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19/05/05, stage 78, Cañon Roadhouse to Felix Unite

So while we were having drinks tonight, Gerry told us about the ride he took today on the big dinner truck to camp. And today’s ride being his first time on the truck, he told us about his experience and that as the truck zoomed passed all the riders, the only thing he could think was “what are all these mentally impared people doing here, cycling this insane distance through this moonlike landscape?!?!”. Only from the truck you get a proper understanding of the insane distances we’re covering and the magnitude and emptiness of the landscapes we’re cycling through. But what you don’t experience when you are on the truck, are the effect of a sandy layer on top of the corrugation, the feeling of uphill cycling in the legs and the mental impact that heat and headwind have. At some point after lunch we had all four of these simultaneously (corrugated sand, uphill, headwind, heat) during which I just wanted someone to shoot me…

Luckily the sand and the corrugation ended after 125k, making way for fresh new tarmac. And the uphill flattened a bit later. And the headwind decreased a bit as well. And these new conditions allowed me to finish today’s 171k ride. Again a long day in the saddle and our last full riding day in beautifull Namibia. The last riding day of a tough 5 day stretch. And a tough three day stretch before that. 1012k since we left Windhoek, of which 850k were on poor dirt road. And I survived all of it. Again, without any accidents, and I’m very pleased with that, mainly because Jen our doc has been quite busy stitching up people who fell of their bike the past week.
We’re now camped at Felix Unite camp on the northern shore (Afrikaan Noordoewer) of the Orange River, which forms the border with South Africa. Holy shit, we came a long way. When I arrived at camp I got of my bike and walked down to the river and plunged myself into it, washing away 5 days of fatique, desert dust and sweat. The temptation was big to swim accross, because the Orange River is not a big river. But with the current and no one else nearby I thought it would be insensible to make the attempt…
Tomorrow we have our last restday of the tour. And after that we ride our last kilometers through Namibia and cross into South Africa. Our last country. Our last 6 day stretch. Our last week on the Tour d’Afrique. I’m ready for it to end though. We had an incredible tour and i’m gratefull for all the experiences and encounters and challenges, but the body is just wearing down. 
6 more days. 742k. And tomorrow we rest 🙂

Beautifull morning colors above beautifull desert colors…

Passing fish river canyon in the distance…

Entering a new type of hills…

The desert just keeps on amazing…

Entering Mars…

With absolutely nothing here!

Battling headwinds, corrugation, sand, heat, uphill, all at once….

But the colors are just… and pictures don’t even do it justice…

Namibia just keeps on throwing it at us…


Hitting tarmac again 🙂

And then out of nothing, there are vinyards!

But also back to poverty. You would say that the owners of the vinyards could at least built some simple plain but proper housing for their labourers. Instead they live in a shanty town like this…

We’re getting there 🙂

South Africa on the other side of the river…

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