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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1 comment:

VIH said...

Hi Jo,

was nice hearing that you arrived Namibia and looking forward contacting my friends right there to keep you company as you enjoy the touristic country.