It had been a very interesting visit to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, some very nice pubs and restaurants and our self catering accommodation was comfortable but Monday morning it was time to start retracing our steps all the way back to Grunau, after that we would be in unfamiliar country on our way to Capetown down the west coast.
As it was only 300kms back to Windhoek where we had decided to spend another night we were in no particular hurry, so we made a slap-up breakfast out of food left in our fridge but as it was we gave a lot to the staff.
The ride back to Windhoek was uneventful, hot but pleasant and we booked back into the same hotel. We all had warthog steaks in the beer garden for supper and a couple of beers, not particularly looking forward to the next day's ride all the way down to Grunau.
The following day passed in a sweaty blur, 660kms of all too familiar sandy countryside punctuated by a couple of bitterly cold beers now and then. We were all glad when we arrived at the Grunau Hotel in the late afternoon, and as it was again Tuesday night we knew what to expect! The food was the same very nice Karoo lamb and the wine was the same Grunberger Stein, the beds were the same very comfortable ones and as the generator was switched off I settled into a deep sleep looking forward to unfamiliar roads the next day.
Remembering the breakfast the last time we were there we all agreed to pass this time and we set off at around 08h30, it's 140km to "Vioolsdrift", the South African border on the banks of the Orange river, at that time of the day it was pleasant riding and we notice a gradual changing in the scenery, the countryside changes from desert scrub to "Namaqualand" bush and we start seeing the first hints of the wildflowers that cover the area at this time of the year.
Parked on the banks of the Orange river, a motorist stopped and advised us not to park our bikes like that because 18 wheelers come down there at speed and would probably hit them, we hastily mounted up and moved on!
By then we were in amongst hills and mountains, the N7 was fantastic but I had almost forgotten how to ride in corners!
By 11h30 we reached the town of Springbok and found a restaurant where we could have a brunch, all hungry and thirsty and as the place was unlicensed I bought supplies at a nearby bottle store. Back on the road and it was much more interesting by then, through small towns; "Garies" and "Newerus" and eventually by 15h00 we reach "VanRynsdorp". We were all for stopping there for the night, we had been battling with sore saddle muscles for a while but Eddie had been to "lambert's Bay" on the coast before and thought we should press on, "It's only another 144kms." he said, "It'll be easy." he said.
That was a long ride though I must admit the scenery was fantastic but we started battling with strong cross winds that we were to discover can be a feature of riding on the west coast. We arrived at the hotel in Lambert's Bay in the late afternoon, by then I was really tired, it had been a 640km ride and we needed to get off the bike.
We put our stuff in our rooms and then went for a walk, I was not ready to sit down anywhere! It is a fairly picturesque little fishing town with a very interesting bird sanctuary on a small rocky island in the harbour. We were able to stroll around enormous colonies of Seagulls, Cormorants, Terns and Penguins which was very interesting if you could put up with the almost overpowering smell of guano!
A pleasant enough meal at the hotel, a couple of drinks and bed. Only some 300kms the next day to Capetown, I slipped into a trouble free sleep, 6000kms completed on the trip so far.