My tummy was still off today and 159km on dirt did not seem like it would improve the situation. I am on the starve the beast strategy now, but without food, I have little energy for riding. So, instead, I hopped onto the truck and enjoyed the amazing views of the Fish River Canyon – the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. Once again, the views were incredible and the colors so vivid. As we rose in elevation we were enveloped into the clouds and a cool mist chilled us. Wild ostrich ran along the side of the road and unusual Quiver trees stuck up among the low brush and cactii.
We turned left at one point and paralleled the Orange River which runs along the border between South Africa and Namibia. All of a sudden, the red hills were interrupted by rolling greenery of grape vines! Wine producers were using the water from the river to irrigate and produce crops. Small grass huts with tin roofs, like those that we used to see a month or two ago in east Africa, housed the workers for the vineyards. It was so strange to see such greenery in the midst of the red mountains. After the vineyards, we arrived at our camp for the night and rest day tomorrow, Felix Unite Camp. We are ready for the day off and the chance to use the arms in the kayaks and give the legs a break.
We are now one week away from finishing the trip. It is with mixed emotions that we mark this day – much happiness to be done with the cycling but much sadness at the prospect of separating from new friends that are now like family. One more week to enjoy!