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.

IMG_8440

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.

IMG_8442

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.

IMG_8446

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.

IMG_8435

Start of the day riding through Fish River Canyon National Park

IMG_0242

Views from the road

IMG_0243

Views from the road

IMG_0247

Views from the road

IMG_0250

The road today

IMG_8434

IMG_8439

Almost at the end of the dirt

Categories: Tour d'Afrique | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: