22 April 2017
Day 100, Stage 70
208km, arrive in camp at about 18.00
Ghanzi, Botswana to Eastgate Rest Camp, Buitenpos, Namibia
We were all up early this morning. .. and we left camp at first light, to ensure we didn't waste a minute of daylight. Mostly we walked the first 3km sandy stretch before setting off on the paved road towards the Botswana/Namibia border. Ten of us started immediately in a peleton and we pushed hard for the 80km to lunch.
The vast majority of us carefully repacked our bags on the bike in preparation for today's long distance ... and a uniting factor was that we all ditched our rain jackets. It has been very hot with no rain for the past week or two. As luck would have it, the Kalahari desert, which has a very low annual rainfall, surprised us with headwinds and driving rain. We were soaked to the bone, and a few of us managed to coerce Wynand into giving us some black bin liners at lunch. The liner was my saving grace. I managed to keep my body dry and shield myself from the icy wind.
150km into the ride, Marie and I were struggling to keep up with the fast-paced peleton, so we dropped off and continued on alone at a slower pace. The wind became stronger and the rain came down harder.
Miraculously, with a lot of hard work, we managed to get to the border, and through to our camp with minimal daylight to spare. Many riders were not so lucky, and Tallis picked them up in the land cruiser. The road conditions were poor with the failing light and driving rain, and Phil and Michael reported an alarming account of a large truck that did not see them.
Our normal routine was upside down ... we were all bitterly cold as we came in. I was too tired and cold to put up my tent in the rain, so I gave up EFNT, and am now warm and cosy in my new sleeping bag, on my camp bed in Alex's chalet ... along with a couple of other refugees that were unable to book accommodation.
Another longish day tomorrow!!