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Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The last leg from Windhoek to Springbok and through the flowers to Cape Town

Long, straight stretches in southern Namibia.




Dusty, little towns... 




We spent the last two days of our journey savoring every last minute of the riding… knowing that it would all too soon be over. We had big distances to cover but it was made a whole lot easier by the amazing roads that stretch through southern Namibia. There is hardly any life- human, cattle or vehicle- on the roads which makes for seriously pleasant driving… just you and your bike! It was amazing to witness the change in landscape between Windhoek and Springbok. There are really beautiful mountain ranges around Windhoek but they soon give way to stretches of never ending desert and harsh natural conditions which dry up any evidence that there was once a life force pumping through the dry river beds. Soon enough the dry and cracked land too gives way to signs of life blooming in spite of seemingly inhospitable conditions… it is quite something to see hardy little flowers fighting their way through the dry soil.
English bikers and dad outside the Wimpy in the desert... :)





We stopped for lunch after a good 500kms run and I have never been so happy to see a Wimpy in my entire life. In fact I can’t remember the last time I ate in a Wimpy… but it has never tasted so good and probably never will again! At the Wimpy in the desert we bumped into a whole bunch of English guys who had flown out together to Cape Town and were doing a round trip of Namibia. It was great bumping into them and they were very shocked and surprised that I was not riding on the back of a bike and had in fact ridden my own bike down from Cairo- hehe! Photographic evidence was collected so they could take it back home to their biker’s club and entice other ladies to do the same- I was glad I could be of assistance in this campaign!
    
We managed to get to the border at around 5pm and were very impressed by how smoothly the days ride had gone and how the 900kms had gone by quite quickly and effortlessly, getting lost in the beautiful scenery and the meditative silence of the bare desert. We felt quite a sense of achievement crossing our last border post and having made it into South Africa in one piece and without A SINGLE PUNCTURE- WOW!!!
Me in awe of the flowers in full bloom....




After crossing the Orange River and entering into South Africa… the land once again makes a miraculous transformation. We planned our route quite well, I think, just in time to enjoy the flower season in the Northern Cape. We overheard a travel agent remarking that this was the best season yet for the flowers and I can believe it because they were just magnificent! You can really understand why they are referred to as ‘carpets of flowers’ because the ground is really just covered in a patchwork of beautiful deep purple, orange, yellow and red flowers… absolutely stunning! What a pleasure to finish a long day’s ride flying past this beautiful scene.
The last supper :(

We finally arrived in Springbok to spend the night in the historic “Springbok Hotel” which just exudes character and charm! We were feeling a bit like we were in a dream… not able to really comprehend the fact that we were actually back in South African borders and had driven all the way down the entire continent! We went to celebrate at the local favourite accompanied by a very large group of Harley Davidson riders!
Reunion with our two favourite bikers... Rony and Jorg! You guys are legends! :)
The next morning we arose to finish the last leg down to Cape Town… still feeling as if we couldn’t quite believe that this was the last 550km stretch! The roads were just absolutely covered in these thick, juicy and rather furry orange caterpillars who were making a desperate (and potentially fatal) dash across the road to feast on the glorious flowers which were out in abundance! We stopped just after Citrusdal to meet up with Rony and Jorg who had so kindly agreed to meet us for the last 180kms back to Cape Town. It was great to see them and to enjoy a lunch with the two men who were immensely instrumental in ensuring the success of our journey and it is definitely thanks to them and Rony’s excellent off-road courses that we manages to enjoy the trip so much, tame our bikes and come back in one piece!
Girls very happy to have their dad back home! Waiting patiently for us to arrive in Hout Bay...

After an excellent lunch and a catch up including some funny and terrifying overlander stories… we hit the road to enjoy the very last stretch.Riding into Cape Town was completely surreal! Once again we were finding it hard to believe we had actually done it! Family and friends were eagerly awaiting our arrival at Dunes in Hout Bay and we arrived just in time to enjoy a beautiful sunset over the bay. We were stormed by hugs, kisses and family very relieved that we had made it home safely!

I think it is going to take a while for us both to digest this amazing adventure! It has been just too incredible for words! It was a journey filled with challenges and the realization that you can indeed do absolutely anything you set out to accomplish! We learnt a lot… about our continent, about ourselves and one other. We connected… with perfect strangers, with father and with daughter. We will never forget it!

Thank you to all of you who were out there vouching for us every step of our journey, there are many of you and I am sure all the good-will and thoughts went a long way in ensuring we arrived home safe and sound and without even one unfortunate incident! It seems we have some seriously good karma on our side ;)  

I would personally like to say a big thanks to my dad for the trip of a life time! It was incredible, I feel very lucky to have you as my dad! Love you lots x

Lastly … Our trip has ended but Earthchild Project’s journey with the children of South Africa is very much still alive! Please don’t forget about them… if you find yourself inspired and want to continue your support of their wonderful work, why not consider a monthly donation? For more information about how to set this up contact: janna@earthchildproject.org

If you haven’t made a donation please consider making one and supporting the amazing Earthchild Project vision. And a huge thanks to everyone who has made a donation, it is much appreciated and is definitely going to a wonderful cause!

Follow this link to make a donation:

Thank you for all your support and do yourself a favour… go on a crazy adventure… ride across a continent… just… DO IT! You can do anything! 

3 comments:

  1. Hey Rivak & Brittany,
    We really enjoyed and valued meeting you at Keetmanshoop refuelling stop. Thank you very much for mentioning us. We were are all in awe of your ride from Cairo and are busy catching up with your blog.
    Well done. Cairo officialdom sounds like a complete nightmare. What could be simpler than: Flying bikes to Cairo. Filling in appropriate forms. Riding bikes out of customs??
    I am still reading your blog and busy writing mine retrospectively. If you get time www.motofile.blogspot.com
    Four wheels move the body - two wheels move the soul.
    All the best,
    John M

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  2. Hey John
    Great to hear from you! Man we are missing the open road! Are you planning on doing a Cairo-Cape Town trip soon? Our experience in Cairo was so aweful that honestly we would advise skipping Egypt all together. If you are planning on doing the trip from England we met people who avoided Egypt all together by taking a ferry to Libya and then crossing into Sudan or going through from Turkey-Syria-Jordan- Saudi Arabia and then a ferry to Sudan.This way you don't have to pay the excessive carne de passage fees that the Egyptian require (along with the many other fees they will extort from you,) and we have heard both of these routes are more hassle free. In any case... do not fly your bike to Cairo! If you are still planning on heading through there then definitely do it through a land crossing (but you will still need to go through the whole registration and licensing process, there is no way around that!) Good Luck and I hope to be following your African adventure soon ;)
    Best
    Brittany

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  3. Hi Rivak & Brittany,
    Our geriatric gang are strictly tarmac or at least 'good' dirt. So we will not be riding Cairo to Cape Town by any route. However, we just love to travel vicariously with real adventurers like you. Rivak, it must be so good to ride with your daughter. That is special.
    I just wanted to say to Brittany - very best wishes at LSE. I hope that you enjoy London.
    j

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