Matt & Nat's wheelie big adventure!

Diamonds are forever

Covered in flies...
We crossed the Orange River into Namibia last week and found ourselves cycling through a beautiful, arid, transfrontier national park just south of Fish River Canyon. The deserts of southern Namibia are full of diamonds and we are now riding along the border of the vast ‘Forbidden Diamond Area’ which is controlled (and heavily gua [...]

Over the Orange River

Our first night in Namibia at  beautiful Amanzi camp - it was so gorgeous that we took a day off
We’re very excited to be in Namibia and think that the cycling here will be excellent, although the Lonely Planet says: “Namibia is a desert country and is totally unsuitable for a biking holiday. Distances are great; the climate and landscapes are hot and very dry…and the sun is intense; water is scarce and villages are widely spaced.” [...]

First world problems

First world problems
We’ve had no wifi since leaving the Cape Town area, and in the past week in Namibia we’ve had no phone signal most of the time and certainly no 3G to update the website. Our converter plug doesn’t work, so we bought a new one today and that doesn’t work either. So no working electronics = no website updates. We hope to [...]

Scorpions and succulents

Here comes the rain...
We’ve made it to Springbok, a small town that services the copper and diamond mines in the area, just a couple of days’ ride from the Namibian border. We’ve been riding the narrow, quiet main road, over craggy mountains and boulder-strewn hills. It looks desolate, but this region is well known for its spectacular biodiversity – it is on [...]

Cruising the Cederberg

Slow riding but worth it for the view
We’ve spent the past few sunny days doing some hard riding on empty dirt (and sometimes annoying sand) roads through the stunning Cederberg Mountains. We woke each morning to ice on the tent and camped in an orchard, on an organic farm and in the bush. Wild camping under a super moon was interesting – it was almost as bright as daylight [...]

The Western Cape

We are aching all over! Our bikes are the heaviest we’ve ever ridden – we’re carrying spares that we won’t be able to find easily in Africa (tyre, tools, air mattress, etc), extra warm clothes and a solar panel/battery to charge all our electronics (laptop, camera battery, kindles, phones). We’ve left the winery region and are heading u [...]

Life begins at 40

Champagne courtesy of my friend Clare in the UK
We’ve just treated ourselves to a luxury weekend in beautiful Stellenbosch to celebrate my 40th birthday. We stayed in a wonderful guesthouse (with free sherry and nespresso’s) and visited wineries and restaurants – it was fantastic. The guesthouse made a fuss of me & gave me a lovely bunch of flowers and my dear friend Clare [...]

Turn right at the robot

Our first day on the road in Africa was pretty scary. We cycled from Cape Town through the Cape Flats townships to Stellenbosch in the winery area. Several drivers stopped & told us we would be robbed if we continued, so we tried to ride as fast as our unfit bodies & heavy bikes would allow. But we made it through, no problems at all, [...]

Leaving now now

View from the restaurant where Steve kindly bought us lunch
We’ve walked for hours on beautiful Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope, strolled along the waterfront, spent a Saturday night on buzzing Long Street. Matt has eaten ostrich and we’re loving the 20p avocados and 60p beers. Our hostel is full of construction workers from Jo’berg who cook pigs heads for breakfast and we’ve had a great time [...]

Leaving just now

We’ve spent the past few days preparing to set off from Cape Town. The bikes survived the flight pretty much unscathed and have been reassembled. We’ve had yellow fever vaccinations and have bought malaria treatment, pepper spray, a sim card and roll mats for camping (our air mattresses are unlikely to last long on the thorny grou [...]

Planning is for wimps

Perhaps we should have done a bit more research before leaving on this trip – we were refused entry into South Africa when we landed in Cape Town! No one can enter SA by air without a return plane ticket to their country of citizenship – no exceptions for cyclists. So after waiting in no man’s land for a while, we were allow [...]

Last night of the Poms

G’day! We’re leaving Sydney today to set off on the second (& final) leg of our big bike trip. We’re planning to ride from Cape Town to London over the next year, so it’s back to life on the saddle – hardship, discomfort, early nights in the tent, not knowing where we’re going to sleep & not worryin [...]