June 7, 2015 by loscobos12
Apparently it’s still too soon to make jokes involving German aircraft of any era, so I’ll skip details of the flight and go straight to touching down in Windhoek.
Whatever notions we had of being carried off the plane in sedan chairs as handmaids fanned us with palm fronds to keep at bay the fierce African heat were swiftly disabused, as we found ourselves queueing on the runway at 4°C accompanied by 200 Germans who were struggling to come to terms with the frightening lack of efficiency.
We assembled our bikes with the speed and ease of children sewing footballs, and set off into the Namibian night, where we could see deer-like shapes moving in the dark by the side of the road. The next day got even better, as we saw porcupines, baboons, and meerkats. After failing to get a rise out of latter by mocking it with car insurance jokes, we lost interest and started to look out for bigger animals.
Then, to my right, I saw a long neck craning to reach the very highest leaves. I stopped and pointed it out. Tall, awkward, and ungainly, Robert was as impressed as I was to see Giraffes so soon into the trip. The next beasts we spotted were warthogs, hairy and unwashed after days in the African bush, this joke could apply to either one of us, and I’ve probably overused the device anyway.
When planning a trip such as this, it’s important to collate information from a wide range of sources, and having listened to the Band Aid single, we were confident that there would be no snow in Africa. What they didn’t mention, however, is that there is frost, and so it was that we woke up one morning shivering with a light icy layer on the tent. Curse you, Geldof.
The next few days consisted of long distances over the savannah, broken only by the occasional town with an unhealthy respect for the Kaiser Willhelm. Then came the Usakos to Uis road. 120km of bone-crushing washboard, wheel-grabbing sandtraps, and soul-destroying false-flats. The views were incredible though, and the thought of earning ourselves a rest day at a lodge in the one-ibex town of Uis was the light at the end of the tunnel that kept us going. We are now sat by a pool, as a couple of African Greys whistle “Adolf Hitler only has one ball” at us, like a couple of maniacs in the corner.