Thursday, April 29, 2010

Windhoek, Namibia

Odometer - 10,100km

24 hours of sensory overload:

11.30pm - The blinding flash is what woke me, just in time for the following thunderclap to scare the crap out of me
11.31 - 12.30am - The driving rain starts, as does my heart everytime I see a flash of lightning, prompting me to wonder about the effects of being in a battle zone.
12.30am-4.30am - Sleep comes but the rain does not go
4.30am - Wake up, get dressed, take down tent - all the while attempting to stay dry.
5.30am - Eat a lot!!
6am - Still a bit dark, rain still going, and a bit cold - start the TDA's longest day.
6-8a.m. - Rain, wind, cold - riding along trying to subdue all non-functional thoughts.
8-10 - Weather clears, and a full lunch is a nice way to celebrate the reprieve.
10-12.30 - A mad dash to the Botswana/Namibia border. Some Wildebeest are spotted along the side of the road
12.30 - 207km ride complete - elation, satisfaction.
12.30 - 1pm. Pulling into the Customs building just as the sky opens again.
1.15. Arrive at camp/lodge.
1.30 - Order 2 chocolate milkshakes, 2 cokes, an egg/bacon/cheeseburger with fries and enjoy - most satifying meal of my life
2.30 - Holster the tent, for a chalet room.
3.00 - A rare hot shower, with even rarer, heavy water pressure. One of those showers one doesnt want to leave.
3.30 - The rain is back - as I curl up into a bed - siesta time
5.30 - Steak for dinner, followed by another milkshake
8.00 - Back to bed for the night

As I write this 2 things come to mind. Firstly, although I have outlined just one specific day, there have been many days like this and for that matter this trip might be described as sensory overload. Secondly, the milkshakes, steak and bed make it clear we are getting closer and closer to a first world country...SA.

As we made our way into Windhoek yesterday, for the last 40km, I started to notice random armed soldiers along the side of the road, either guarding the entrance to an abode or simply standing in the bush. Either way, they were clearly making themselves present. Perhaps I've been reading too much Wilbur Smith or Frederick Forsyth, but I started to think that there was revolution in the air...come to find out that the President of Burundi was on his way from the airport.

Our arrival in Namibia's capital, marked the end of century week - over 800 km, which averages out to 100 miles per day for 5 days. Since there was lots of time to think - or listen to Bill Hicks on the iPod - I came up with why Botswana might feel so mysterious as mentioned before...there doesn't seem to be much stress. It appears to be a very relaxed society. If that is the case, my very uneducated guess as to why, is because the population density is low. Is it possible that the higher the density of people, the higher the anxiety levels?? My only other experience which might validate that theory is my time in Iceland - once again, low stress and coincidently not a lot of people.

Tommorrow we head south again, on to some dirt roads which will take us to Namibia's interior

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