Since leaving Zeerust a week ago we have been heading towards the N Cape and the Kalahari. After re-stocking in Mafikeng, we headed off into the middle of nowhere and were put up once again by the SAP this time in Tshidilamolomo. The terrain is markedly drier and more sandy with more and more patches of the characteristically red Kalahari sand.
From Tshidilamolomo we did a 122km day to the village of Bray on the Botswana border. Half way there we were stopped by a farmer who insisted on organising accommodation for us in Bray with the astoundingly hospitable Eloff family who plied us with food and drink and hilarious anecdotes about the village. They sent us on our way the next day with bulging bellies and a list of contacts who would put us up for the next couple of days, all of whom welcomed us like long lost friends when we had expected to be camping on the roadside.
The Kalahari is really a magical place and its people are second to none with regard to hospitality. Despite the beautiful scenery and fabulous hosts, the riding has been very tough this week with long distances, very sandy and rutted surfaces and head winds. Thankfully there has been loads of rain so the landscape is uncharacteristically green and covered with flowers and the temperatures have been quite pleasant. We have had some interesting wildlife experiences and seen lots of cheetah, leopard and hyena tracks. We also saw a black mamba (freshly killed by a bakkie) of over 7 foot in the road this week but have not come across any of its surviving relatives to my great relief.
Hannah has been riding a couple of kms with us every day which has been great, I am going to have to push to keep up with her after she gets a new bike for her 6th birthday next week! We have just spent a fabulous rest day at the Vanzyl’s Rus Hotel – a totally trendy and tasteful spot in the middle of nowhere and are now stuffed with bobotie and venison pie and sufficiently fortified to head off again into the unknown for our last week of cycling that will take us to Khamkirri near Kakamas on the Orange River. As at today we have covered just over 3500km (of which 2500 have been on bikes). About 2500km to go!
[noteblock] last week of cycling [/noteblock]