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Namibia Bike Trip - Part 9: Final Stretch

WINDHOEK TO MARIENTAL: Once again we found ourselves on quiet roads. It was Sunday. We were heading for a friends farm outside Mariental. The good part about the farm was that there was no one else there. The bad part was that there was no river nor a pool and it was scorching hot!

Just as well there weren't any people around as the was no inclination to overdress. Or just dress for that matter. The isolation was, however, just what we were craving. Plenty of game roamed the farm and we saw New Year's Eve out in under the starry Namibian sky.

Distance travelled: 320km's

MARIENTAL TO VIOOLSDRIFT The heat finally drove us away from Mariental and we hit the B1 south. After the fun we had at Abiqua we thought about keeping the option open of staying an extra night next to the river before heading home. It was New Year's day and we left early in the hope of finding an open shop in Keetmanshoop. Boy were we wrong! Not even one open shop anywhere.

Our best source of provisions became an Engen Quickshop outside the Keetmans along with Grunau's 'kiosk', an overcrowded BP 'kiosk' and an empty but incredibly overpriced 'supermarket' close to the border. Limited supplies did not dampen our spirits and spending a full day lounging around the amazing Orange river was fantastic.

We met a British chap there on a 1955 Royal Enfield 500 making his way up the West Coast towards Europe. He looked somewhat travel-weary but happily shared some of his 14-month experiences with us over a beer.

Distance travelled: 560km's

VIOOLSDRIFT TO CAPE TOWN This was our final leg and we set out early under a pale blue sky. It was surprisingly cold and the vented jackets only succeeded in making us even colder. Despite the sun casting lazy streaks across us I switched on the heated grips for a second time on this trip.

The town of Springbok came just in time for breakfast - the town slowly awakening from the afterglow of holidays. It was still cold. It finally started warming up once we hit Van Rhynsdorp.

The mother of all winds welcomed us back to the Cape and literally tried to blow us back to Namibia. Traffic was an almighty shock to the system and Stellenbosch mountains came as a welcome sight.

We had our final beer of the trip at a local watering hole - reflecting on the day's journey. Grinning stupidly in the knowledge that it was a good one.

Distance for the day: 750km's

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS: Namibia is an awesome destination for long-distance touring. With a motorcycle, it does tend to become complicated as there are vast distances between towns and the lack of carrying capacity (especially water and fuel).

It's impossible to see all of it in one go and it would be wise to separate journeys into southern/central and northern areas. The coastal towns are few and well worth a visit for more than one day at a time. The notable exception being Swakopmund which can easily be used as a base for at least a week to explore the town and surrounding areas. Spitzkoppe, Cape Cross and the like is an easy day trip if you so prefer.

The coastal weather is noticeably cooler during the summer months and according to the locals, warm desert winds actually raises temperatures over the winter period. We were rather surprised at the diverse weather we encountered throughout our journey.

Trip Duration 15 days Total Distance Travelled: 4300km Total Fuel Used: 277 liters Average Fuel Consumption: 15.5 km/l Worst Fuel Consumption: 11.7 km/l Best Fuel Consumption: 21.8 km/l




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