15 Jan 2015

NAMIBIA Day 5: Gochas – Stampriet – Ullenhorst – Windhoek

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Once again a lovely sunrise. Although a distant rooster was determined to wake up the district before 4am! Or no wait! Jinx was already awake! Absolutely freezing to death through most of the early hours of the morning, she could not help but notice the farm noises from early morning.

 The 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 65 kms the rest of the road had been tarred, thus no need to rush or get away early. We met a very interesting man 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

Brutus still looking strong!

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 Jinx had problems with the cam. As we were ready to leave, the bracket holding the cam had broken off and the spare bracket was packed so far away, she was not going to undo the hours’ worth of loading we went through a little earlier!

I loved the formations of this tree trunk

Sand - and more sand!

The road quickly changed to our 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 Jinx 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 her to ride in his dust most of the way. Update: We believe the dust prevented the normal 'line of sight' that's needed. Add loose gravel, sandy patches and heat in the 50’s (ok, ok, in their 30’s!) into the equation and Jinx was having a hard time. Toni of course too, but as a man he was not allowed to admit it!

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

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

Almost passing out in the scrap of shade

Jinx's 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.  Jinx couldn't remember ever feeling so low and tired during a ride.

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

Because someone else was also very tired...

Jinx's sister sent her this - how on earth did she know Jinx was soo knackered THIS day?!

The highlight of our 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 Jinx was right next to him. Never in her life had she 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?!

At last we met with 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 her laptop (Jinx just HAD to try and get some of their blog done!) She gave it up for a bad job and hit the comfy bed! The shortest sleep of her life! She was still getting into bed and the alarm had gone off 5 hours later. She had slept the sleep of the dead! The long, tedious dusty roads were getting to her. Spending between 6 and 10 hours in the saddle – well, most of them standing out of the saddle – she could feel she was getting weary and needed a break soon. It was heaven not having to pack and load up the tent!

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