The Long Way Down through Namibia

After another coffee at the Wimpys on the way out of town, I was still carrying the parcel I wanted to send home. I'd ridden to the Post Office in Rundu, but there was a 6-8" drop from the sharp bitumen edge into 6"of sand, so gave it a big miss! That would definitely be pushing the envelope just a tad too far, I thought.

Rundu is a large, vibrant, modern city with loads of shops. I went looking in a few of them - they had some fabulous fabrics, but I was very strong and resisted buying any at all, for a change!

I love the way the Africans are so inventive as to transportation of people and goods. I passed these lads, so thought I'd stop and take a photo, so they scored a koala each because of it. I particularly loved the kids who harnessed up a couple of oxen to a flatish log of wood, and got dragged along on that sled, often carting wood or bags of whatever, or elephant grass for thatching.

Above: Three young lads (one out of photo) and their dog, carting a load of elephant grass in bundles, ready for thatching a roof. Gotta love the length of those horns!

I called it a day at Ovati, as it was incredibly hot, and I was starting to get the fidgets, a sure sign that I was overheating. Pulled in to the servo to get fuel and needed to use the ATM. The local yobbos started butting in as I was trying to use it, overreaching me and pressing keys etc., saying that international cards were different. So I spat the dummy and told them to piss off, then extracted my Visa card and walked back to the bike, thinking they were probably pulling a scam. Fortunately, the young guy serving petrol said I could use my credit card to pay for fuel, and as I was standing at the cashier's window, I spied a BankWindhoek ATM inside the shop. I know these ATMs work properly with my cards, having used them before, so got some cash for accommodation that night and enough for the next few days while I'm in Namibia.

There was a farmers' market at the side of the forecourt, so wandered over and bought some fruit and veg. They had lovely big, juicy navel oranges so bought some of those, too. Then it was time to find somewhere to lay my head for the night, and I was told of a guesthouse a couple of blocks away, so went there, on the gravel roads. Thank heaven the sandy soils had now changed to a pinky gravel , so I was more confident on these roads. Booked into the guest house, then sat outside in the lovely gardens reading for quite some time. They were cooking BBQ/braai chicken, but didn't fancy that, as the weather was too hot for me to eat, so I went upstairs to my room, and was asleep by 7.30pm, and slept till 7.15 the next morning.

After a nice, full cooked breakfast, and a play with the two delightful 3 month old Dachshund puppies, I loaded up and set off at 8.45, early for me, but very pleasant in the cooler temperatures.

I'd been in Harare and on the road for Heroes Day in Zimbabwe, and now it was Heroes Day again, in Namibia. Being a public holiday, and the Friday of a long weekend, the roads were extremely busy, with most heading north to the turnoff to Swakopmund, and the inevitable beachside holidays. There were a few police cars on the roads, and I saw a radar mounted on a tripod in the shading of an overpass bridge coming into Windhoek.

Out onto the highway again, it was pretty boring riding, being a flat landscape with not much relief from the dense scraggly brush growing to about 3 metres. Occasionally there would be a hill or two to break the monotony. There was a lengthy eruption of craggy, sawtoothed hills, mostly of rock with some little vegetation growing on them. And a brilliant blue sky, with not a cloud in sight.

Above: Sometimes there are bumps, most othertimes, there is nothing but dense scrub Below

Below: And there were long, long, straights stretching to the horizon. It was very much like the landscape west of Port Augusta and across the Nullarbor Plain.


Above: Although there were myriads of these warthog warning signs, as well as myriad antelope signs, I didn't see a single warty. However, I did spy a well camoflaged gemsbok, a large antelope with long straight horns, standing in the shade of a tree right next to the double height fence line. He looked as if he was contemplating leaping the fence!

I did like the brightly painted (bright blue and white) seating and two rubbish bins at the frequent rest areas, but for the life of me, I couldn't work out why there was 80 metres of razor-wire mesh topped with coiled razor wire standing behind each rest area! It didn't even join onto the existing fence, which was 1.5 metres behind it. Crazy! A bit like the wire rope barriers in Oz - mindless, useless money grabbing from the government, perhaps? For some reason, south of Okahandja, there were three rest areas with green and white painted tables, seating and rubbish drums. But only the three. [Yes, that's what happens when I get bored - I notice every little inconsequential thing!]

Above: Another sign to add to my collection, leaping antelope. Below: No blowing one's own trumpet, perhaps? Or then again, it may be no blowing of car horns?

Finally, I arrived in Windhoek and took the western bypass to the southern end of town, where my GPS took me to a resort that had camping. Yeah, well, after I'd paid for two nights camping and ridden right to the back of the long property, I discovered the "camping" sites - just bush with semi-cleared dirt spaces! I went back and converted the 2 nights camping into one night in a basic room, and boy! was it ever basic! Far overpriced at N$270 (A$38.50), considering one had to use the campers ablution block as it didn't even have ensuite facilities! And there were dust mites in the pillow as I found to my chagrin this morning! Arrrrgh! I'd just got rid of the previous lot around my eyes.

But I did have a very good dinner, reasonably priced, too, in the restaurant. Pork chops again!

But one night was enough, so I packed up and left this morning, and am now ensconced at the inner city Wimpys, in a huge shopping mall, having brekky and a nice coffee and typing up this report before trying to find somewhere with wifi to upload.

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