23.04.2016 - CAPE OF GOOD HOPE

My last stage today to reach my final destination. We were following the beautyful road along the ocean. You pass the Navi town Simon's Town here. Worth a picture.

YEAAAAAH!!! I made it. After exactly four months I finally arrived at the Cape of Good Hope. A long time on and off the road in probabely the hardest part of the world. Worst road conditions in deep sand, hard rock sections or heavy mud made you occasionally kissing the asphalt. No showers for weeks, sleeping on the bare ground and using grease as skin maintenance doesn't sound like luxury. But you can't pay for these feelings of pure life. You get grounded and go back to the simple rules of life. There are no more problems anymore but solutions. If there has been problems I would not have made it. This is what you get back. 

What a deep and impressive moment remembering quite a long way down. All these fantastic memories are passing in your mind. I start realizing the importance and consequences of riding down the West Coast. I thank everybody who supported me on my adventure. You are stupid if you really think you survived here on your own. West Africa is no bloody playground at all where you fuck around. Bush life is by far not a kindergarten. You are dependant on people helping you all the time. Doesn't matter if you are running out of water, stuck with a breakdown in the nowhereland or need a dry place to sleep. Circumstances are demanding physical and mental strength. But by all that effort you get heaps of life experiences back. 

Particular greetings are going out to my friends Ayoub, Driss and Ahmed from Casablanca. You guys asked me hoisting your flag here for you. As I told you I kept my promise. Your flag suffered at lot on this track. By the time it was drenched with oil, petrol, grease and dust in the case. 

Me and my bike need a rest now after 25.000k. Time to relax now!

22.04.2016 - CAPE TOWN

Unfortunately we arrived probably at the worst day of the year. We were crashing in the heaviest rain of the year. It startet with slightly showering. 

And ended with waterfalls from haven. We found a more or less rain protected place under a bridge. But of course we were already completely drenched with rain. 

It was not the last solution waiting there. So we qickly checked the surounding area. There was a petrol station right around the corner. At least dry and warm. Roads were almost half a meter flooded. Obviously no tenting tonight. We checked in the Cape Town Backpackers and started celebrating our success with a couple of beers. Later on we went out to Long Street with other backpackers. We partied as hard as possible all night long. No shower in advance. Just as dirty and sweaty as we arrived with disrupted cloths. 

21.04.2016 - PATERNOSTER

We got a recommodation visiting Paternoster as a vey nice place to go. But we didn't know that it would probably be one of the most exclusive places in South Africa. It was bloody windy and cold. So we knocked at somebody's door and asked for the price of a room. Miranda opened and asked around. After getting response we told them we do not intend staying for a week. But it actually was the price for only one single night. That was not effortable for our small budget. There was a gap between two houses in the street where we wanted to set our tents up. Maranda didn't want us to sleep out there and offered us her carport as a safer place. We pitched up our tents here and had a nice dinner at her's. Good luck again. We entered in a chef's house. Maranda is a professional food designer and wrote her own cook book. 
I went for a run on the beach next morning and took a bath in the Atlantic waves. It was quite fresh but a wonderful morning swim though. I need that shit to feel your entire body being hit by ice cold sea water.

Before a delicious breakfast with cereals,hot chocolate and pan cakes we took a hot shower. Including all the luxurious stuff you need like shampoo, conditioner and more. I honestly didn't know what all that was but it smelled nice. The result was two fresh smelling and clean looking overlanders after months of digging in the mud.

20.04.2016 - SPRINGBOK

I left Namibia today after two amazing weeks. I will keep all these unbelievable and unforgetable moments in my memories forever. Awesome riding in the desert, rocky mountains, on the beach and above all thousands of kilometers gravel. Sometimes better sometimes worse but always fun. Namibia is definitively a country going there necessarily by your own vehile. Pitch up your tent in all these remote spots where wildlife takes part. 
We crossed our last border in Vioolsdrift. Just before the border we met Keith again while having a little rest beside the road. He's a South African guy going on vacation to Namibia with his 4wd truck. He was first at the gate and instructed the border offical telling us there're no bikes allowed on this road. He was more confused than us telling we'll turn back to Europe for that reason. 
Right after the border our final destination was indicated on the traffic sign for the first time. Such a good feeling and a reason to scream for sure. 

