It's one thing to take your better half on a holiday on the back of a bike. It's even OK to leave her all dusty and make her sleep in a tent. On sand. Making her drink warm water all day and wearing hot, black clothes can surely just further add to her enjoyment?
But to let her PUSH a 300kg bike in sweltering heat because of MY stupidity is a different story completely! So I silently swear, plead and pray. The Tiger grunts one more time and surges forward with his final breath. Just enough to put us on top of the last hill. Coasting the last three hundred or so meters into the fuel station I feel the life slowly returning. That was close.
But I digress.
During the last couple of years, we have done quite a bit of road-tripping with the bike. Travelling the back roads and mostly gravel and dirt became a preference - even if only to escape the craziness of main routes.
For some reason, we decided on Namibia over December this year. The preference was a place with no tourists and cool weather. Zero out of two does not, however, create the impression of good planning - but an idea was spawned nonetheless.
To keep our budget within acceptable limits we decided on a combination of camping and whatever else. It turned out problematic for places like Swakopmund where 90% of quad bikes sold in Africa ended up for the holidays and it gets very busy during this time. I'm jumping ahead though.
It would be the Tigers first long-distance road trip and he had big shoes to fill after the incredibly awesome Africa Twin we rode before. It almost let us down in spectacular fashion by running out of fuel 1 km short of Klawer. Ok, to be fair it was MY fault. But any rider worth his salt would have been hard-pressed to stop himself from twisting the ear just that little bit more!
Paying the price for my over-eagerness we barely made 280km's on the tank (where I estimated a range of 350km's before even using the reserve which should give another 50 odd).
As anybody who has travelled the odd 700km's from Cape Town to Noordoewer know - there's not much on the way there. With nothing to distract us, we made great time and stopped in Springbok to buy some supplies. It was still too early for lunch and we decided to make straight for the border and enjoy the green campgrounds of Abiqua River Camp.