitch, plus a nasty bruise on her check. I feel very sorry for her and Brendon – first his bike hasn’t arrived so he missed for the first 3 days, now on his first day riding Fiona has fallen.

A number of the riders came in very frazzled. Brett, Shirley and Dan got in just before dark after dinner had already started.

Fritz, Lucy, I’Angela and Vicas all got bought in by the truck. A real shame for Vicas as he had been an EFI rider up until today and was 4 km away from getting here. Vicas has small tyres which are not great for gravel, plus has had a sore hip since he fell the other day. This is his first TDA ride and he comes from Canada.

Vicas is a real character, he has a radio playing on his bike and makes lots of stops along the way. I’Angela is from Switzerland and this is her first TDA tour, she has only done mountain biking before and her bike is well set up for gravel, but she has been riding with Vicas and stayed with him today.

Dinner was vegetarian stew with coleslaw (nice change from cucumber and tomato salad) and rice.

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Brett out on the Namib desert

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Namib Desert – trying to find a “smoother” line between the corrugations and loose gravel.

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30 April: Rest day in Sesriem

So much for sleeping in, we were woken up at 5:15 due to a very loud on-going noise. It turned out it was the water pressure relief valve and the taps had to be turned on to relieve the pressure (so much for the water shortage, and so much for the sleep in!).

I sat and watched it getting light over the desert. Not the right side for the sunrise but still nice to watch the changing colours.

Breakfast I had tea, toast and marmalade and poached eggs, yum my favourite breakfast all I needed was the Dominion Post newspaper. After breakfast it was time to wash the smelly cycling clothes and hang them on the balcony.  Hopefully the baboons, that we are warned about being numerous here, will not jump up on the balcony and take off with the washing. Would not be a great sight to see baboons leaping around with a nice bright cycling shirt. (Maybe this was how the naked ride eventuated).

Then a nice swim in the pool which is actually big enough to swim 2 or 3 strokes in, not spa pool size like pools we have seen so far.

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Onyx at Sossus Dune Lodge

Lunch choice was steak with mixed vegetables and chips, or a toasted vegetable sandwich (not a good place for vegetarian or vegans to stay).

After lunch I did a solid blog catch up, with having to buy another WIFI voucher because the first has run out.

At 5 pm we were picked up to go into the desert to dune 45 (called this because it is 45km from the gate) for a walk up Dune 45 to watch the sunset.

The first 100 metres was the steepest, then it was not hard just a bit unsettling looking down the steep sides. I kept reminding myself that even if I fell I wouldn’t go far down the sand. Very beautiful watching the sunset from the top of the dunes.

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Sunset at the dunes

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Sunset at Dune 45

The name of the desert is the Namib Sand Sea desert https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namib 

The guide pointed out these circles he called “Fairy circles”, where the ground has round bare patches but no one knows why they grow like this.

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Fairy circles are circular patches of perennial grasses with a barren center that emerge in the deserts along the southwest coast of Africa. Info and Photo credit.

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A typical fairy circle in Namibia. Info and Photo credit.

After sunset it was back to the lodge for dinner. Once again enforced seating with the group on the balcony, however thankfully they hadn’t made them wait until we got back before starting dinner.

Dinner was
Minestrone soup
Pasta
Hake or springbok – both options had roasted vegetables which were very nice. I chose the hake.
Dessert was Berries and pancake (no cream or ice cream)

I am pleased we are staying tonight but a bit worried that the transport won’t turn up in time in the morning as we need to leave at 6am to be back at camp.

The next five days sound very hard. On the board the distances are big with climbing and gravel and the comment by tomorrow’s ride is “your worst nightmare” which is not a reassuring thought!

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Sunset over the dunes

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29 April: Solitaire to Sesriem

Today seems like a suspiciously short distance with only 83 km to ride with only 300 climbing and 580 metres down. As expected there is a catch – really nasty gravel and soft sand, just about impossible to ride.

We had heard that the bakery at Solitaire made really nice apple pie but by the time Fritz and I got in last night the bakery was closed. This morning before we left we went to the bakery and got some and stopped at 10 km to eat it. It was still warm and very nice.

