Tuesday, 4 October 2011

SA/Namibia 2011 - Day 6. Grunau to Luderitz.

View 6th Sept: Grunau to Luderitz in a larger map

Every place that we stay at we find ourselves reluctant to leave. Grunau's Country House (click) was special (Thank you Altus & Izane) and, for me, epitomized this trip in the best possible way.

"Au revoir Country House." I have a feeling that we will be back!

The tar B1 was about 600m away from the hotel. We intrepid bikers managed the sand with no mishaps! - Well maybe a slight tank-slappy skid!

But we all made it to the asphalt and the north!

The wide open spaces, blue skies, good visibility and virtually traffic-free roads are, to me, perfect motorcycling conditions. I don't need twisties, traffic, hedges and wet. Purring along at about 110 kph (4000 rpm on the Tenere) and being almost at one with the environment is as close to pure contentment as one can get. Save the Earth; it's the only planet with motorcycles!

The initial intention for today was to overnight in Keetmanshoop. I had heard that it was an interesting town and that the German Club was a good place to visit, if not to stay. So, KMH, here we come!

Just outside KMH we pulled into an Engen for fuel for the motorbikes and for ourselves. 95 Octane for the bikes, Hashbrown Splashdown and coffee for us! Just as we were leaving two motorbikers pulled in - a Kawasaki KLR and a BMW F650GS Dakar. We got chatting, as one does, and I said, 'Have you and your girlfriend come far?' or something to that effect. He said, 'Cairo. And that is not my girlfriend, it's my daughter.' They were great. We learnt that they had had the motorcycles flown to Cairo from South Africa and were now on the penultimate last leg back to Cape Town. Rivak Bunce is the Dad's name. His daughter is Brittany. They were riding for a charity called Earth Child Project. The link is on Rivak's bike, but I will make it easy for you to check out their brilliant blog - just click on this Earthchild Project!

Rivak's KLR

We rode the few remaining kilometers into Keetmanshoop and found the German Club which is actually called the Schutzenhaus. Click HERE for the link.

The German Club or Schutzenhaus

Unfortunately the place was fully booked. The receptionist was very kind and phoned around, but there was nothing to be had because there was some kind of event taking place in the town. There was, however, Backpacker-type sleeping arrangements at the Schutzenhaus which we had a quick look at (about a micro-second). At our (advanced) time of life we don't do backpackers. We DO do serious riding though. My Garmin said (only) 300 kilometers direct - straight line - to Luderitz  - sorry about the abysmal lack of umlauts in this story - for my German readers; would you mind interpolating? OR perhaps someone will tell me how to get it RIGHT! - and so Dr John K (serious long distance guru - remember from our introductions!) said, 'We can do that! It is only 13h45 now. We can be in Luderitz by 17h30 if we get a move on!' The actual road distance is 324 kilometers, but what the heck?

2 out of 6 = a 'Yes' vote, so off we all went, now heading more or less due west for Luderitz and the Atlantic - and, hopefully, accommodation!

The road to Luderitz.

Near Seeheim we crossed the Fish River.

What a great name for a river - FISH
My daughter once said to me, 'Dad, what do you call a fish with no eyes?' 'Don't know!' 'Fsh!'

Heading westwards on the B4 towards Luderitz.

I am moved by Namibian scenery. Isn't this beautiful?

Yup! - Still heading west. Nice road.

This is Goageb. We could have done with some fuel, but were not sure Goageb would have some ........

......... so we rode another 98 kilometers to Aus - a charming little place, with a garage and everything.

We wanted to reach Luderitz before nightfall and find some accommodation so we stayed only long enough to refuel and to buy some water - Litchi Flavour for me!

About 50 kilometers out from Luderitz the temperature dropped dramatically. We must have crossed a warm front into a cold air mass. as we got nearer to the port clouds appeared and the portents were not good for our arrival. However, on arrival, the coast was clear (literally) and the cloud was way out over the ocean. It was cool, but fine - like us!

We tried a place called Kratz Platz but they were fully booked. Graeme W kindly went off in search of somewhere one way, whilst Andrew M and John K headed another. Both parties came back with positive results. We opted for the Bay View Hotel at which John K had negotiated excellent rates which included breakfast.

The Bay View Hotel

On checking in, we liked the look and the 'feel' of the Bay View, so we decided to stay for two nights - good group decision!

Very soon we had parked the bikes in the secure parking and made ourselves at home. Here is the link for the Bay View Hotel.

Our trusty bikes clicking and clacking as they cool down after the long ride from Grunau of 489 kms.

In the evening, after refreshing shaves, showers, changes of clothes etc., we had a drink in the bar and then walked to a very good restaurant on the harbour. We had a very pleasant evening and strolled back to the hotel for a comfortable night's sleep. We had 'lucked-in' AGAIN!

Distance Today: 489 kilometers. 304 miles.
Total Trip: 1 562 kilometers. 970 miles.

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