It was so nice in the beginning riding through that beautyful landscape in the sun. 

But after half an hour the weathter swapped from hot to cold. The temperature fell for felt 20 degrees. Welcome to South African wintertimes. And the cherry on top was fog and a bit rain. No more reason collecting further kilometers here by freezing all day long. From here straight to Cape Town. Luckily we had a hot soup as a starter for dinner to warm up a bit. 

19.04.2016 – AI AIS

I skipped my plans going thru Richtersveld when coming from Namibia to South Africa. But anyway it is about 280k tarred road coming from Luederitz to the border. Instead of crossing the border here I chose the track along the Orange River seperating these two countires. I intended meeting Martin still on the Namibian side.
I was expecting deep gravel and sand. For that reason I calculated double the time I actually needed. That beautyful track was supposed to be my last gravel section for this trip. So I enjoyed every corner drifting around in that calm region. Fortunately it was not as hot as the last days here in this valley. And all riverbeds were easily crossable. Leaving the riverside north again the track brings you to the Fish River Canyon. Martin was waiting here in a campsite. A cosy place providing a hot spring at your body temperature. We relaxed here for a while before the participants of a local mountainbike challenge crossed the finisher line in the camp. 

18.04.2016 – LÜDERITZ

After starting early in the morning I visited the Kollmans Kuppe. It's an old diamond mining village. They stopped digging here in the 80's. Since than nature has been conquering back the land. Housings are falling apart and being covered by sand. An other touristy place in my diary. But it was quite interesting as a German.

Lüderitz itself is a nice city at the ocean. Many shops were I found an appropriate sealing for my stove for instance. Actually I came here for watching pinguins. But there were none. So I had lunch only with the sea birds. And I met a very nice South African couple. Santa and Michel are on vacation with their offroad trailer. They invited me for a great dinner and some beer.

17.04.2016 – AUS

It was meant to become a long day today. But many animals along the track made it easy riding. Even if the road condition partially weren't that easy. It's nice that they have for almost every animal its own unique sign. For zebras, elephants, giraffs, wild horses, brown hyenas, black jackal, impalas and more. And in fact you see them all. So it's not necessary paying for game drive. 

You can enjoy the beauty of nature here right on the road. Nobody disturbs you here. Namibia is for me the country with the widest variety of landscape. But it's not real black Africa anymore. It feels more like Africa for beginners. But it possibly is a good way climatise and adpting back to European attitudes and behaviours. 

After 1600k of gravel I hit the asphalt again closed to Aus. I filled up my petrol here before leaving to the desert. I found a nice spot behind the railway spending the night.

16.04.2016 - SOSSUSVLEI

On our way to Sossusvlei we stopped in the Naukluft National Park for half a day hiking in the mountains. These mountains are well known for caves and natural source pools. But you find here animals as well. Martin stuck for a second when crossing one of the creeks. A big snake was wiggling in the bush. It was apparently a nig puff adder. In the midday heat we took a refreshing bath in one of these beautiful natural sources. 

In the late afternoon we arrived at the entrance gate of the Sossusvlei National Park. Unfortunately you are not allowed entering the park by bike. So we had to stay in the campsite and looked for somebody giving us a lift in the early morning. But inconciously we met Anne, Asahi and Juan from Swakopmund here again. They were with a car and had still two seats left for us. 
We left before sunrise next morning to walk up the dunes. We made a little challenge out of it by running up the deep sand. I haven't been suffering like this for a long while. It's time for intense training at home again. But at least I tasted blood. That's a sign for giving all. On top we enjoyed the view while having breakfast. 

