Bidii Yetu 2023 officially kicked off at 0731 from Swakopmund. We spent the night in Swakopmund Municipality camp. Everyone was slightly nervous so woke up bright and early. Danny, a Namibian friend, was at the accomodation at 06:30 to join us until Arandis. He’s an absolute delight to have around. He took us through alternate routes out of Swakopmund so we didn’t hit heavy traffic. People were extremely patient on the route. Our convoy included a support vehicle up front, riders next and another vehicle at the end. This worked beautifully, motorist were extremely patient throughout the day. Many hooted to show love and support.
It was lovely at just pass 20km to leave the cold foggy weather behind, we finally saw the sun again after two days.
We rode for 2 hours before we put in the help stem on Olaf’s bike. This allows the abled bodied riders to help him along. As we ride, the rider will hold onto the bar to assist with speed. Everyone tried their hand at pushing, but Matt has done it before and is simply a pro. We left him to do a lot of the assistance.
For lunch around 1330 we stopped on the side of the road, the tour company pulled out 2 tables and made us some well deserved sandwiches. This was exactly what we needed. After lunch we headed to the finish which was 7km away. We stayed at the Namibian Institution of Mining hostels compliments of Danny, who paid for our restful night after hearing we were to sleep in tents. Thanks a mil Danny.
Supper was tasty, sausages, carrots, green beans & mash. We ended the evening with a cup of warm tea and Matts melodies.
Day 1: 60km
Swakopmund to Arandis
Today was a perfect Mother’s Day, we all celebrated it with Marcy, our only mum out here. We indulged in pancakes & syrup for breakfast … yummy. We set off at 0755 from Nubeb a pretty desert accommodation. The apartments were huge, and as an extra we had air conditioning and a bath tub. Baveesha took advantage of this luxury and had a lovely soak.
10km into our ride, Franco, our driver, spotted giraffe in the distance, Marcy and Baveesha got to share in that experience, the rest of the group was too far ahead. We’ve been enjoying watching ethe terrain change from the desert sand, to small shrubs and sand, to full on trees and mountains. What was also exciting was seeing wild flowers, yellow and purple ones.
Today we noticed one of the trailers tail lights wasn’t working. Alfie tried fixing at lunch but with no joy. The flash unit on the vehicle needed to be replaced.
We stopped for lunch at one of the established rest stops. Because we have made good progress for the day, we spent a little extra time there. Some took power naps to revitalise themselves.
Soon after we left, we arrived at the turn off to our glamping experience. The vehicles stopped to load the riders and bikes because of the 6km gravel section. Baveesha has a mountain bike and she said she’s going to ride it. With that thought everyone just started pedalling. The gravel was fun, but full of stones, wash boards and sand and the hand bikes got stuck in the sand. The rest of us pushed them out and off we’d go again. Olaf and Jay have an infectious spirit. Nothing can stop these two, except a flat tire, which she had. Once we arrived at the camp site, another level of beauty emerged. The tents were on wooden platforms and had goose down duvets, fluffy cushions, carpets and the cherry on the top was the roofless bathroom letting us observe the sky.
From the porch we fixed Jays bike, drank beers and star gazed.
Supper was grilled chicken, butternut, jam squash & baked potato.
A beautiful day indeed, simply so pleasant. This day scored a 10/10
15 May 2023
Country : Namibia
Wilhelmstal – Von Bach Dam