Raah, Jon from the cycle worx shop in Langebaan made an amazing job! When a huge lorry wanted to pass by I step by side of the road into gravel, when I wanted to continue I realized that there were about 11 thorns in my front and back tires. These little devils! One by one I removed them, but some really got into the tube, even with my mountainbike tires. So some slime came out at many spots, but the tube was still inflated, so I was able to ride on!
The way from Vredenburg to Lamberts Bay was long, about 150 km. In between there was the possibility to take the private gravel road next to the railway tracks but there was a barrier and a man inside the little shelter. I wanted to safe some km and not take the detour around on the paved road, so I turned around and wanted to ask if I can get on this private and shorter road. I shouted twice “HELLO” but no answer, so I got to the shelter and knocked at the window, no answer… The guy had a big deep nap and even did not wake up when I knocked hard to the window. Ok anyway I passed the gate and got on. This was a great decision because the road went directly along the ocean and a national park area to take care of the dunes.
One time there came a railway which was looong, about 4 -6 km long it took minutes to pass by, luckily I had not to cross the tracks at that time!
I planned to continue from Elandsbaai which is about the half way, because I really felt strong and fit. Elandsbaai is a really beautiful place, what a pity, that I did not stay longer there. But Lamberts Bay was quite a nice and small town too, so in the end it was ok. Just another place to come back again. On the last km to Lamberts Bay I met Louise and Andre with their caravan and they had stopped at a viewpoint near the ocean. They invited me for a cool drink and as we chatted a little bit even for a braai at the beach. Really kind in addition they organised me a night at the camping ground in Lamberts Bay. They and their dog stayed next to my camping ground and we had another chat in the evening. So in the end it was one perfect day of cycling and meeting so friendly locals.
But the next day will pay it off. From 11 devilthorns and no puncture I made it in the first 5 km to 2 holes and 2 punctures in between about 5 minutes. Anyway I used the CO2 cartridge to pump the tires and saved some energy and nerves. Luckily I bought 2. One new tire and the second I just put a patch on it.
After 7km on the pavement I turned into the way shorter gravel road to Vredendal. It challenged me really, it was soo bumpy and sandy. I think I only went about 3-5 km per hour and I was so tired after 15 km already. But it was a good lesson how to calculate the km per day in Namibia, where mostly is gravel. As well I checked all 5 minutes my back tire, which has had not that much bar in it, because of the puncture before. But it was alright, I was just so slowly because I stuck in the sand. The gravel road went up and down up and down and up again, the downhill was depressing because I stuck in the sand again and was not able to slide down the hill, I had even to paddle on some down hills. I knew the road is 45km long and I could not believe that I only cycled half, when I already got unbelievable tired. So I have had a rest under the only tree in between about 20km. On the road was really fockhole nothing else than sand, dust and washingboard structure.
Fitting to my mood:
Finally I could not believe when I saw the tared road again I was nearly crying of happiness!
I changed my plans and I now stayed two nights in Vredendal to upgrade my bike a little bit. bought some new cartridges for the puncture case and got ceiling in the tubes again. I really hope this will work now better to avoid more punctures in the starving heat because of these devilthorns. It is really unbelievable, these things have about 4 thorns and there is no case that these don’t point to the tires…