A brief rain squall and thunderstorm during the night left HUGE lakes in the middle of the dirt road on today´s ride. Did I mention that someone in Malawi told us the rainy season is over?! Actually, it should be, however, this is the rainiest season in 80 years in Namibia. The rainy roads proved to be too much for our lunch truck. 12km before the designated stopping point, it got royally stuck. Half the crew dug with hands and mugs to free around the wheel to put bricks under for traction while the other half of us made an assembly line to set up all the food supplies on higher ground. We had to work fast with the racers were just behind us. A kindly local couple happened by and between their tow straps, the bricks, and ten people pushing, the truck was free!
After a quick snack, I hopped on my bike and was rewarded with pristine high plateau landscape, howling monkeys in the hills, and rolling gravel roads punctuated by rivers crossing and mud piles. About 12km into the ride, I realized that I had no braking ability – they were soft the day before and the mud and grit did not help the situation today. On the next flat section, I played with them a bit but the only thing that stopped me was my left toe dragging in the mud. I knew a 500m in 4km descent was just around the corner and decided that walking was a safer strategy.
Two minutes later, I flagged down a generous family from Windhoek, Ian, Christine, and Les, who were out in the bush for a camping long weekend. They gladly threw my bike in their truck and invited me in for the ride to Solitaire, enjoying beer and homemade bieltong! They loved to hear the stories of the tour and as we passed each rider, they rolled down the window and offered them beer (which Tori gladly drank!).
Being in the truck gave me time to appreciate the most beautiful descent in the world. The high mountain plateaus gave way to a bush valley which disappeared into red sand dunes in the distance. My jaw was hanging down in awe over the view. Christine explained that the extraordinary rains made the usual brown landscape a beautiful array of green hues. We too quickly arrived to the gas station stop of Solitaire, ready for Moose´s famous apple pie and coffee – WOW! A must stop on your next road trip to Namibia!
This most enjoyable day was capped by a sunset walk along the Weaver´s Nest Trail – a perfect place to enjoy another 360 degree sunset. The clouds in every direction reflected the colors of the setting sun. A clear, cloudless sky means that we may see the infamous Namibian night sky – notorious among astronomers as one of the least light polluted spots on earth.