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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