The Map

The Map

Monday, October 8, 2012

Last Riding Day

The last riding day was spent on gravel except for the last few klicks into Windhoek. It turned out to be a fun day on gravel as we had to cross Remhoogte Pass.

No one told us that there would be several river crossings to contend with. Donna crosses the first one hardly getting wet.

Donna approaches another crossing. Why is everyone standing around watching?? They had already gone thru it and knew a little secret.

It was DEEP! Donna gets a bath.

Peter lies on the side of the road ready to capture my turn. I thought if I rode fast enough and raised my feet I would keep dry.

Nope! Drenched from head to toe and my boots were full of water. Actually that turned out to be a blessing as it was near 40 C again today.

One last lunch under the shade of an Acacia tree before our last push to Windhoek.

The last few klicks into town on tarmac. It wasn't as much fun as the gravel, but sure did seem smooooth. We have been on gravel roads for quite some time by now.

Congratulations all around at the Klien Windhoek Guesthouse, another very nice place to stay.

Our last meal together was at joe's bar and Grille. A unique and VERY popular place to eat and socialize. If I remember correctly, Joe serves about 800 meals a day in the mostly open air establishment.

Chris thinks he's man enough to have the "Game Knuckle". I don't know if he has a hollow leg or not, but he gnawed that bone clean!

What a surprise!! My 60th birthday was tommorrow, the day we fly home. Donna had arranged a birthday cake for me before we left Calgary. It was a home made Black Forest Cake and I don't recall ever having anything even close at home. It was AWESOME and must have weighed 10 lbs. Not the fluffy, no substance stuff from our "bakeries"

Uncle Henk congratulating Donna on making the entire trip unscathed. Not bad for someone who had very little dirt riding experience. Well, she did sit out for about 100 km's of gravel one day, but even I must say that was tough slogging as parts of it were very loose and sandy and required lots of attention.

At the Windhoek airport for our flight home. Yes, I look tired, but you should have seen me at the end of the 30 some odd hours spent in 5 airports on 4 different airplanes with 3 different airlines.

Now for a few days rest before heading back to the office and dreaming of where the next adventure will take me. It's a very large and interesting world out there to explore. Did someone say, "Let's go for a motorcycle ride"!!

 Until next time.............

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Compilation of Days

We rode about 325 km today and it was a wonderous site however the thing that strikes me the most is the Canon Roadhouse Motel just a short distance from FishRiver Canyon.


  On the way back from seeing the second largest canyon in the world, Henk made us pile out of the truck to sit on some rocks and watch the sun set.  As we sat in absolute silence we were to think of our families back home.  Did you feel it? J

We arrived in Aus, Namibia to fuel.  This village was formally a prisoner of war camp established by the South African army, holding German inmates.  While waiting for fuel a boy and 2 girls were nearby gazing our way with seemingly utter curiosity.  I decide to give them each a small Canadian gift, a filled pencil case, a hacky sack and a deck of cards packed full of Canadian information.  They were very grateful.


 We stayed at Klein Aus Vista! Yet another hotel that just took my breath away. It had an abundant number of hiking trails. Suddenly there I was on a 2 hour hike in the middle of the Namibia desert. Who would have thought that I would do such a thing but I did! It felt great to get some exercise and even better after a quick shower. To top off the evening, a full moon. The unbelievable view of the sunset took my breath away. Oh and the food, incredible. Most of our dinners began at 7:00 and would carry on until 9:00, although many others would carry on with a taste of port which at times extended into the later hours. As for us, it was early to bed, early to rise for another full day of motorcycle riding and sight seeing. 

Rise and shine.  On the motorcycles at 8:00 sharp to catch the Diamond mine tour in the ghost town of Kolmanskop, where residents built the village for the miners and their families.  It included amenities and institutions such as a hospital, ballroom, school, entertainment center and power stations.

I found the last 100 km of gravel roads a bit much this day so I hopped onto the truck to relax and enjoy the scenery.  Along the way someone’s fuel pump gave out due to the extreme heat; to my amazement it only took maybe 20 minutes to replace it.  Back on the road in no time.  The great thing about BMW’s; they are very easy to repair when the parts are at hand.

Almost there!



Gravel Roads All Day

Today we traveled 100% gravel; roughly 330 kms.  Since this was the second last day of riding, I was determined that no matter the road conditions, I would push on through.  On a scale of 1 -10 (10 best) I would say many parts of these roads were a 3.  Now I don’t have that much experience on gravel, but I sure heard a lot of comments from many other riding buddies on how they were fish tailing through the sand and soft gravel too.   My hands were sore from holding on ‘too’ tight, but I somehow managed to keep to the technique; stand up, lean back and speed up when the fish tailing begins. What a ride!!! 

 I believe the hottest part of this day  in the Namib desert was 36. The first motorcycle of the day broke down.  Again I was very impressed on how the team pitched in and swiftly determined it was electrical.  A quick fix and on the road again!  Within 1 or 2 hours another motorcycle had troubles.  The battery had failed.  No problem though, Uncle Henk had a spare in his support vehicle.  


We pulled over on the side of the road where the boys started a fire to heat up our lamb and sausages for a roadside lunch. Out came the tables and folding chairs.  Uncle Henk & Dr. Mike set up the lunch table while many of us rested in the shade provided by the truck.

Did I tell you, we eat a truck load of food everyday?  Breakfast, lunch and dinner every day!  We eat, sit, ride, eat, ride some more, eat & sleep, get up and do it all over again….At dinner time the question “So what time is breakfast?” is frequently heard. Many, if not all of us have put on weight.  The food in Africa is unbelievable.

Two cultures meet. 

This family was travelling for 3 days to get to a funeral, then 3 days back home.

Duane and I  gave the teenage boy a Canadian pin and a deck of cards.  Although he was very grateful, I think what he wanted more was a cigarette but no one in our group smoked!  Sorry.

Made it without a scratch!


The accommodation was stunning; a guest farm.  So you might think, cattle, barns etc.  No way, it’s more like a little oasis in the middle of nowhere.  It was so strange when the hostess gave us full rein of the bar.  Anyone can just go and help themselves and keep track on a sheet of paper to pay at check out.


This was taken from our balcony.

Tomorrow off to visit the sand dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib desert.  Sand dune #45, the most photographed dune in the world stands at 80 metres high.  Can’t wait.


The Sand Dunes

OMG!!!! How incredible these dunes are. With the sunrise behind us, it painted a picture perfect postcard with one side of the dune in the shade giving it a distinctive three dimensional appeal.  Over 900 hundred years ago this sand that originated from the Kalahari desert, landed in the Namib desert forming dunes.  

Before the climb, we need to fuel up on food and water.

#45 is the most photographed dune.

 The Big Daddy.  330 metres.

Below the Big Mama that we climbed. 100 metres.

 Duane ran down the dunes then took this shot of us.

Eventually, temporary shallow pools of water dried up and all the camel thorn trees in the area died. What remains looks petrified but is simply very dry and burnt.

Peter, Chris, Stephanie, Peter, Marten, Duane and I, Elaine and Adrian. Jim took the picture.

Lizards were everywhere.

Vultures having an afternoon snack.

Henk and Mike rode the bikes to the restaraunt to have lunch with us, a little shopping then back to the farm for a snooze, shower, poolside lounging, picture management and dinner.  Yes food again.


The temperature reached 41.