The African Adventure, Stages 81 to 83

Windhoek to Sesriem, Stages 81 to 83
Three days cycling on dirt roads, 331km, 2100m of climbs !!
What can I say, Namibia has come good, finally after the flat boring scenery of Botswana and early Namibia we’ve finally got the views and scenery that Kat and Ciaran have been talking about, and it’s fantastic !!
Day 1, Windhoek to Weissenfels
114km, 1300m of climbs, 103km on dirt roads !!
I left Windhoek with Gus, we were away early and headed out on the 11km of paved roads heading for the hills and the dirt roads. The route seems to take a long loop around Windhoek before turning left up into the hills, the first part of the hill was paved but soon enough the pavement ends and were now on dirt roads. The dirt was hard packed and quite firm for the majority of the ride and only occasionally did it turn into soft sand. Gus and I made reasonable progress, we stopped quite often to take photos πŸ˜‰
Lunch was at 65km, some great fruit at lunch today, lovely juicy melon and sweet oranges, always a bonus when the fruit is good πŸ˜‰
Another 50km to go to camp and the day was starting to warm up, we needed lots of fluid to keep going so it was great to see Ciaran out in the Hilux with the water tank !!
More great scenery in the latter part of the day but also the wind started to pick up a bit, it’s never from behind these days πŸ˜‰
Camp was at Weissenfels Guest Farm and Horse Stud, Naomi had taken a day off so had managed to get us a room, very nice rooms and quite reasonable prices.
The highlight of the day though was the stage results from the ride into Windhoek, both male and female winners were From New Zealand, Anne for the girls and Vince for the guys, both very popular winners and well deserved !!
Day 2, Weissenfels to Solitaire
124km, 577m of climbs and all on dirt roads !!
Kat had mentioned that there was a fantastic view on this ride, up over the Spreetshoogte pass, first though was the small matter of a 62km ride to lunch, amazing scenery slowed us right down as did the dirt roads !, after lunch we started the pass, a long steady climb, not steep at all and occasionally nice rolling hills ip until the final climb and the view we’d been promised !!!
Wow, wow, wow !!! , it seemed that the view went on forever but if you looked closely it stooped at a mountain range way of in the distance, the enormity of the space was incredible, it made you feel so small !
We stopped and took lots of photos, non of which will be able to convey the awe inspiring sight but we’ll try !! We did the usual, bike above your head photos and the pointing at the view photo before finally setting of on the ultimate downhill ride !!
The ride down was steep, very steep, so steep in fact that lorries, trailers and caravans are not permitted. Since last year a lot of the downhill has been block paved with reinforced concrete sections to stop the blocks sliding. This made for a much safer and ultimately faster descent !! It really was a fantastic experience hurtling down at such a speed although I fear that I used my brakes so much that the rims heated up so much that I ended up with a flat tyre…..a small price to pay for such a great descent !!
Gus, Eerin, Naomi and myself still had 40+km to go and we were hot, tired and thirsty, thanks again to Ciaran who was patrolling the route in the Hilux, handing out water, rehydration salts and energy bars to anyone that needed them. So we plodded on, still inspired by the view but tired now and ready for camp, Solitaire, it finally came into view just as we turned right, there it was a little oasis in the middle of no where. No rooms were available so out with the tents, into the showers then straight to the German bakery and the best chocolate brownie this side of the Atlantic !! Washed down with a cold beer or two and all of a sudden I’d forgotten about the tough day….beer what a great way to relax πŸ˜‰
Day 3, Solitaire to Sesriem
83km, 294m of climbs, all on dirt roads.
Today has significance for two reasons, firstly it’s the last time trial, this time it’s a 30km individual time trial, and secondly this is the section where in the past the riders have taken part in the “naked mile” !!
So firstly the time trial, 15km ride out of camp to warm up, clock in and off you go on the 30km time trial to lunch. Needless to say that I wasn’t taking this very seriously, firstly there’s such great scenery I just had to stop and take photos and secondly I’m never likely to win a time trial so why beat myself up over 30km when I’ve still got 40km after lunch to do !!
I clocked in at the time trial with Naomi but only for our statistics though and off we went, a gentle pace with lots of stopping until we got 4km from lunch !
I stripped of my shorts and t shirt and Naomi put on her costume and off we cycled to lunch, there are photos available to prove my naked mile and they will be on Facebook as soon as Wi Fi allows πŸ˜‰
So after lunch it was back to being fully dressed, Gus and myself left Naomi at lunch with the girls as they were preparing for their naked mile and didn’t want to many men around, understandable really !!
Gus and I arrived at camp at 11.00am and went straight for beer and ice-cream, next was time to put up tents, shower and sort laundry before heading back to the bar. We’d not been there long when Naomi came in with Anne, Anne was completely naked and Naomi had only put her bra on just before entering camp !!, fair play to both of them for being great sports.
The award for the naked mile has to go to Ali from Brazil though, he cycled the 83km from one camp to the next, brilliant πŸ˜‰
And for the girls, Din, who cycled completely naked from lunch all the way into camp, 40km….fantastic effort πŸ˜‰
Well that’s the first three days off road, a rest day now in Sesriem and perhaps a trip out into the dessert to see sunrise over the huge red sand dunes….looking forward to that πŸ˜‰


About John Chevis

I'm a forty something single guy who spent far to long depressed, but luckily for me I found an answer in the form of exercise !! I started running and cycling on a regular basis and now two and a half years later I'm cycling the world !!
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