Sunday, 29 May 2011

Cape Town to Windhoek

The first leg - DONE! And I made it in exactly one month's time! I divided the stretch from Keetmanshoop to Windhoek into two sections. Keetmans to Mariental (230 Km), and Mariental to Windhoek (270 Km). Three days for each leg. What I wasn't counting on was a constant, beating wind! Over the 6 days it took me to get to Windhoek, the wind did a full 360 degree circumnavigation of ... Jolandie! LoL

One of the most important elements for me to consider on these long stretches is water! I carry 8 liters of water with me. Though by the time I get to the end of day 2, I have to find a source to replenish my supply! Lucky for me, every time I need it, 'the source' appears! :-) Out of the 6 days that I spent cycling between Keetmans and Windhoek, I spent 4 nights sleeping next to the road. What I have come to discover is that what I miss most on these nights is a warm bath or shower! These have become an absolute luxury!!

Day 1 (22 May 2011) I spent fighting a very insistent head wind! Though I had a goal in mind and very adamant on reaching that goal! Hanret had described the road ahead to me, according to Google Earth, the previous night. She figured I could cover 100km in one day. And I so wanted to reach that 100km mark as I had failed to do so up to Keetmanshoop. Despite the headwind, I kept my head down and my legs ticking over! By around 7pm that night I had covered 100km!! YES!

That night I had a visitor. Woke up around 11pm with the figure of a man towering over me! "What do you want"?, I asked him. "Oh, sorry. I just saw someone lying here and thought I'd check to see if you're okay". And then he left. I got such fright!

Over the next two days the wind turned. It went from blowing South to blowing South-East, to East. When I finally made it to Mariental, I just wanted to have a long, hot bath more than anything else in the world. My contact in Windhoek, Raymond Spall, had told me to stop at the Wimpy and ask for Patricia Nel. Which I duly did. Patricia then gave me a meal on the house and had organised for me to stay at a local Bed & Breakfast, Villa Volla! How awesome!?

The next morning I ordered myself breakfast at the Wimpy. A lot of people came over to chat to me. I left Mariental on a full stomach and in a very mellow frame of mind. I was absolutely FLYING! AND, for ONCE, I had a TAIL WIND!! Woohoo!! That day I did 102km! Yeehaa! I felt great!

Day 5 (26 May 2011) from Keetmans to Windhoek, I made it to Rehoboth just before sunset. Made a quick stop for water and food and then carried on. I was intent on making it to about 80km from Windhoek...As I left Rehoboth a 'bakkie' pulled over in front of me. It was one of the guests that had stayed in the same hotel (Masonic) as I in Springbok! And here he ran into me again, just before Windhoek! What a 'coincidence'!

The last stretch to Windhoek had me fighting a headwind again. I didn't mind too much though, because I knew once I made it to town, I could have a good rest! I had a very drunk guy try and pick me up next to the road. He said to me that I should accompany him back to Rehoboth as he owns a hotel there and would 'look after me'. Nice try buddy! LoL!

15km from Windhoek you hit a spectacular downhill through the mountains! Heaven, simply heaven! I made it to Windhoek around 4pm and was welcomed by Raymond with a huge hug. And then, I fell right in the center of town to announce my arrival! Haha!

I am NOT used to traffic anymore! LoL. And man, is this a busy town! To me it feels like a huge city!

My first night in Windhoek Raymond took me out to the world reknowned 'Joe’s Beerhouse'! What an awesome place! I had Ostrich and Gemsbok fillet. Yum!

And now I get into organising my Angolan visa!

I would really just like to say a big THANK YOU for all your messages, comments and support! It is what drives me through the tough times! I'm looking forward to sharing the next leg of the journey with you!!

How civilized is this???? OJ and bubbly for brunch!!

And the chef slaving away!!

If you can, listen online to an interview with Radiowave, Namibia just after 12:00 CAT (Central African Time) on Monday, 30 May 2011!!

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Live and unplugged from Windhoek tomorrow!!

Listen online to an interview with Radiowave, Namibia just after 12:00 CAT (Central African Time) on Monday, 30 May 2011!!

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Saturday, 28 May 2011

A night out in Windhoek!!

A real table ...

... and real wine

... and real food

... and real meat!!! How awesome is that?

Listen online to an interview with Radiowave, Namibia just after 11:00 on Monday, 30 May 2011!!

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Friday, 27 May 2011

One month on the road and arriving in Windhoek!!

After just about 1,500 kilometers and exactly one month after cycling out of Camps Bay – the arrival in Windhoek!!!

A month later it is not a luxury departure from Camps Bay with loved ones waving goodbye – it’s crawling out of the bushes!!!

Getting closer ...

... and closer!!!

Almost there ...

... ARRIVED!!!!

A night out at the legendary Joe’s Beerhouse in Windhoek!!!

No prizes for guessing the most popular drink!!

And a key ingredient in the food???

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Heading for Windhoek (26 May 2011)

Breakfast fire burning in the very cold morning air.

Well deserved lunch break!!

After Rehoboth comes Windhoek! Yay!!

You guessed it – Luna has a rear wheel puncture!!

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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Record breaking day with the wind from behind!

Oats isn’t that bad, but THIS is still the very best way to start a day!

And a very, very happy dance that the head wind has swung into a tail wind!! A good day getting better!!

187km to go to a few rest days and the first visa application process!

A record breaking, astonishing 102.5km pedalled today!! A day that started out well ended on a very high note!

Home for the night!

The perfect supper to end a perfect day!!! Lol!!

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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Another windy day in Africa!!

