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It's not always boring ......

I found an internet cafe in the shopping centre and checked my mail, but was unable to upload to the website. Oh well, it can wait ...

I must admit a bit of my stupidity here. I came off a freeway in downtown Windhoek, expecting to find the entrance to the multi-level carpark, so drove down to the barrier. It didn't rise up for me. Then I realised that it was the Exit, not the Entrance. As it was facing downhill, there was no way I could back the bike out, so decided to squeeze through around the end of the barrier, much to the consternation of various exiting drivers and the chap in charge of the parking! The barrier snagged on my pannier, till I leaned way way over and scraped through. The parking guys were awfully nice to this silly foreigner, and gave me a very nice (illegal) place to park the bike right near the doors. And the main guy said he'd watch over it for me, too.

Came out from using the internet and found this parked beside my bike.

I've no idea what brand it was, but was interested to see the diamond below the seat had a kangaroo in it! Couldn't find any brand name on it, anywhere. It was painted army/khaki green, and the strange old helmet sitting on the floor was also khaki. I believe it is registered in Namibia, by the plate. Love the 5 litre metal jerry can strapped on the back, too. Has anyone any ideas as to its heritage??

Again, it was not overly exciting countryside, but at least the speed limit was still 120kph, so time passed fairly quickly. Not even any wild animals to break the monotony. I'm getting quite used to these short riding days, actually!

I did do a screeching stop in the middle of the road when I saw the Tropic of Capricorn sign, though. There was another couple there, and I couldn't be bothered waiting till they left, so they're in the photos as well.

Before I knew it, Mariental was looming on the horizon.

I pulled into the camping site, checked it out and rode out again, as it was, again, just dirt with no shade! I was too hot and bothered to even consider putting up the tent on dirt. It was off to the local Wimpy at the Engen servo, as - theoretically - they were supposed to have internet available. Nope, it was "down", and the managers were away for the weekend, so it would be down until they got back!

As it was by now mid-afternoon, lunch was ordered, so while eating, I was looking at mapping etc on the computer. At one stage, I happened to look up and saw young guys running around squirting hoses near the fuel pumps. I thought they were mucking around with the water hoses as it was so hot. Further inspection revealed that there was a happening on the forecourt.

How would you feel ...? One minute you have a fairly new model Izuzu dual-cab ute, and you're driving out of the servo. Then, a very short time later, this is what you have ... left!

As the camera was out on the bike, I wasn't able to take any photos when it first went up. Then an American lad in the diner said he was going to get his camera from his car, so I scooted out also. Phew! The heat which hit me as I went outside was phenomenal!! Fortunately, the bike was safe where it was, although we were expecting a huge explosion when the ute's fuel tank went up. But apparently someone had raced in and undone the fuel cap, so that when it did catch on fire, the flames shot out the side, without exploding.

These photos begin at about 6 minutes into the blaze, and finish about 10 minutes later.

Above: I was a bit concerned about the underground storage tanks, not knowing where they were. As I was leaving later, I found them to be behind, and to the right, of the white car, centre left, luckily JUST far enough out of the way.

Above: They had tried in vain to douse it using extinguishers and hoses, but it kept breaking out again, particularly underneah, where I could see the flames licking through the water and foam.

Above: The police eventually arrived, but it took ages for the fire truck to arrive - after the fire had died almost totally out!

There were a few "pops" but they must have been the tyres letting go. No major explosion.

Above: It slowly settled down onto the chassis, as the tyres blew.

Above: The fire truck arrives - LATE!

Well, that was a little bit of excitement for the day, wasn't it? I tootled off to the hotel in the town centre, got a room, put the air-conditioner on coldest, and basically went straight to sleep!

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