First of all, I apologize that you had to wait a day for a new blog entry. Unfortunately, the internet connection was so bad that I could not upload anything to the blog. Please look it up! But here comes my late entry …
This morning we left after a delicious breakfast (I had cornflakes and a toast with peanut butter & jelly) at the “Bahnhof” in Aus. On the agenda was my personal highlight of the trip! It went in the direction of one of the highlights of Namibia: Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. However, we will see it tomorrow, today is first in our lodge – the “Sossusvlei Lodge”, which is really beautiful. When I leave my bungalow, I am already in the middle of the steppe (see for yourself in the pictures) Accordingly, my anticipation is still very great! To get to the Sossusvlei, today about 360 kilometers gravel road were on the plan. For this we had to drive northwest through various provinces, such as the “Lüderitz Province”. The first 120 kilometers went by quickly, because the gravel road was really comfortable for the start of the day. After about 1.5 hours we reached Helmeringhausen, where we refueled and prepared ourselves with cold drinks for the onward journey. After this was done, it went straight back on the bikes and again stood around the 120 kilometers on the plan to come to “Betta”. Once there, we met some other German tourists who were traveling by car. Unfortunately, one of these couples was a bit unlucky with their car, because there was probably a ripped rim and they were dependent on the “roadside assistance” and there waiting for them. Believe me, it takes forever when you are in the middle of nowhere 😉. Well, unfortunately we could not help and so we made our way to Sesriem, the entrance to the National Park Sossusvlei and the location of our present lodge. However, Gavin again looked at the route on his sat nav and changed the route without further ado, because the road conditions (if there is anything like that here) should be very bad on the original route. Said done … So, we drove along a detour for about about 50-60 kilometers out of our way to avoid the bad conditions. I can tell you … Gavin was wrong! 😀 On the new route, we had a section that was, let’s say, the worst road I’ve ever seen in my life, or that I’ve ever ridden. 20 kilometers of loose and deep gravel, with ruts and between the ruts were large gravel piles, which unfortunately could not be estimated during the journey. In addition, there was the dust that was so thick and heavy, that you could see no more 50 meters. One of the first sentences that Gavin said to us came to mind when we arrived in Windhoek. “You have to learn to read the road, the dust and the wind!” I thought just four days ago, “What’s he talking about? I just ride, that’s it. “After today, I know absolutely what he meant and what should I say … The guy has a clue and is damn good at what he does!!! If you do not adjust to the circumstances and do not think ahead, bad things happen that can have dire consequences out here, since an emergency medical care with certainty not so readily possible. In other words, you have to be prepared at all times for the road conditions to change unexpectedly and to an extent that many are unlikely to be able to imagine. You should always be alert to respond as quickly as possible – so sit relaxed and focused on the 1250 GS 😉 With the dust and the wind, it is such a thing, here you have to act depending on the situation … Depending on how the wind is, You decide on which side you ride (yes, this is left-hand traffic – but you have a very good vision, if you are not necessarily in the dust) and then of course you should also have distance to his front man / woman to act quickly in an emergency ! We have been doing it since yesterday, so we are in groups of two and Gavin commutes between, in front of or behind us. So, we managed the best we can so far. The conclusion was that the lovely ladies of Africa scout in the Toyota Hilux Double Cab, in which our luggage is transported and had many of the other details covered so we could just concentrate on the road.
Anyway … let’s get back to the worst road I’ve ever been on. After the 20 kilometers on this “road”, Reiner and I (we were together on this section) really broke our bodies, but seriously, those were the hottest 20 kilometers of the trip so far! We drifted more than we rode straight, had to constantly correct and find deliberate routes across the street. It was a tremendously exciting challenge and we really had a lot of fun!! When we had this section behind us, I first drunk empty my entire hydration pack from my Wunderlich sports backpack – I was physically really finished and my rider colleague was also. Nevertheless, we were more than happy and in a good mood after this huge challenge.
When we arrived in the lodge with just the motorcycle group (the Africa scouts in the car were still on the way, since they are allowed to drive on gravel roads at most 80 km / h) we were met with a warm welcome by the very friendly staff with a drink. When the ladies arrived about 20 minutes later, we finally could take a shower, which we had more than earned after today. After having taken care of the physical hygiene, we all met at a campfire followed by a barbeque buffet with all kinds of meat, such as Oryx, Springbok, etc. Zimpi hit the nail on the head: “I now understand why the lions eat it all – it tastes great!” but try it yourself and make sure.
So, now it’s time for me to bed, tomorrow morning at 07.15 we start with the Rangers in the desert! I will tell you about it as soon as possible 😉
Until tomorrow! Sven