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Apple strudel on the road

The plan was Brett, Fritz and I would ride together today, however at 25km I was already in tears with the frustration of just not being able to do more than a metre or two without getting off and walking. So I told them after the drink stop at 38 km to ride without me, as if the gravel got no better I was going to stop at lunch. It was a lovely spot, a restaurant and accommodation with lovely sweeping views, I really did not want to leave.

At about 12 km Ashleigh arrived coming back along the road by car to find the sweep, as one of the riders Tom had fallen off and there is no cell phone cover here. Ashleigh wanted to get to the sweep to use the satellite phone to let Jen (medic) in the lunch truck know that they had stopped another car and put Tom in it and were sending him forward to the lunch truck. Luckily apart from needing stitches and bruised ribs Tom was ok.

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The desert

Today is the day of the annual naked mile. I have no idea where this tradition started but the plan is all the riders remove all clothing apart from helmet and shoes and ride for a mile naked. This can be done as part of a group or individually. Goodness knows what drivers think seeing naked cyclists riding down the road. Some riders ignored this completely, and some rode totally naked. I entered into the spirit of things by riding with no socks in my sandals and no gloves. Shirley got into the spirit and arrived at lunch naked, after which Lu Lu declared the lunch stop a naked free zone.

In the morning a few riders got on the truck but I wanted to keep on going in the hope that the toad was going to improve.

It took me 5 hours to get to lunch, so I called it a day as I’m not interested in another 10 plus hour day struggling in gravel in this heat.

I am pleased I made this call as the road did not improve in the afternoon, a number of riders commented that the 12 km before camp was the worst gravel they had ever ridden in their life, plus a temperature of 39.9 degrees.

The Camp site was dreadful – one power point for all the riders! No shade, all dirt, 2 showers and toilets for 53 riders plus 10 staff, no WIFI, and to top it off to get breakfast, lunch or dinner you had to walk nearly a kilometre. And if for any reason you didn’t get into camp by 5 pm to book for dinner you would miss out.

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Arrival at Rest Day Seisreim

Lots of very disgruntled riders as tomorrow is a rest day and this is not a rest day suitable space. The camp site we were shown by the GPS was right by the restaurant and on grass! A number of us were looking into other options.  What a saga!

I rang the number of a lodge, spoke to a woman and she confirmed me and another rider had a booking, but I wasn’t given a booking number. I was concerned as multiple riders were trying to book so I rang back and spoke to same woman, and it was like she hadn’t just spoken to me and I had to book again. Then there weren’t enough rooms and a number of people missed out and it all got a bit tense.

A shuttle from the lodge came and I was worried Brett wouldn’t get to camp on time, but I didn’t want to not go on the shuttle as I was worried that despite having a booking the rooms would go to the first people who arrived. Luckily Brett arrived just in time to lock up his bike and jump in the shuttle.

We got a room at the Sossus Dune Lodges, 6 km away with stunning views and lovely room. However, it was incredibly expensive, we were told 2,300 a room for two which is $230 NZ which is a lot, but when we got there we were told that was per person!  A serious amount of money for one night, but when looking at the beautiful view and faced with going back to the miserable camp site with no facilities and shade we weakened and stay. The price Included breakfast, but can you believe it we had to pay for WIFI!

There were 11 of us from TDA staying, and even though we didn’t book together we all had to sit together and eat at the same time. We were sitting out on the balcony which was beautiful especially watching the sunset.

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Desert lodge

The meal was a set menu with no vegetarian options:
Pea soup
Egg mayo (which was an egg cut in half with a dab of mayo)
A choice of Onyx or pork with vegetables
Apple crumble type pudding with no cream, Ice cream or custard.

Nice to have a bed and a shower, plus not have to get up at 5:45 am tomorrow.

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28 April: Weissenfels Camp to Solitaire

Today we have 123 km to ride, with 610 metres up and 1280 down.

