Die blouste hemel

(English below)

Ek het die laaste paar dae die mooiste winterry in ons Afrikabos gehad. Die blou hemel het van horison tot horison gestrek. Die mopaniebome het in skakerings van groen, geel en rooi langs die pad gestaan. Die gras was kort gesny sodat mens die vlakvarke langs die pad makliker kon sien. My hart was gelukkig.

Maandagaand het ek by die Popa Valle gekampeer. My motorfiets en tentjie het sommer vlak by die water gestaan. Die water oor die rotse het soos die see se branders geklink.

Met aandete het ek twee wonderlike mense ontmoet. Boet en Marthie Greeff van Otavi is twee gebore Suidwesters/Namibiërs. Dis lekker as mens na ‘n aand se lekker gesels kan voel dat die praat en gesels jou siel verlig het. So was Boet en Marthie. Op die koop toe het hulle toe nog my aandete ook betaal!

Dinsdag was ‘n baie lang pad deur die Caprivi se bos. Orals was waarskuwingstekens teen olifante. Ek het niks gesien nie maar dit het ook nie gepla nie want ek het mos al my foto vir die R 20 000.00 uitdaging gehad.

Kort voor Rundu het die KLR sy 60 000ste kilometer gery.

In Rundu het ek lekker koffie gaan drink en ‘n groot stuk melktert geëet. ‘n Man het my kom sê om die fiets by die voordeur te trek, “want in hierdie wêreld steel hulle.”

Dis nie wat ek graag wou hoor nie.

By Rundu het die pad suid gedraai. Dit was die laaste 140 km van werklik Afrika. Ek het stadig gery en vir oulaas na die hutte, die vroue wat graan met hulle stampers fyn gestamp het, houtkrale en beeste met baie lang horings gekyk. Die ry deur Afrika, regte Afrika, mens-Afrika, was byna verby.

By die Mururanihek was dit tyd om Afrika te groet. Joseph en Rensie Lewis het daar ‘n kampplek. Op die ingewing van die oomblik het ek daar gestop. Ek het besluit om nie tot op Grootfontein te ry nie. Joseph het kuiermense gehad. Hy het kom groet en binne ‘n halfminuut was ek vir middag- en aandete uitgenooi, en ook vir ‘n wildsrit deur die splinternuwe Mangetti Nasionale Park.

Die aand se kuier met Hoffie en Johnnie, Marlinda en John, Joseph en Rensie, Elsa en Tina was heerlik. Die vuur het gebrand en die Afrikahemel was groot oor ons.

Dit was ‘n koue nag maar my tentjie en slaapsak het my goed warm gehou.

Woensdag was ‘n lang ry tot by Okahandja. Ek het twaalfuur in Otjiwarongo by Carstens Bäckerei gestop, bekend vir hul lekker koffie en nog beter Duitse koek. Ek het gewag dat ‘n motor uit ‘n
parkeerruimte trek sodat ek kon intrek. ‘n Motor met drie Duitse toeriste het eenvoudig verby my gedruk en die parkeerplek geneem. Nie eers die skril getoet van die KLR het hulle links of regs laat kyk nie. Horende doof en siende blind. Dis wat die besef aan ‘n mens doen as jy weet dat jy ‘n stupid ding gedoen het.

Vir my was dit die welkom terug in die ‘beskawing’ wat nie meer vir my lekker is nie.

Die KLR het vandag weer soos ‘n droom gery en die meer as 500 km met ‘n glimlag gery. Ek kamp nou voor Okahandja onder ‘n kameeldoringboom. Alleen. Gelukkig. Sonder ander toeriste.

Ek kry tans nie toegang tot my eposse nie. Aan almal wat geskryf het, ek gaan moontlik eers oor die naweek weer toegang kry en dan antwoord.

Hoe lyk die blommesituasie in Namakwaland? Is die blomme al daar? Kan iemand my laat weet?

Die Afrikabos is so mooi terwyl die son nou ondergaan. Ons gesels later weer.

English

The last few days I had the most wonderful winter riding behind me. The African sky was so blue and stretched from horizon to horizon. The mopani trees stood in different shades of green, yellow and red. The dry grass next to the road was cut short so that one can see the hundreds of warthogs easier. I was in my element, ticking of many hunderds of kilometers.

On Monday night I camped at the Popa Falls. I pitched my tent a few metres from the water. The sound of the water over the rocks reminded me so much of sitting on a beach and listening to the waves.

During supper I met two wonderful people, Boet and Marthie Greeff. They are born Namibians from Otavi. We had a long and very pleasant evening of chatting about many things, covering history up to politics. It was a pleasant change to meet such positive people. At the end of the evening they even paid for my supper!

On Tuesday it was a long ride through the Caprivi bush. There were many signposts warning against elephants. I didn’t see a single elephant. However, that didn’t bother me as I already had the photograph that I needed for the R 20 000 challenge.

An hour or so before I got to Rundu the odometer of the KLR registered its 60 000th kilometer!

I stopped in Rundu for a cup of filter coffee and a huge slice of milk tart. The milk tart was excellent. A gent came to me, asking me to rather park the KLR directly in front of the door as “in this part of the world the people steal a lot.”

That wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

At Rundu the road turned south. The last 140 km of real Africa was waiting for my final farewell. I rode slowly and had a last look at the villages, the huts, the women grinding wheat to flour, using long poles, and cattle with extreme long horns. Real Africa, Africa with a warm heart, was getting to an end.

At the Mururani Gate it was time to greet Africa. From now on everything would be square and developed. Joseph and Rensie Lewis are living close to the gate and have a camping site on their property. On the spur of the moment I decided not to ride to Grootfontein but rather to camp another night close to real Africa. Joseph introduced himself and within half a minute I had an invitation to lunch and supper and a game drive to the new Mangetti National Park. He and Rensie had friends and relatives for a visit, so another person joining wouldn’t be a problem.

The night all of us sat around the fire until late. Joseph and Rensie, Johnnie and Hoffie, Melinda and John, Tina and Elsa were great company.

The night was cold but in my small tent and warm sleeping bag I managed quite well.

On Wednesday it was a long ride to Okahandja. In Otjiwarongo I stopped at Carstens Bäckerei for a few cups of filter coffee and German cake. The place is well-known and many tourists were heading there. I waited on my bike for a car to leave so that I could have the parking place. However, a car with three German tourists shot past me and into the parking space. I hooted quite angrily but they just ignored me. They were not seeing me neither hearing the horn, the typical reaction of people that knew that they had done a stupid thing.

That was the sign for me that I was back in the so-called civilisation, which I really don’t fancy anymore.

The KLR is still going like a dream and covered the more than 500 km today with a soft hum of the engine. Tonight I am camping north of Okahandja under a camelthorn tree with no tourists in sight. Wonderful!

At the moment I cannot get access to my emails. To all the people that are waiting on replies, sorry! I hope that around the weekend I will manage to get emails again.

What is the situation regarding the flowers in Namaqualand? Can someone let me know?

The Arican bush is so beautiful while the sun is setting. We’ll chat again.

About Lodie

Africa, Africa, Africa!
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