Thursday, 6 October 2011

SA/Namibia 2011 - Day 8. Luderitz to Grunau.

View 8th Sept: Luderitz to Grunau in a larger map

Its Thursday and we really have to leave Luderitz. On the ride north and west we liked Grunau and Springbok so much that we phoned back yesterday and made reservations for accommodation at both places. It is 489 km to Grunau. We plan to refuel and have coffee at Aus and then refuel and get some lunch at Keetmanshoop. It is only 123 km to Aus.

The weather is not so brilliant when we set out.

Very cool and low overcast. But we know that as we progress eastwards the temperature will increase and the sun will burn off the clouds.

Sand and Stratus ...... thanks Andy, you can get back on your motorbike now.

Somewhere over the horizon are blue skies and warm temperatures ... 

It DID warm up after about 100 km. Soon after that we turned off the highway into the charming little village of Aus. We refuelled and then pulled in to the Bahnhof Hotel - jewel of the Sperrgebiet.

Our parking needs more practise. I usually insist on herring-bone, but nobody listens!

Coffee and sun on the beautiful deck. What's not to like?

If you have a plane and want to land there, here are the co-ordinates: S 26 40 078 E 016 17 628 - I just thought you would like to know.

'Raus raus - we have to leave Aus!' Next stop KMH. Some of our group can't say 'Keetmanshoop', but they CAN say KayEmAitch!

We passed a lovely Quiver tree..........

....... and the group stopped to take a picture. Tony E, being very observant, looked at not only the tree, but also at the sand under his motorcycle. It should have been dry and dusty, but it was slightly black and oily! Oooops - the BMW had thrown a clutch-housing bolt! Japan 1. Germany 0.

Andrew, being a skilled dentist, and used to plugging horrible holes with sharpened wood, effected a repair before you could say 'Aaaaagh........'

BMW 650 Clutch-Housing.

....... and a beautiful job too I'm sure you will agree. If his glamourous nurse had been assisting him, I am confident that the blood oil would have been carefully and sensitively wiped away!

Onwards and eastwards - with a 5-degree turn onto 085 ahead I see! But I get very tired at about noon and my concentration (poor at best) starts to wain. A ten minute nap does it for me. The guys are very patient and they understand completely. While I sleep they walk around in the dust kicking rocks and muttering stuff like, 'He should be shot at the first available dawn.'

Any questions ........ ?

The road to Keetmanshoop.

We got back on the road. Tony E and Graeme W decided to go ahead to KMH and look for a garage with a bolt for the BMW. There they are racing off towards the horizon. We would RV with them at the refuelling stop on the B1 3 km south of KMH.

About an hour later, at the Keetmanshoop Engen, Tony and Graeme roared in with big grins on their faces. On entering the outskirts of the town they spotted a scrap yard. It was closed and as Graeme said, 'Even the scrap yard dog didn't make an appearance.' However, a few minutes later a woman pulled up and said that the yard was her brother's place. She phoned him and soon the gate was unchained, the dog barked, and the owner was very helpful. He found a likely looking bolt - wrong length and wrong thread! No problem. He cut it and re-threaded it and fitted it. No charge! What a bonzer bloke!! I think Tony insisted on R50 changing hands.

This is the sort of thing that makes your day and puts a smile on your face every time you think of it. I bet you anything that bolt will be on that bike until the bike ends up in a scrapyard.

Soon we were back at Grunau (still no umlauts you'll notice) at the Shell refuelling station. We are now just five minutes from R&R at the Country House and a Castle Lager. It has been another great day.

Distance Today: 489 kilometers. 304 miles.
Total Trip: 2 051 kilometers. 1 274 miles.

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