Thursday, 6 May 2010


I have seen more German tourists than Namibians over the past 5 riding days…. Namibia is so empty, it feels really strange riding hour after hour through such emptiness only crossing some flashy 4 x 4s with German tourists waiving frantically at us…

On a bicycle you really have time to appreciate how vast and how empty this country is. It is a great experience and I have to say, I am loving it. After super populated Ethiopia and Malawi, Namibia offers a brake to the soul and leaves you with a sensation of calm and peace.
Namibian beauty can be appreciated only if you have time to stop, put your bike down and sit on side of the dirt road. There is plenty of life here, insects, lizards, birds but also plenty of big game like Orix , Ostriches, Springboks etc, etc… when you stop for a few minutes and look at what is surrounding you, it feels like you have been reduced in size, even the perfect blue sky looks bigger… Oh, yeah… I forgot to mention that we have had good weather now for 3 days and the sun is back…
We have done big days riding 410 km on dirt in 3 days…. Hard but nice and nobody was complaining as the beauty of the landscapes we were passing matched the technical challenges of mastering sand pitches and rolling gravels…
One thing has changed though, since the return of clear skies, it has been freezing at nights. We are now back where we started. It is even colder than in the Sahara… We have to ride out of camp geared with warm cycling clothes and have to stop 2 hours later to strip them off as the temperature soars.
So, here we are with only 8 riding days left and exactly 1000 km to go, the great countdown has now started. In 2 days we will be at the South African border where we will enjoy the last rest day of this amazing adventure. To get there we are going to ride along the Fish River inside the famous Fish River canyon which is only second in size to the Grand Canyon… so guys, stay tuned as they say on CNN and expect some amazing shots to come!

                                                            David anxious to have his gears fixed
                                                        On board the small Cessna we hired

                                                The mountains take a different look from the air
                                                                   The famous dune 45
                                                                       Endless dunes
                                                                      The Atlantic Ocean
                                            From left to right, Jos, David, me, Gabrielle and Eric
                                        Riding on Namibian dirt roads is tough but so pleasant
                                                               Ruben, Jason and Paddy
                           We cover huge distances each day on these gravel roads (up to 173 km)
                                   It is freezing cold in the mornings here and riders are using warm
                       clothing for the first hours of the ride, some are quite exotic like this one from Dave…

                                 Tonight we sleep in the middle of nowhere again in a place called
                                  Seeheim, and this is it... Seeheim is just a few houses and a train
                                  station…. The big house is the Seeheim hotel


tonton GERARD said...

superbes photos des dunes!
Encore un pays à découvrir !
la fin du tour arrive! et pourtant elle paraissait sans fin !Tes reportages vont nous manquer!
allez! la montagne de la table est proche!

Anonymous said...

Coucou Gérald,
C'est un très bel exploit que tu viens de réaliser ! Rien que d'imaginer traverser Tahiti me fatigue hihi.Toute la petite famille VIALLON est derrière toi pour t'encourager. La maison est toujours ouverte et nous t'attendons pour te faire prendre quelques kilos ! Gros bisous à toute la petite famille Coniel et encore courage Gérald !