The African Adventure, Stages 84 to 88

Well here we are again, I know it’s been a fair while since my last blog but I will try to explain !!
We finished our trip and after getting home I felt like I’d stepped of a speeding train, depressed, no motivation and my head was in the wrong place to even consider a blog. I’m back out on the bike now, still with Naomi but joined by Thijs Kupers, one of the TDA riders. We are currently on our way south through France and heading for Alp D’Huez and then on to Italy….more of that later !!
The thing is I feel much better now and need to finish the African Adventure before I can write about what’s happening now, so here goes 😉
I left of having just arrived at Sesriem after the naked mile day, the following day was a rest day so we joined a large group heading for the Dunes the following morning. It was a very early start, about 5.00am, we were all herded into open sided jeeps and set of at a hell of a rate towards the dunes. The drive to be honest was a little scary and if it hadn’t been so bloody cold in the jeep we may have asked him to slow down but we just wanted to get there so it would end !!!
We arrived in plenty of time to climb the largest dune and then sat facing the rising sun, we watched in sheer amazement at the changing colours and shadows that were cast before us. Despite it only being a pile of sand it was perhaps one of the most amazing sites I’ve ever seen, I’d love to go back some day and see more. We finally walked down the dune and went in search of photo opportunities, a dry lake bed which was white with salt, desiccated trees, more dunes in weird shapes and with the changing light all made for great photos. All to soon it seemed we were on our way back to camp, the thought of lunch now occupying our thoughts. Naomi and myself headed next door to the posh resort and were joined by Anne Cook for a fabulous buffet lunch, numerous other TDA riders were also there, swimming, drinking and like us eating….a great buffet and a reasonable price.The afternoon was spent relaxing and drinking, dinner was a burger and then it was time to sort our selves out ready for the next day.
Stage 84, Sesriem to Betta – 139km and 819m climbing.
I wasn’t feeling great in the morning and didn’t ride at all I took the bus and watched the landscape from the window it was as ever “amazing” and we were lucky enough to see gazelles, I’m not sure what kind though ! At our camp I was able to get a room which Naomi greatly appreciated, especially the warm showers after a tough day !! One of the highlights of the day was the incredible sunset, I never tired of the skies in Africa, they were always incredible !!
Stage 85, Betta to Konkiep Lapa – 153km and 829m of climbing.
Still feeling crook from the day before so I opted for a half day, Naomi joined me as did Katie, Omar and Rebecca. We set off from lunch and were soon in a small town called Helmeringhausen where we stopped for apple pie and coffee….both were excellent and I was beginning to feel better 😉
Not much else to say about the day apart from more great scenery as always, no rooms at camp so our tents were quickly erected and then dinner was served. We headed for the bar shortly after and joined other riders for a well earned beer before bed 😉
Stage 86, Konkiep Lapa to Seeheim – 126km and 457m of climbing.
Finally back on the bike for a full day…and what a day, first thing was we were back on Tarmac at 31km. It was almost a party, didn’t think you could feel so relieved to see Tarmac but I think we all felt the same. I was riding with Gus, Naomi and Eerin, we were doing great until Gus’s rear wheel gave out, Gus is a big guy and rightly so wouldn’t ride on the wheel….it was quite bad as the wheel rim had actually ripped !!
Eerin stayed with Gus while he waited to be picked up and Naomi and myself went on alone. Eerin wasn’t feeling great and said she preferred to cycle alone, that way she could cycle at her own pace !
It was a good days ride and when we reached Seeheim it got even better, Gus was there already and had found someone with a spare rim…the mechanics had already done there bit and had made Gus a new wheel. Added to that but we were camping in the grounds of a hotel and yes we managed to get a room !! Hot showers, cold beers and good food followed by comfortable beds, heaven or at least as close as we get on TDA tours !!
Stage 87, Seeheim to Canon Roadhouse – 93km and 475m of climbing.
I persuaded Naomi to ride this day on the basis that it would be an easy day only being 93km, I said we’d be at camp before lunch. The reason for wanting to be at camp early was because we hoped to go and see Fish River Canyon. It’s said to be the second largest canyon in the world after The Grand Canyon. TDA were trying to organise transport to go and see it and of course we wanted to be among those that would !!
We set of from camp, climbed a steep hill and turned right onto the road….then it hit us, a head wind. It was the wind from hell and slowed pretty much everyone to a snails pace, poor Naomi was especially struggling with it and by the time we arrived at lunch I thought she’d quit…she didn’t though. I left lunch before Naomi…she was still getting her breath back, I battled the wind for the rest of the ride and was delighted to get to camp. No rooms meant putting up the tent but by now I really didn’t care. There were good showers and the promise of cold beers at the roadhouse !!
The Roadhouse is quite something, it’s one enormous space with a square bar in the middle but you share the pace with old cars, trucks and all manner of paraphernalia….one mans odd dream but it works !! Added to that great cheese cake and cold beer and it helped take the edge of our disappointment ! Remember I mentioned a possible trip to Fish River Canyon, well TDA couldn’t manage to find transport to take us to the Canyon so unfortunately we never got to see it. To make matters worse some of the guys on the tour were making a video and TDA took them to the Canyon, as far as everyone else was concerned this really took the biscuit, we were not happy !!
Stage 88, Canon Roadhouse to Felix Unite – 172km and 755m of climbing.
I have to be honest here, I just couldn’t be bothered, yesterday’s disappointment plus the fact I’d already lost my EFI and really didn’t need to cycle 172km on dirt roads meant I took the truck to lunch and started there. I rode from lunch with Lory and Rob and we took our time, stopping for photos at every possible opportunity. The scenery was as usual fantastic and around every bend it just seemed to get better we were really enjoying the ride. We arrived at the refreshment stop and had a quick word with JJ before heading out, somehow I managed to lose Lory and Rob and found myself back on Tarmac but now on my own. No matter, I ploughed on into a headwind and just kept turning the pedals, I knew we’d booked a room so there was no point killing myself to get there. Naomi had taken the bus for the whole day and when I arrived I was told to go and shower and change and get my washing ready. Good job I did because as each rider arrived the queue for the machines grew larger !!
We spent some time with Lory and Rob, they’d also got a room so we met up for a few beers before heading to dinner. The food was ok but the wait for it was excruciating !!! The next day was a rest day and that’s all Naomi and I did…..rest, eat, drink and more rest !!
The place was beautiful, expensive, badly run but as per usual they had you over a barrel as there was no where else to go. Fortunately we only had to put up with it for two nights, our next riding day would see us leave Namibia and enter South Africa…..the home run to Capetown !!
Till next time, take care 😉
JC

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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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One Response to The African Adventure, Stages 84 to 88

  1. Ross Irwing says:

    Hi John how’s it going

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