To start the gravel wasn’t too bad but still lots of places it was so thick and deep I can’t ride through it and have to get off and push my bike. This morning Elaine and Vicas both fell off, Vicas was about 5 minutes out of camp.

We stopped at 29 km at the Tropic of Capricorn and took a photo, plus a photo of Elaine and Peter. Peter is a pediatric ICU Doctor. It’s his first TDA tour and Elaine is a pediatric oncology nurse. They currently live in Canada although Peter is from South Africa. They have two adult daughters and two black cats, one called Nelson and one called Whilem.

Peter is fundraising for a campaign called “Transforming Faces” which works with Children in Africa who are born with a Cleft lip and or Palate. These babies are often otherwise abandoned by their families as they don’t have the means to care for them.

By the time I got to lunch it had started to get windy. I am pretty much over eating sandwiches so today I am eating rivita crackers with marmite and cheese.

The 3 km after lunch took 35 minutes as it was on loose thick sand and with a head wind, and I was feeling a bit despondent about the afternoon. Thankfully the road then turned away from the full on head wind, and despite the gravel and sand and up gradient I soon found my way to the top of Spreetshoogte Pass. This was a jaw dropping view – incredibly beautiful, scenic and desolate, and it took my breath away.

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View at the top of the Pass

After enjoying the view, I then had a steep 4 km 400 metre descent into the valley below, stopping 3 times to let the rims cool down from the braking.

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Top of the Pass before the 400m descent

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Looking down the Pass

Unfortunately, back to nasty sand and a head wind. I was riding from the top of the pass with Fritz and we stopped at a drink stop at 92 km. The lunch truck arrived at the drink stop at the same time and I was very tempted to get in. I decided not to, for some reason I thought 32 km more of horrid gravel, taking 3 hours in a head win was a good plan, so off we went.

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Riding the sandy gravel

Finally got to camp to a desolate spot called Solitaire just on dusk. Dinner had already started so Fritz and I stopped for a cold beer at the shop just before camp. Another 10.5 hour day on the bike to celebrate.

Dinner was vegetarian tofu with pasta, and my favourite tomato and cucumber salad.

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Weavers nest

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Mothership overtaking us on the dirt

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On the road traveller

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27 April : Windhoek to Weissenfels Camp

Today we have 123 km to ride, with 1200 of climbing and 1100 down. However today we start the gravel.

We got back from the hotel to the campsite ok, we were a bit worried the gate at the Urban Retreat would be locked still when we arrived so early, but it was open as the security guard was there already when we arrived.

Fiona’s son Desmond has joined us here for the rest of ride but unfortunately his bike has not yet arrived so he is now going to meet us at the next rest day in 3 days’ time. Frustrating for them as he is only here for a couple of weeks.

This morning my phone has decided to lock me out, first off I thought it was asking for my normal ID so put that in and that didn’t work, so without paying too much attention I put in the other code I thought it could be – then saw the message “1 more attempt left to enter the SIM number”. I am not even sure what this is as have not been asked before but hopefully it is with the packet which is of course now in my bag in the truck, so no phone for the day.

There was a bit of a steep climb to get out of the city and going up one hill I had trouble getting my bike into gear and had to get off which was a bit annoying as a number of riders went past and it looked like I wasn’t able to ride up the hill (in my mind anyway, it may not have occurred to them at all). The next few gear changes it went ok so I thought I must have tried to put it in the wrong gear.

Talking to a few of the riders going along there was a bit of ill will being felt towards Wolfgang who went to stay on a friends farm in the weekend and was very proud of the fact that he shot and killed a cheetah! I am stunned and saddened to think he had done this and that he was proud of it. In Namibia they have limited game hunting still and have farms where you can go and shoot wild (but captive) animals. In Botswana and Kenya there is no game hunting and you are facing the death penalty if caught.

At 21 km we said goodbye to the tarmac for most of the next 8 riding days. Riding on gravel is not my favourite thing, especially really sandy surfaces as my tyres are 35 which are not great on sand, but the biggest I can fit on my bike. Also I am not confident in sand which makes me slower which makes it harder to get through the sand. Other riders hate the corrugated surfaces which I can’t say I enjoy but at least I can ride over them.

