Blogs from Namibia, Africa - page 4

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Africa » Namibia » Caprivi September 3rd 2013

We leave N'Kwazi at nine again, and pop back to the gas station at Rundu for another hit on the ATM. We then have a choice of doing two hundred kilometres off-road following the line of the river to our next stop or a very straight tarmac road which runs in parallel. We start off on the tarmac, to make up some ground on the others who went off earlier. As we ride along the straight road, my mind wanders back to the previous evening, when we were "treated" to a dancing display by some local people, and pretty dire it was too. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of this kind of stuff generally - we attended a wedding in the Tala Game reserve near Durban SA earlier in the year, and ... read more
Pam at Popa Falls
Pied Kingfisher
Hippostalking

Africa » Namibia » Caprivi September 2nd 2013

Today's trip Its a pretty straight road to Rundu, first half gravel then tarmac. We'd been given the warning that we had to conserve fuel carefully or we would not make it t the next gas station. As usual, I took in approximately half of the briefing information (the half about conserving fuel) and forgot the rest. And so as we progressed along the route, I used the BMW's trip computer to monitor our range. Even two up and heavy, the range was more than enough to get us to the end of the route we were on. I therefore applied some throttle and took full enjoyment from riding the dirt track. As we neared the end of the stage, I noted triumphantly that I had over 50Km range left. A couple of other bikes were ... read more
Sundowners for the boys
The Angola Raiders
Okovango Sunset

Africa » Namibia » Etosha National Park September 1st 2013

Majestic scenery in the dusk, darkening paths and the quiet of the night can leave you with a sense of serenity and solitude and so it is perhaps understandable that Pam thought she and I were quite alone on the walk down from the bar to our room last night. It was only at breakfast this morning that Pam found out the awful truth. "Pam, I'd like to say that, as you know, I work late on the bikes outside and so I get to hear things that happen when others think they are alone. Let's just leave it at that, shall we?" said John at breakfast. It took a full three seconds for Pam to realise with horror that he was referring to her new found "musical" abilities with her wind instrument that made us ... read more
Sid the Steenbok
Rhino Narcissus
Old Bull

Africa » Namibia » Rundu August 31st 2013

I just posted the blog and was sitting here with the door open thinking, "I'm really used to living with insects now," when in flew the most humongous bumblebee sort of thing I have ever seen. It just flew straight in the back door coming toward me. I freaked. It must have been as big as a golf ball, round with pretty wide wings (needed because it was so fat). Now that I think of it, I might have seen it in a Disney Cartoon. Fortunately, it flew to the screens on the open kitchen window. So I got the broom and carefully lifted up the screen. It was more intelligent than a fly, because it flew right out again. Then I ran and closed the back door, so it couldn't change its mind. Anne Lingener-Reece ... read more
Our Water was OFf
Fetching water
Carrying it home

Africa » Namibia » Damaraland August 31st 2013

We leave Swakopmund at around 8:30, hoping to be at the bank as it opens to change some of the dollars we are carrying. Unfortunately, Saturday AM seems to be the time the locals descend on their bank, so the line is already 50 deep at that time. We head across the road and hit the ATM instead, fill up at the edge of town and head north up the coast. We are on a "salt" road, so called as it is tarmac covered in salt from the sea and very slippery when wet. We head up to Hentes Bay, very chilly at 14 degrees. Along the way, we encounter a recent skeleton coast wreck, now parked in the breakers and home to dozens of cormorants, white sided and common. We pause for a look round ... read more
Billy
Down to the Ugab Terraces
Vingerklip

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Africa » Namibia » Rundu August 31st 2013

Dear Friends, It is Saturday, the 31st of August. I am not sure why, because usually I am really depressed toward the end of vacations, but I feel really good today. The kids come back on various busses from various distances on Monday, and classes start Tuesday. I think that I was worried about vacationing by myself, but it turns out that I needn't have. I went to Windhoek the first week (holiday started the 18th of August). Rode there with a friends. I think I got that far in the last blog. Anyway, as I was leaving the B&B to go to Backpackers, I asked the woman if she knew a good hairdresser who could cut my hair. She recommended hers, just around the corner with her shop in her house, and made me an ... read more

Africa » Namibia » Swakopmund August 30th 2013

The Europa Hof proved to be a chilly night's sleep, and the day was cold and bright. Strong sunshine meant you could warm up in the sun, but the air was around 14 degrees and blowing steadily. I spent a good bit of the morning writing up the blog, keeping one eye on John who was kitting out the new support vehicles. The previous two had been found wanting so were replaced by shiny new ones. A number of the keener riders decided to get new back tyres fitted at the local Yamaha dealership. For keener read more aggressive users of throttle and merciless abusers of rubber. Mine was looking pretty warn too, but in reality there was plenty enough to last us to Vic Falls. In the meantime Pam had wandered round the town, establishing ... read more

Africa » Namibia » Swakopmund August 29th 2013

Another 8:00AM start from the very pleasant Le Mirage. Today it will be around 300Km and a late lunch arrival at Swakopmund, if we get a move on. However, we are not the type to rush along if there is an experience to be had along the way, so we take our time, with no thought of making it to the Nando's for lunch. The other reason is that gravel roads tend to develop a wash-board like surface after a while. This, I have heard, is due to the bouncing suspension of the trucks and cars that pass over it. Its pretty fatiguing on the arms, butt, teeth, fillings and nerves and speeding over it is unpleasant for rider and pillion. Going faster would get it over with quicker I suppose, but the dental bills would ... read more
The Crumb Crowd
Totally Tropical
Dr Steve on Dune 7

Africa » Namibia » Sossusvlei August 28th 2013

Somehow we are ready to do the next leg by 8:00AM. Bit worried by today's briefing, lots of "be careful of the cut up roads", "don't overcook it in the corners", etc. Its a beautiful morning, cool and clear out here in the desert. We are off and into a long stage today. Virtually all gravel tracks and many of them in not good condition. But what does that mean? Well, every three months or so you can expect these gravel superhighways to be graded and when freshly done, they are pretty smooth, easy to ride and allow for rapid progress. But over time cars and trucks follow each others' tyre tracks, building up mounds of loose gravel in between. This soft stuff requires courage and commitment to cross over, as the moment you hit it ... read more
Namibian Savannah
Le Mirage Spa
Dawn at Le Mirage

Africa » Namibia August 27th 2013

Today was a shortish day because of the need to cross the border into Namibia. But its up at 6:45 as usual, do the packing until all but the last things are stowed, then breakfast at 8:00 if we are ready. The thermal inners to the suits were removed today as we don't expect any real chills anymore, and of course that made the packing harder. Breakfast was bacon, eggs and pie. I skipped pie. Then off to refuel and change some currency. Having brought US dollars with me as per instructions, they are useless, so more ZAR required. By the time this tedious exercise was over, most of the others had left the gas station, but Billy was there to point the way. Pam and I have achieved a reasonable level of competency riding off-road ... read more
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