D75…..The Desert Rat and The Doctor.

Blog — By on December 6, 2012 9:18 pm

You come to Namibia for scenery. It is like no other. It is an assault on the senses. We travelled through the most magnificent valleys and through mountain passes. The mountains are all the desert hues you can imagine. Rugged, untouched, arid, imposing. The terrain is either sandy, rocky or simply baked earth in great expanses. There is scattered shrub and the occasional stunted tree.

The trail we followed could have been designed as the ultimate off road course for these BMWs that we are riding. Humps and bumps, dry river beds, bends and curves, sand and gravel and hard earth. It had everything. And it had us completely focussed. It was one of our most challenging days on a bike and a long day at that. 11 hours of riding and 220 kliks.

We saw a desert giraffe (quite rare), hyena tracks, monkeys and great herds of springbok. At one stage Tim and I cut out onto the plains and raced the springboks just for the fun of it. My goodness they are quick.

There was a time in the middle of the day when Tim stormed out in the lead. He has not always adapted with enthusiasm to these sandy conditions but today he was the ‘desert rat’ of the group. Old Montgomerie would have been proud of him.

Orupembe. A shop, 3 huts and empty beer bottles.

We stopped for a breather around midday at a remote Himba village. In addition to the classic mud huts it had a little brick building which turned out to be a shop with some rudimentary provisions and a cheerful young lady in charge. When I entered she asked if we had anything for wounds. We eventually discovered that her son was injured and could we help. I brought some Mercurochrome over and we went into a little room with a child of about 8 or 9 years covered on the floor. He had serious cuts to the head, legs and hands with a large lump of flesh missing on his shoulder. It seems he had fallen from some rocks. That was the best we could translate. I administered the red antiseptic gently to all his wounds. The head wound was to the bone. He endured all this without a murmur as his mother watched anxiously over him. We gave her the spare mercurochrome and instructed 3 applications per day. We gave him one of our packed lunches and, very special, a brand new football.( We always keep a few in the truck). As I was leaving I asked him if he was a Manchester United fan. I got a big beaming smile and a nod. I meant to say to him that if he ever turned out to be a Zinedin Zidane I would at least expect his autograph!!

So a good deed done today, a lovely ride and now here we are in a tented camp in the middle of nowhere. Tomorrow we ride through the Hartmann valley to Serra Cafima, one of the remotest places on earth. J

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