Friday, April 23, 2010
Odometer - 9250 km
If you are able to see the horizon without obstruction, you will be able to see a clear thin line that seperates the earth from the sky, where everything seems to be invisible. The best place to see this apparition is standing on a beach on a nice clear day...or riding a bike through Botswana. The roads, have been long, flat and straight, to the point where every now and again, there are no slight curves or hills in the distance to block infinity.
The peleton is back!!!
Gone are the days of dirt and hills where the benefit of drafting was minimal. The distances are now long and steady, and getting into a paceline of cyclists increases your efficiency and speed incrementally. Staring at someone's back tire gets old pretty quickly (think of sitting in a spin class for half the day), but the appeal of a lower heart rate and less time in the saddle can be a welcome alternative on these long flat days. Then again, if you're feeling strong, the wind is at your back, the iPod is charged and your mind is ready to roam free...then let the peleton go and roam free like the animals you may see along the way. The inventory thus far of animal spottings by TDAers while cycling are: elephant, giraffe, buffalo, jackal, ostrich and the best sighting of all is a pack of wild dogs(an endnagered species).
Botswana is about 5 times the size of Pennsylvania, yet has the same amount of people has Philadelphia, not the Greater Philadelphia Area, just the City of Philadelphia. Its place in our journey is still a bit of a mystery to me as it seems so different to the places we have been. The people and landscape are similiar to that of its neighbors, but the vibe is different. I can't quite put my finger on why...yet.
A few days ago, about 80 km out of Livingtsone, we boarded a ferry to cross the Chobe river into Botswana. After setting up our tents, and stuffing our faces, we enjoyed a game drive in Chobe National Park. In lieu of the traditional Landrover, we boarded a boat and cruised up the river whose banks and depths were rich with animals...a welcome adventure for a post ride afternoon!!!
A long week looms - not a day under 160km, and inclusive of our longest day - 207km, with Namibia's Capital, Windhoek, as the carrot!!
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Your pictures look awesome!!
I remember Maun and Botswana well, just beautiful and there is always a truck getting stuck somewhere.
Amazing what you're doing?? cant wait to catch up with you over a beer,
all the best