Okavango Belter!


June 27, 2015 by loscobos12


Sunrise over the Okavango

We set off from Uis after a week of recuperation, but had ventured no further than a Yorkshireman from his wallet when my knee starting hurting again. A quick call to Anne, our expedition doctor (but also Rob’s mum), and we had a diagnosis: the cartilage under the patella was as scarred as the Namibian driver who went past as I was applying Vaseline to my saddle sores.


Stream beds

The prescription was simple: don’t push yourself. Hundreds of kilometres between towns on dirt roads made this a tall order, so I spent the next few days half cycling, half hitching. Fortunately, in my absence, Rob had much to entertain him, there was sand, trees, and once even a cloud. He got so bored in fact, that he reverted to the pastime he discovered eight years ago, when we went on out first cycle tour; namely breaking spokes. So far this trip he has managed a very prolific 11 – a personal best.

The drivers who picked me up were an eclectic bunch: a member of film crew driving to the Victoria Falls for the TV show “The Amazing Race”, several farmers, and a civil servant who took me on an 80-kilometre detour to take his son six bags of Nik Naks.


Signs of life


Eventually we reached the turn which marked the start of the Kalahari, the road to Botswana, and only one town in 500 kilometres. If roads were made by sadists, this one would have been a masterpiece. It is hard to describe the brutality of both the road and the headwind which had been dogging us for 1000 kilometres, and as I have never ridden a mechanical bull down a wind tunnel whilst wearing sandpaper underwear, I hesitate to try.


Twihard cyclist


No help at sand

Fortunately, at the end of the road lay the Okavango Delta, which is a wet as the Kalahari was dry. We have now spent the last three nights in the village of Sepopa, licking (thankfully only metaphorically) the wounds and sores inflicted by the road.


Tar of the show

I doubt that Sepopa has ever published a tourist brochure, but if it did it would probably look something like this:

Visit Sepopa, where you can find:

Music – Whether it’s being serenaded to Westlife by an inebriated tradesman, or lying terrified in your tent as hippos harmonise just outside, you’ll always have something to entertain you.


Girls jus' Tswana have fun


Food – If you’re into gastronomy, why not tuck into one of our two varieties of carbohydrate? You could even pair it with our finest corned beef (now only 20% spinal column).


Ivory Coast


Wildlife – Why not take a boat trip on the stunning Okavango, where you can see elephants, sea eagles, and crocodiles? And with our frequently stalling outboard motors, you can now get uncomfortably close to those apex predators who regard you as no more than a fleshy crouton.


Eagle has landed


Join us next time folks, as we will be reporting back from the Victoria Falls on our continued efforts to test the human perineum to the very limits of endurance.


Stern expressions

2 thoughts on “Okavango Belter!

  1. John Chappell says:

    Excellent read Andrew
    I almost felt your pain

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