24 April : Witvlei to Urban Camp Windhoek

157 km to ride today, with 900 metres of climbing and about 650 down.

This morning it is really cold, I will need to dig out warm weather clothes on the rest day. Unfortunately I only have one of my really warm full finger gloves as my grandson Jasper helped me pack, and one was found at home later.

Thankfully for when I’m in camp I have the alpaca hat, but I totally forgot my warm riding beanie (seriously need to make a list of what to take trips). (Editor’s comment: Seriously, if you just made the list once, you could use it each time? Maybe I should make a list for you . . . )

The first 15 km my fingers are freezing but once the sun comes out I quickly warm up.

The roads are narrower and there is no shoulder, and cars and trucks are not used to cyclists. Carl and I had to ride off the road when one truck was passing us as he came way too close but thankfully neither of us were hurt. I have really bad nausea and burping today which is making the ride unpleasant.

On the way I was seeing some huge nests in the trees and Colleen (TDA) told me they are all for social weaver birds. The nest can get so big that the branch of the tree breaks and each nest can have up to 150 birds.

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Highway into Windhoek

I decided to call it a day at lunch time and caught the truck into town as the traffic into town is going to get busier and the road is scary. Plus, there is a strong head wind and 77 mk to go. I am not the only one who decides to do this, 10 other riders also called it a day at lunch .Tallis had to come back as too many bikes for the lunch truck (plus 6 other riders didn’t ride today at all). Seeing the road from the lunch truck made me glad I had decided not to ride, and the traffic got very busy and the lack of shoulder continued all the way into town.

The camp site is called the Urban Retreat and is on hard gravel, there is hardly enough space for all the tents in the space allocated to TDA. I am really pleased that we are going to a hotel for 2 nights. I put up the tents though so we have space on Friday night when we come back, plus we can leave a bag in each tent so we don’t have to take everything to the hotel. TDA rule have a rule that you can’t leave bags in the truck.

There were some tense interactions with riders coming in trying to get space, as the people who haven’t ridden at all today have spread themselves out like there are only 6 people camping rather than 60!

I had perfect timing – I had the tents up and was just walking back from the bar with two ice cold beers when Brett arrived.

We went to our hotel, a very nice place called Am Wineheart Boutique Hotel. It had a big room with nice shower and separate bath, plus a nice courtyard to sit in with a view of the water garden in the hotel.

There are three Restaurants on site. We went to the one called the Cape Town Fish Market, it was very nice. I had Fish taco, spicy prawns, and sushi. With a very nice Chenin Blanc.

Yay don’t have to get up at 5am tomorrow.

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Roof top restaurant

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