We spend the entire morning in the park with stunning landscape and breathtaking prospectives. And lots of fun by running, swimming or surfing down towards Deadvlei from the Big Daddy Dune. 

Juan didn't want to join us walking the dunes. He meant being sick and wanted to wait. But when we came back to the departure point he was gone. Well we thought he has gone back to the camp. It was probably to hot here in the sun. We hitchhiked and other visitors gave us a lift back. But Juan was gone. With Asahi's Ipad, GoPro and Anne's passport. The police is looking for him now. Hopefully they can catch him latest when leaving the country. This was a wake up call for us again. We are still not at our final destination. I don't trust anybody in Africa except Martin and Gaeton. 

Next morning before heading to the South I checked the bike. The airfilter needed to be cleaned and I changed the oil as well. Martin and me splitt here again for a couple of days. I wanted to see Luederitz. But his bike needs to go to Cape Town now before falling apart. 

14.04.2016 - SOLITAIRE

On the road from Swakopmund to Walvisbay you pass a long chain of high sand dunes. It's a bit a pitty that offroad driving is strictly prohibited without guide and permission. But occasionally you have to break some laws for a nice picture. 

Walvisbay itself is a very economical town with many fishing industries. Actually I've seen the first industrial district here for months. The city is not that interesting or pretty. But there are colonies of thoudands of pelicans in the lagoon. Next check on the animal list. 

Meanwhile it was late afternoon and I was much too late. Martin has already left in the morning to Solitaire. I followed him in delay. So I still had to go for round about 100k after a beautiful sunset. The road was not the best. The only thing that secures you on such a loose surface is speed. Unfortunately I couldn't see there anything of the landscape then. But Martin has already taken some nice shots in the afternoon. 

Solitaire is quite famous for installing a show of vehicle wrecks. I wanted to go for a test ride with that chopper. But the battery was flat. What a pitty!

13.04.2016 - SWAKOPMUND

The Skeleton Coast is promoted as a ghosty road along the oceanside. Many shipwrecks stranded here in the past. Some wooden onces. But the bigger fishermen's ships and oil tanker as well. 

At lunchtime it was time for a little refreshment in the quite fresh sea. The sea is pretty rough here. A friend of some locals died in there turbolences by trying to reach the wrack. From here on we were heading for the last kilometers to Swakopmund. After sand and salt riding on the beach we definitively had to wash our bikes. I told the guys in Magic Car Wash what and how to wash. But I was really dissatisfied from their effort. So all again for them. 

Later on we decided going to the Skeleton Beach Backpackers. A proper guesthouse providing clean and ordinary facilities and nice staffs. I was excited sleeping the entire night on a comfortable matress. But Martin and Alex from Germany arrived in the late hours. Alex has been driving with his 120€ Nissan Micra from the late 80's the East coast a few years ago. The car has been standing in Southafrica since then. They are using their tough vehicle now for vacations here.
12.04.2016 - CAPE CROSS

We had an uncommon breakfast on top of this peak next morning. A few minutes and small climbing skills were required. Your effort was rewarded by a stunning breakfast in the sunrise on top. Unforgetable views and memories.

We entered the Skeleton Coast Park to ride towards the coast alined by many shipwrecks. 

We left the permission required track and hit the perfect salt roads on our way to Cape Cross. 

Finally arrived at the ocean after many weeks without salt water. We hoped finding the petrol station marked in my gps here. But because of the off season there was no petrol available for us. So we kept on riding along the coast in the desert. It was so hot around Torra Bay you had to close your viser. But after a few kilometers riding south it became too cold. We were almost freezing in the strong wind. So quite rough conditions caused by the weather change here. And I've never seen such a spray beyond the ocean. The wind blows clouds of sea water in the air. It's a breathtaking search of wracks on the beach. 

After a while it happend what I suspected. I gave Martin my jerry can before he stucked of no fuel. I calculated I could make it to the next petrol station. But without the wind. So MArtin made my pick up and pulled me to the next gate. Two beyond friendly park maintainers spent us enough fuel reaching the next station.