The head wind AGAIN, but some cool refreshment!!

Today’s hearty, healthy lunch!

How awesome?! Coffee from a REAL cup and a REAL saucer.

And just look at this: a real, real bath!! Yay!!

And nice, comfortable accommodation!

Today’s distance!

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Monday, 23 May 2011

The day after the momentous day

An early start. Almost packed, just waiting for the oats to cook! Yum!!

Getting closer to a BIG town!! Yay!!

Guess what’s for lunch today??? Another one of those divine jaffles!! Lol!!

Yesterday’s milestones are soooo taking their toll!! Sore legs, sore back and very, very tired!! Nap time!! Later!!

Speeding past the slow traffic!! Fabulous!!

Nothing beats a roadside nap in the shade!

 Getting there, getting there!

Five dead snakes along the road, BIG ones at that = tent pitched tonight!!

Beautiful, beautiful soft sunset

Perfecting one pot cooking! Tonight's special is rice, soya mince, viennas, baked beans and sweetcorn!!

This is delicious!! Really, no kidding! It’s fabulous!!

Just look at that distance again!! On a roll!! Whoop whoop!!

Tomorrow is just over 60km to Mariental!!! And this is what the road will hold!

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Double milestone day!!!

The first 1,000 kilometers are done and dusted AND today was the first day of spending 100 kilometers in the saddle!!! Is that not just fantastic???!!! Yay!! Lol!

The elevation profile for the first 100km out of Keetmanshoop was meant to look like this.  However, Google Earth did not breathe a word about ...

... the howling head wind!! 15km from Keetmanshoop this video was taken: ‘This is the head wind against which I am going to try and cover a distance of 100km today!!’

A delicious jaffle lunch!! 24km’s from Keetmans and still facing a howling wind!

A stark reminder of the road ahead!!

100.44 kilometers!!! Cycled in one short day!! How incredible is that??

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Saturday, 21 May 2011

Grünau to Keetmanshoop.

What a crazy last few days I've had?! It is 160km from Grünau to Keetmanshoop. So the plan was to split the distance over 2 days at 80km p/day. Well, that WAS the plan.

On the first day I only managed to cover a grand total of 45km!! The first 30km (always the first 30km?!) was a climb towards Keetmans that slowed me down to a painstaking 12km/h average!

However, 10km from Grünau a 'bakkie' pulled over in front of me. I noticed the registration number - 'EC', Eastern Cape. A couple got out and asked whether I was the girl they heard over the radio? The girl cycling around Africa? "Indeedy, that would be me"! Turns out, funny enough, that that the man had met Riaan in Ethiopia whilst he was cycling around Africa! Fancy that!

Shortly after we parted ways I met a trucker from Kempton Park, where I grew up! What? Did South Africa come to visit me in Namibia? LoL!! My pace remained pretty much the same throughout the day. With incidents like my bicycle computer breaking and a puncture to my rear wheel causing serious time delays in fixing!

By the time the sun set I had reached just over 40km! I wasn't sure as to whether I should carry on or call it a day? I decided on the latter! I found a dry riverbed well below the road and nearly broke my neck dragging Luna et al down! A sudden drop resulted in my falling and Luna with all my gear on top of me!

Once at the bottom, I got a really bad feeling about the spot, so unloaded my gear and dragged it all back topside, bit by bit!! I reloaded my gear and carried on to find a more suitable spot, which I found at about 45km!

I was up again at 5am, (or so I though!!! I only discovered yesterday that Namibia is one hour behind South Africa, so in reality I was up at 4am!!!!) as I knew I would need a miracle to cover the remaining 115km! As I loaded my gear I noticed my rear wheel had 'locked' somehow and my gears were jammed. This took me a good 2 hours to fix!

Standing there I thought to myself, I need some luck. And as I looked up, next to me, on a boulder stood written in big white letters: "LUCK"!!! I kid you not!! And soon after the road flattened out. So much so that I was up to maintaining between 26 - 28km/h!!

I was gonna make it! I stopped, for the first time, 30km from Keetmans. And then, a bad judgement call! Turns out people were on the lookout for me as news of my bike trouble had spread. And this is where they found me and insisted on taking me to town. I felt bad about their driving out to find me and accepted! I was so dissapointed!

I was not in a happy place! Ingo, the owner of Shütsenhaus Guesthouse where I am camping, invited me to the pub for a beer. I stood there, in a bar full of men staring at me, drinking a Coke! I felt uneasy, until one of them started chatting to me. News travels fast and before I knew it they had clubbed in and gave me N$350, offered to fix my bike and I was drinking a beer!! So 2 days from hell ended on a high note!

This morning I went back to the spot where I got a lift from yesterday and proceeded to cycle the remaining 30km back to town. Then I had Luna fixed!

All is well that ends well! :-) I hope to reach Windhoek by this coming weekend! A stretch of 500km!!

But, before I go, I have just chased this scorpion out from underneath my tent!!! Eeeekkk!! And then, sadly, the security guard put an end to his life!!

Photographs relating to Grünau to Keetmanshoop were posted in Leaving Grünau behind and On the road to Keetmanshoop.
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Friday, 20 May 2011

On the road to Keetmanshoop

Thought this could be an overnight spot, but didn't have a good feeling about it and moved on.

Stunningly beautiful African sunset!!

Oooopppss!! Woke up this morning with a swollen face!!

Lovely shady lunch spot.

The obligatory daily (it would seem) puncture repair!

Just look at that distance travelled today!!! How awesome is that?? Can you see? It says 85.44 km's!!

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