Nestled in Namibia
I’m sitting in my tent right now 111 kilometers into the Namibian desert, hoping insane streaks of lightening find a taller object than my rain fly. By some unknown and shocking African technological breakthrough, my blackberry works for the first time in the middle of nowhere. For the eighth consecutive day in the middle of nowhere, the Tour d’Afrique is defying meteorology as yet another thunderstorm rages over our tents and heads. It has rained more in the desert than in the rainforest on this trip. TIA, unlike lightening, can certainly strike the same spot twice.
As I monitor a potential flooding situation in my rear vestibule, I can’t help but notice two other distinct issues affecting the happy space in my tent: 1. Thorns are poking through my groundsheet and are now embedded in both my socks and miscellaneous gear; and 2. It smells like horse, cow or elephant dung in here. I have made an executive decision not to investigate the source of number two (so to speak), so my shoes and any other potential offenders may just have to go for a swim in the rear vestibule.
Despite all smells, leaks and appearances to the contrary, my tent is indeed a happy space right now, following a stunning day of riding. Ten kilometers out of Windhoek we hit the infamous dirt roads that will carry us all the way to the South African border. I was of course dreading the dirt like usual but then an unusual thing happened…I flew through the dirt with a smile the whole way! It was spectacular and so much fun after the monotonous long mileage in Botswana. I felt strong and exhilarated picking my lines through the sand as I climbed and descended perfect rolling hills. The ride was hillier than expected but the scenery was the most breathtaking aspect. Mountains in the distance framed by rolling, sandy foothills of small scrubs scraping for survival reminded us we are entering hostile, unforgiving and ultimately rewarding territory.
We may be close to the finish, but the Tour is unrelenting. Two more days of dirty (rainy?!) riding will take us to Soussvlei, deep in the heart of the sand dunes of the Namib desert. But now its 7pm, which means its time to sleep and dream in my Namibian happy space.