Today’s ride was only 93km. Danger Wil Robinson! Danger! Alarm bells are sounding, klaxon wailing, Arrrooogaa!!
Ok, it wasn’t that bad. Well, the first 27km were bad, but at least half of it was avoidable by taking a secondary road that other vehicles had made on their own, because of how horrid the main road was. You can imagine how dismal the road conditions must be for other vehicles to say “screw this, I’m driving over there!” However, once past the abysmal part, the road became some really nice smooth, compacted gravel. I was riding on it as fast as I would on tarmac. Our lunch spot was at wonderful old German train bridge built in the late 1800’s.
History note: Namibia was once a German colony called German South West Africa. You can still see a lot of the German influence in the place names, churches, and languages spoken in the area.
After lunch it was a quick ride to our camp spot, a nice facility called The Cañon Roadhouse. It is located a mere 27km from Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world (the Grand Canyon, being first). Well… I can’t let all those alarm bells ring for no reason, so I decided to ride the additional 55km (round trip) to the canyon and take a look-see. I was the only full day rider to cycle the entire day AND be crazy (stupid?) enough to add another 55km of voluntary gravel to my day. The others who did venture out to the canyon either hitchhiked, didn’t ride the day, or took a guide vehicle.
Well, the additional kilometres were totally worth it. The canyon is an impressive site (and sight). Thanks to the visit, I’ve now added another activity to my bucket list, the five day Fish River Canyon hike. It’s 80km of trail through the bottom of the canyon and, unlike the Grand Canyon, you don’t have to apply years in advance hoping you get a spot.
Finally, I ended the excessive energy expending day by placing my tent on an even bigger hill than the previous day. I’ve earned a bit of reputation for extreme camp spots and I’ve got standards to uphold. I did kind of question my choice of locale after ascending the hill five or six times. Feel the burn!