We’re struggling to stay motivated with day after day of relentless headwinds.
We camped at a farm where these kids were riding on the zebras
Roadside rest stop.
Another lovely sunset.
The past 4 days in Etosha have been fantastic. We saw a leopard, a cheetah, about 10 black rhino, elephants, hyena, honey badgers, giraffe, zebra, ostrich, wildebeest, mongoose and antelopes. We also saw our first Ebola warning/info poster.
The Etosha pan
Bicycles aren’t allowed in Etosha National Park, but private vehicles are, so we left the bikes in an Avis office and upgraded to a hire car for a few days. Damn, cars go fast! Within ten minutes we’d picked up our first hitch-hiker – a lady who is a cook at a safari lodge.
It happens to be the best time of year to visit Eto [...]
We were so excited to be riding on tarmac from Swakopmund that we cycled our longest ever day – 141km – from sea level up to 1300m. We’ve been riding (into headwinds of course) on the Trans-Kalahari Highway, past Rio Tinto’s Rossing mine – the world’s largest open-cast uranium mine. Traffic is fairly light, which is lucky as [...]
The bikes and gear have been fixed, the cat urine has been scrubbed off the tent yet again, and we’ve had an eyewateringly expensive sleeping mat couriered from Cape Town. We’ve sampled every bakery in town and have been cooking up a storm in the backpackers kitchen. We’ve explored the surrounding desert with new friends, an [...]
After riding almost 1000km on dirt roads, we’ve finally made it to some tarmac, but we can’t cycle anywhere just yet as our bikes and gear are battered after the past few weeks: Matt’s chain has rusted up and just snapped off; both of my gear cables snapped in the last couple of days; Matt’s rear derailleur has just br [...]
The dirt roads have hugely improved in the Namib-Naukluft Park and we’re easily managing 90-100km days. A driver pulled over in the dust and said “I bet you guys are Kiwis!”. He was from Palmerston North and gave us bottles of ice cold coke, which was much appreciated as we’re pretty much down to warm water and stale bread. Other [...]
We’re now riding in the vast Namib-Naukluft Park, one of the world’s largest national parks. We’re at the appropriately-named settlement of Solitaire, which is just a campsite, a petrol station and an excellent bakery/cafe out in the desert.
We were first told about the excellent Solitaire bakery apple pie over 200km away – it has a wel [...]
Today we hitchhiked deeper into the Namib desert (no bikes are allowed in the National Park) and spent the day hiking through the red dunes, which form a 32,000-sq-km sea of sand. This is one of the oldest and driest ecosystems on earth.
In the middle of nowhere, a Japanese film crew appeared and offered us (meaty) noodles, made fresh in the back of a van by a famous Japanese chef. They were making a documentary about cooking in far flung places using local ingredients. Random.
Apparently the noodles were incredible.
Telling the film crew about our trip.
They asked me to auto [...]
The dirt roads have deteriorated badly and are almost unridable. We’re spending half the day pushing the bikes through thick sand or over large stones, and are averaging just 7km per hour – a full days ride is an exhausting 50km. We’ve both fallen off our bikes – Matt fell into sand and laughed; I fell into stones and cried.
We’re continuing north on deserted dirt/sand roads, with a settlement every two days’ ride. From time to time, a column of dust (usually a tourist jeep) on the road heads towards us. We’ve stayed at some lovely (but expensive) campsites, and have seen lots of wild horses on the desert plains – some of the only wild horses in the world.