The day I left Mariental I broke a few of my previous records.
- Highest temperature 48.5 degrees. Previously 46 degrees a few days ago.
- Longest distance in 1 day : 153.5 km. Previously 146km on the day we crossed from Morocco into Mauritania.
- Iphone stopped working because it was too hot. Previously stopped working in Spain because it was too cold.
Arrived at Keetmanshoop
Keetmanshoop is just over 500km from Windhoek. It’s the first big town since leaving Windhoek, and it’s the last big
town before crossing over into South Africa. I’m staying at a nice place in the town centre called Central Lodge. They have a swimming pool – ahhhh – what a pleasure to cool down in this heat.
There’s still another 300km to go before crossing the border at Noordoewer / Vioolsdrif, and I suspect this section might be the toughest. It’s extremely hot, shade is getting scarcer, and there are big distances between watering points.
Over the past few days, I’ve crossed paths with 4 snakes (all road kill), some wild horses, a very large eagle (not sure which one – but this bird was huge), 2 active troops of wild baboons. The baboons are scary. I’ve seen how aggressive they can be in their pursuit of food at Cape Point in Cape Town and I was speaking to a local sheep herder who tells me that they occasionally take out one of his sheep. They are extremely strong, and kill the sheep by ripping out the innards starting from the anus. It’s a cruel way to die. I’ve taken extra care to make sure that I don’t in any way look like a sheep riding a bicycle, and I keep my butt firmly in the saddle.
On a creepy insect note, I came across the biggest spider I’ve seen in a long time, perhaps ever and I now regret not having taken a picture of it. I was camping at the police station in Tses (pronounced Chess, unless you don’t have front teeth, in which case it’s pronounced Tses). In any event, the spider was already dead and the ants were feasting on the arachnid frame. The locals said it was a Camel Spider, fondly referred to as a ‘Hair Cutter’. At first I thought they were making reference to the spiders’ ‘fangs’, but I was wrong. Apparently the spider won’t bite you, but it loves your hair and will climb onto your head (while you’re sleeping I assume) and eat your hair. That’s what it does. It eats hair. I’ve made a note to keep my tent zip closed at all times and have a hair cut as soon as possible.
Tomorrow I’ll rest for a full day here in Keetmanshoop before my 3 day cycle to the border.
Some photos follow;