After a mega sleep of over 9 hours I went outside to find my biking shorts & top were as wet as I left them after washing last night YUK. I had an equally mega breakfast cooked by Rianne. I cleaned the bike of its creepie crawlies and then we went around to her sons general store where a cash machine lurked in one corner 🙂 after he refilled it I was able to pay my dues and be on my way to my first town in Botswana.
Didn’t see any big animals but a lot of vultures which apparently are in rapid decline here as in India. One bird Cuba has in abundance! Followed by watching a dung beetle at work – fascinating to see it rolling a ball as big as itself down the road and into the verge.
Had to love the Nando sign saying “Are we there yet” 200 miles to the left and 300 miles to the right. Kids you are in for a long wait..Although the junction would be an ideal spot for a filling station.
Finally making it wrecked to The Kalahari Arms hotel, chosen by Sally since the phone internet still wasn’t working correctly. Decent size pool and a circular chalet with AC 🙂 Excellent with a Spar etc across the road..
For the first time ever, I had to be woken up for my breakfast! So I finally didn’t get away until 8.45. I arrived at the East Gate rest camp/shops on the border in 1 hour. Crossing the borders was straightforward apart from unnecessary complications with money changing etc. For future reference the simplest procedure is:
1. Change all your Namibian cash at East Gate into Botswana Pula. (No cash machines on other side for 150 miles or so)
2. Turn right just after the garage in Botswana then first left. At the dress shop get a SIM card for 10 Pula (The money changer is next door if she is around 🙁 )
3. Return to garage and top up your SIM – they accept credit cards.
Then your are in a fenceless world were cows, donkeys & horses wander on the road (apparently elephants etc etc as well 🙂 plus butterflies and all kinds of insects abound.
The road was quiet apart from trucks taking more fencing materials into Namibia Interestingly I saw my first speed camera being used, with great effect, in Africa. You then drop down onto the Botswana plain which amazingly is at 1100 metres above sea level – they don’t have to worry about rising sea levels here 🙂
Eventually Tsootsha came into view. Just as I was giving up hope I saw the gates for Jungle Light Rest Camp. The gates looked locked and banging on them didn’t seem to raise anyones attention, slight panic began to set in. I walked around the perimeter and eventually discovered the owner who was delighted I wanted the glamping option with dinner etc. She insisted that her son’s shop had a cash machine which I could use in the morning.
I was grateful for my glamping tent last night as the heavens opened up at 4am 🙁 Later the sky was red before the rising sun promising more rain which duly happened 🙁
After breakfast I got my lift back to the West Nest roadside campsite where I had left the bike filled the bottles with 3 litres of well water and of I went. The road wasn’t busy like yesterday so much better – I only at to take evasive action once – when a car was overtaking a lorry coming towards me.
I found the long slow drags quite hard and only one real downhill all day. I kept running into heavy showers and my jacket proved totally useless with the arms filling with water 🙁 good job the showers were quite short ones. My triple protection bags worked well with water only penetrating the first layer 🙂
I had a good coffee break and enjoyed the WiFi to call Sally at The Spar shop in Gobabis (Spar should publish a map with all their stores marked) Gobabis began to feel like Africa with all the ladies dressed up in their lavish dresses.
Eventually I arrived at the Zelda Guest Farm, I declined the invite to feed the animals an instead filled my own belly 🙂 I’m sure the grandkids would love these places bit like staying in a zoo/playpark.
Tomorrow it’s Botswana were apparently there are no fences alongside the roads 🙂
Another 83 miles on the clock making it 1,564 miles (2,500km) so far pedalled in Africa. Plus 71,096 feet (21,700 m) of climbing (about 10 Teide climbs)!
Anthea at Anjo Villa gave me a mega omelette plus a fruit salad for my early breakfast, I was on the road by 7.30 as I knew it was going to be a long haul. Anthea had spoken to the guys from West Nest Lodge and booked me in for a nights glamping. I started confidently following my Strava Route. Alas, as you can see it led me on a wild goose chase to parts where no road exists 🙁 very frustrating wasting nearly an hour in unnecessary hills.
The road is quite narrow with only a gravel verge. It’s obviously the main route in for fuel with huge tankers flying by plus equally huge double tipper trucks coupled with the minibuses and their trailers of baggages and of cause the 4X4s pounding by like F1 drivers. I had to escape to the gravel a couple of times to avoid an accident and if you get a double blast from a truck behind you then get out of the way quickly! tuck your right arm in and head for the grass 🙂 All with a rail track running parallel to the road!
To top it off I got my first rear wheel puncture in 3000 miles 🙁 the tyre is looking a bit thin but I replaced the tube with my super duper liquid filled one after pulling out another load of thorns.
Fortunately it was quite cloudy today so didn’t reach super hot levels although I still drank close on 5 litres of assorted liquids but was certainly glad of a few pints of beer when I arrived..
Tonight I’m in a tent at West Nest Lodge with real beds and electric, undoubtedly with a few mossies as well 🙁 The dinner was excellent, lets see what brekkie is like.
Strava says I did 106.7mi in 8:55:57 Moving Time and 1,735ft of ascent at a respectable 12mph helped a bit by the 800ft net descent during the day.