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The sandy gravel

3 km into the gravel I went to change gears while going up a hill and the shifter went straight across with nothing happened as the cable had snapped making the bike unrideable.  Unbelievably Fritz had a spare cable in his bike bag! Which he gave to me.

Given I had no phone I couldn’t ring for help so decided to turn back to the start of the gravel and wait for the sweep (the TDA staff member who rides behind the last rider). Jordan the TDA comms guy was at the start of the gravel taking photos as riders came through and advised Tallis had also not yet been through and he had Ryan the bike mechanic in the truck with him.

Ryan managed to replace the cable at the side of the road so no excuse not to head back to the gravel. I nearly fell off a couple of times and two of the riders did and got injured but were able to keep riding.  One of the riders who has been pushing himself the whole trip collapsed at lunch and had to take the truck to camp. Tim has been telling everyone that his average speed for the trip is about 27 km and he pushes as hard as he can go every day and I think it has caught up with him. Hopefully he is just tired.

I rode by myself most of the day, it was very long day. I got to camp at 5:30 pm which made it a 10 and half hour day. I was surprised that there were still 5 riders behind me.

We have had a self-supported rider Hans from Switzerland turn up at a couple of campsites with us, which means he is riding as long as us each day. This is unusual for a self supported rider as they have lots of gear plus they finish earlier to find somewhere to camp etc but not Hans! He sails past me with his 10 litre water container tied on and all his bags attached, so much gear you can hardly see him.ans alw

Hays asks if I am ok and if I need water. I have chatted to him and he has been riding for 27 years! He is a trained chef and whenever he runs out of money he works for a couple of weeks.

For dinner we had vegetarian noodles plus tomato and cucumber salad (am sick of the sight of this salad). Meat and vege noodles for the meat eaters. We also had a chocolate cake for Fritz’s birthday.

Where we are camping there has been no rain for 5 years, and 3 out of 5 bore holes are dry.

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Birthday cake for Fritz

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26 April: Rest day two in Windhoek

Another great breakfast so nice to sit at a table and have nice crockery and be able to have as many cups of tea as you want. Before breakfast I was lucky enough to catch up with 4 of my children and 3 of my grandchildren. Two of my grandchildren Lucy and Jig were staying the night at my house and were going to sleep in my bed. I got a great photo later from my daughter Shellbe of Lucy and Jig tucked up in my bed.

I spent the time after breakfast catching up with banking, emails and the blog. We had organized a 1 pm check out which made the day much more leisurely. We had lunch in the room – cheese, fresh bread and shared a bottle of Chennin Blanc.

After lunch sadly it was time to leave this lovely hotel and go back to the urban retreat to sort out the daily and permanent bags.

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Our lovely hotel

It is still really hot at the camp and really crowded. After coming here yesterday I went online and have found accommodation over the road tonight at a hotel called the Roof of Africa. It’s pretty basic and probably seems even more so after the lovely place we stayed the last couple of nights, but it is way better than camping on the gravel surrounded by other tents.

It’s Fritz’s birthday today. As well as buying him some chocolates we had arranged to meet up the road for dinner at a place called “Joe’s Bar”. There were 6 of us: Shirley, Dan, Fritz, Carl, Brett, Tom and me (Editor’s note: Pretty sure that is 7?!).

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The bar sells a lot of game meat including zebra, crocodile and deer (Kudu and Springbok) but no one in our group had any. I had spiced roasted chicken and salad, and a glass of chenin blanc, plus an IPA Beer.

Joe’s bar is only 700 metres from the hotel but we had been advised under no circumstances to walk after dark so we got a taxi back.

Two of the riders have had problems – Steve had a guy at mall try to get 10 dollars off him and when Steve didn’t pass it over he tried to take his phone. One of the new riders Rochelle, who joined in Livingston, had her phone stolen out of her backpack at the mall.

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Wildcats at Joe’s Beerhouse

Categories: Tour d'Afrique | 1 Comment