Thursday, 3 October 2013

NAMIBIA Day 5: Gochas – Stampriet – Ullenhorst – Windhoek




Day 4

Gochas – Stampriet – Ullenhorst – Windhoek


Once again a lovely sunrise. Although a distant rooster was determined to wake up the district before 4am! Or no wait! I was already awake! Absolutely freezing to death through most of the early hours of the morning, I could not help but notice the farm noises from early morning. Our tents were up right next to a camp full of cattle and when we started pitching them the previous night, we had an audience come closer to investigate and then do a thorough inspection once we were done.


Getting away later than planned, we hit the road only around 10.30. We had been told that except for the first 65kms, the rest of the road had been tarred, thus no need to rush or get away early. We met a very interesting man there at our campsite. Koos Van der Berg has taken a year off from work to write a book. After heart problems, he decided to hit the road, with a (very heavy) rucksack, his laptop and his own thoughts. He has walked through large parts of Namibia and lost 20kg since he started. We spent quite a while chatting to him and found him immensely interesting! Be on the look out for his book!

Koos Van der Berg

And so the day begins!
Brutus still looking strong!
Fooling around - still have some energy!




Leaving Gochas we had lovely mountains on the one side - lit up by the morning sun. 4 Kudus jumped across the road right in front of us. Unfortunately, once again I had problems with the cam. As we were ready to leave, the bracket holding my cam had come off and the spare bracket was packed so far away, I was not going to undo the hours’ worth of tying we went through a little earlier!

I loved the formations of this tree trunk

Sand - and more sand!







The road quickly changed to my favourite loose gravel and dust! Toni was riding ahead and we have an F4 Interphone system to communicate through the helmet. This has been extremely helpful, as during the wet and muddy conditions, he was ahead and would warn me about potholes and problems. In this case it was also good to know where the next sand patch or rut would be. Yet for some reason the F4’s range was suddenly down to barely 50metres (can do 500m), necessitating me to ride in his dust most of the way. Add loose gravel, sandy patches and heat in the 50’s (ok, ok, in their 30’s!) into the equation and I was having a hard time.

One of the only two trees we stopped at during the day

I was frustrated that I could not look around and enjoy the awesome beauty I was in. I was constantly worried I would either drop my bike or that I was keeping Toni back. Wearing riding gear in the middle of a desert started getting to me and I convinced myself to never do dirt roads again (yeah right!!).

Almost passing out in the scrap of shade


My way of indicating we were both sitting - and both too tired to get up and take a pic!

The heat was almost crippling and we looked for a shady tree – have you ever tried finding a tree in a desert?! At last we got to rest our weary bones under a tree. I don't remember ever feeling so low and tired during a ride.





OK, so I did get up to capture the moment!




My sister sent me this - how on earth did she know I was soo knackered THIS day?!




















The highlight of my day came when about 7 or 8 Kudus crossed just in front of us. The last one was cut off and stayed on the other side till I was right next to him. Never in my life have I seen a wild deer from so close, let alone a Kudu jumping?! We saw a lot of goats, cattle and other animals roaming on the wrong side of the fence and one constantly had to expect the unexpected.

A new fan at the few solitude petrol pumps at Ullenhorst

After a split in the road we had to consult the roadmap, as the indications were not what we were expecting!
What a beautiful area?!

We hit some tar on our last stretch into Windhoek. Once again we were riding at dusk and stunning views were seen everywhere!

Awesome views!


In Windhoek we could use Accommodation Swap (thanks Dad!) and actually slept in beds!! Yes you heard it, a BED! Situated high up against a hill in Windhoek we had awesome views from the great guesthouse. 

A REAL bathroom

















Toni cooked us some pasta up on a little terrace and after dropping to sleep several times in front of my laptop (I just HAD to try and get some of my blog done!) I gave it up for a bad job and hit the comfy bed! The shortest sleep of my life! Was still getting into bed and the alarm had gone off 5 hours later. I had slept the sleep of the dead! The long, tedious dusty roads were getting to me. Spending between 6 and 10 hours in the saddle – well, most of them standing out of the saddle – I could feel I was getting weary and needed a break soon. It was heaven not having to pack and load up my tent!


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