I cross into Namibia, surprisingly they actually want to know the VIN number on the bike, not that any paperwork was done but they wrote it on my road tax receipt. I then road to Ai-Ais, which is a hot spring in the desert. For the 35 degrees in the valley the water was way too warm. That night it didn’t cool down until 3 A.M. and even then not enough to use a sleeping bag.
Ai-Ais Hot Spring
I rode a short distance to Fish River Canyon, which is the second largest canyon in the world.
Fish River Canyon
Afterwards I stopped at the Canyon Road House for lunch before continuing to Aus where I stopped to refuel before heading in to Luderitz. The last 100 km of the day was brutal with extremely strong wind for the first 50 km which was then followed up by blowing sand for the last 50 km. The blowing sand managed to strip the paint off my side stand where it had been painted from removing part of it to prevent tip overs. The rest of the lower frame is now noticeably duller from the abuse. By the time I arrived in Luderitz I had sand in most of my orifices that took two washings to finally get rid of.
Highway into Luderitz
I took a rest day in Luderitz.
I visited Kolmanskoop, a ghost town near Luderitz in the morning before heading back towards Aus then North on terrible gravel roads to Helmeringhausen.
Mine Wardens House
Dunes Reclaiming Buildings
In Helmeringhausen I met twins Craig and Mitchell who are originally from Tswassen (Greater Vancouver) and are travelling with their wife and girlfriend. I don’t find many other Canadians on the road so it is nice to discuss home with them.
Craig, Mitchell, and I
The beating on the terrible roads continues to Sesriem. My wrists, elbows, shoulders, and knees have all received a thorough beating that I am sure I will regret if I make it to sixty and need to have all my joints replaced. Along the way there are a lot of Gemsbok (Oryx) and some beautiful scenery in this desolate place.
I catch the early shuttle out to Sossusvlei as they don’t allow motorcycles out there.
By the time I get back to camp at 11:00 it is too hot to function so I spend the rest of the afternoon in the pool.
I ride into Walvis Bay, the roads improve but still aren’t great until you get within 100 km of Walvis Bay and the sand and gravel has salt added to it to hold it together.
The roads are taking a toll on the bike with the speedometer cable vibrating loose and my spare fuel canister bracket breaking causing the canister to fall off and be damaged beyond repair.
I spent most of my day riding around Swakopmund and Walvis Bay trying to find a suitable fuel canister. Unfortunately I had to settle on a heavy steel one as the plastic ones here are all too big.
New Fuel Canister
In the afternoon I did some riding around the lagoon to get pictures of flamingos to send home to my sister as it is her birthday.
I moved north to the town of Swakopmund and enjoyed a nice beer and bratwurst meal at the Brauhaus.
I rode up the Skeleton Coast as far as motorcycles are allowed then head east towards Twyfelfontein. It is a good thing I replaced my fuel canister as the gas station in Torra Bay has closed.
As soon as you enter Skeleton Coast National Park the roads once again turn to unmaintained gravel roads. By the end of the day I am ready to go home as my body feels like someone has been hitting me with a baseball bat for the last 6 hours.
I went to the 2000+ year old rock engravings at Twyfelfontein in the morning where San (Bushmen) engraved animals and maps of water sources in the rocks.
Afterwards I went to Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain Rock formations. There the parks guides decided they would like rides and to have pictures taken on the bike.
The bolt for the left handguard has vibrated out and needs to be replaced during the ride to Khorixas.
When I pulled in to the gas station at Khorixas I notice coolant dripping from the bike. Upon quick inspection the radiator is leaking from the top and must have been hit by a rock on the gravel road just as I was entering town. I am extremely lucky that there is a radiator shop across the street from the gas station. I spent the rest of the afternoon tearing the radiator out of the bike and getting it fixed.
After two less enjoyable days in the backcountry I decide to head to Windhoek for pavement and civilization.
Anna is in Windhoek so I meet her and Potti, a fellow KLR rider for breakfast. Then head to Potti’s house for an afternoon braai.
Anna and I
Potti on his KLR
Potti is kind enough to have me for breakfast before I head North to Tsumeb.
Unfortunately I have not beat the rains to Etosha so I look around Tsumeb before the massive storm begins in the afternoon. In the morning I visited Lake Otjikoto which is a sinkhole lake.
Birds at Lake Otjikoto
Field Gun Recovered from Lake Otjikoto
After visiting the lake I visited the town museum which houses some the artillery pieces that were dumped in Lake Otjikoto by German forces during World War I before surrendering to South African forces.
I rode in to Rundu after stopping at the Hoba Meteorite, the largest Meteorite in the world.
I head towards Botswana stopping at Popa Falls along the way.