483 km, 1304 km from Cape Town
The day started on the Orange River, cool and overcast and so it stayed for most of the morning. Great riding weather as it is always easier to get warm than try and cool down. We left Norotshama and headed north east through the quite spectacular southern Namibian desert skirting the great Fish River canyon along the velvet surfaced D and C gravel roads of this part of the world. It remained cold enough for jerseys and winter gloves till well past lunch time before it warmed up a bit. By this time we had joined the great northern highway the B1 which we used all the way to a very pleasant campsite just outside Mariental We had a happy half an hour on a gravel service road that flanks the B1 but which sadly petered out and forced us to join the traffic. – Tango Fortunate enough to be on this trip of a lifetime, as the expat representative, has caused me to consider a bit of a different perspective on what so many take for granted in Africa, its wildlife. The big five certainly is one way to experience this but on our trip it’s been the little creatures that have amazed in my view. Day one saw a baby tortoise crawling across the burning tar. Well spotted by Trevor. How it survives scorching, parched conditions is a miracle. Day two in Namibia a metre plus, gleaming brown snake effortlessly glided over the sand about a metre in front of the bike wheel, dust of the three riders ahead still swirling. Exploding, the bike had invaded it’s perfect world. The day also saw red bishops, weaver birds, as well as wild horses, untamed, unfettered and feral in the Namib sun. A baboon troupe loped across the road, one leapt at the fence, balancing perfectly poised, defiant. The road was invaded for kilometres by koring kriekets, an armoured invasion. Where they were marching to, who knows? Vultures wheeling in a lazy effortless thermal, weavers in their giant communal nest and loeries were spotted. Trevor lifted a rock at the Tropic of Capricorn sign near the road and disturbed a small brown scorpion. A small springbok leapt by the side of the road. A dusty trail led to a giant millipede, tracking in the dust. All this diversity co-exists. Still the bikes are part of the picture.