Friday, 29 September 2017

The Ups and Downs of the Open Road!

I finally left the comfort of Nundu Lodge on the Okavango River. The place that had been my sick bed for a few days, and a place that had been very kind to me as I recovered from my tummy bug.  A cool fan and mosquito net made all the difference, and waking up to the sound of grunting hippos in the morning is enough to distract anyone from their ailments.

Fully recovered, I said my goodbyes to Namibia and headed for the Mohembo border crossing into Botswana. It was a lovely dirt road ride in through a game reserve, with signs warning of lions and elephants in our presence and an extra big sign saying, ‘Disclaimer – Enter at own risk’. It reminded me of a sign I had on my bedroom door as a kid and I smiled as I imagined lots of teenage wildlife leaving clothes all over the floor and mouldy cups under their beds.  I saw neither elephant nor lion. I did however, see lots of antelope type things and made a mental note-to-self as I rode, ‘Brush up on antelopes’.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

What a difference a border makes - Visiting Angola

I had not intended to go to Angola. She just started calling me as I got closer to her border. The advice on the government website says ‘DON’T GO’, but if you do want to go you have to go to your country of origin to apply for a visa. I decided to chance my luck at the embassy in Windhoek (Namibia) anyway, and after much eye rolling and open irritation at my presence, I was granted seven days. I took it and ran!

I hoped the embassy was not reflective of the country, although I had evidence to believe to the contrary. The only woman I know to have gone there solo in the last few years is a fellow adventurer named Jo Rust of South Africa. 

Friday, 8 September 2017

Welcome to the desert!

After several weeks of being stationary waiting for my bike, I was beginning to wonder what was wrong with me. I was in a beautiful part of the world and yet things did not seem right. I questioned whether I wanted to continue. My body ached and I feared I would not make it across the last continent. Perhaps I had just had enough of the road. 

I pushed on with little choice but to ride it out, and that’s when the magic started to happen all over again. It seems I truly am a prisoner of the white lines. The aches dissipated, the fears quelled and the tiredness melted into a forgotten past. I was getting my road fix and the cold turkey had gone.