Day 87 – Fishtailing.

Blog — By on December 18, 2012 8:11 am

Overcast skies welcomed us to a new dawn. A sea mist had developed overnight. It was a subtle reminder of what lies in store for us when we return to Blighty.

We were lulled into a false sense of security as we cruised along lovely flat tar for the first 40 kliks. Then Walvis Bay again and a refuel. And, heaven forbid before it had been earned, a coffee stop. Real cappucinos and lattes!! We couldn’t resist. And then things went South. The road got much worse with deep gravel, and ruts, and corrugations. But we managed 100k without too much drama before lunch in a dry river bed. The sun had returned, the temperature soared from 18 to over 30 and a swallow tailed bee eater came to visit us in this arid desert.

The road then deteriorated badly. Heavy gravel, and incessant corrugations. It is quite scary when you are relaxed at 80kph and then suddenly the bike is all over the place. You immediately get a shot of adrenaline. The body tries to avert the fall by counterbalancing. The bike slides away. And then the gyroscope hauls the bike upright. There is never an easy day on Africa100. This seesawing of the bike on loose gravel continued for at least 2 hours and the temperature rose to 36 degrees. And it really takes its toll. Maximum concentration is required as the mind contemplates the consequences of a fall at these speeds on rough gravel.

We finished with well over 400ks today, one of our longest on dirt roads. We finally rolled in to our Desert Lodge at 6pm and managed to squeeze in a 10k run down a dry river system to shed a few kinks from the corrugations.

Stigma flitted in and out of the day. Some say he cooks snakes for breakfast. Others that he hurled his brothers from the nest. We call him the Stigma. J

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