With the undeniable beauty of Sossusvlei behind us, we were now driving towards Swakopmund and its neighboring sites. A heavily German influenced area and Namibia’s largest coastal town, Swakopmund was like nothing I had ever anticipated finding in Africa. Our time here and throughout the surrounding region, was at times exciting, full of some very high highs and some awful lows.
Leaving behind what turned out be a surprisingly great trip through the Desert Camp, we were headed north. We weren’t sure what to expect for the next day’s journey, whether it’d be wonderful or awfully boring. However, headed deeper into the desert, what we found waiting for us was simply spectacular.
After a night of fearing the doll’s dress above our bed and the haunted town outside, I was ready to get to a happy place. As Rich knows all too well, when you have a sad, scared or depressed Lis there is one surefire way to bring a smile to my face and a lasting happy demeanor: add water, big great expanses of water. Thankfully the next day would have us crossing into Namibia, and spending two days paddling our way along the calm waters of the Orange River.
Like many, travelling to New Zealand has been on my bucket list since discovering the country’s natural beauty as a teenager watching the Lord of the Ring trilogy. Having a few weeks between our cycling trip from Adelaide to Melbourne, and the Christmas holidays, and a bit of time left on my travel insurance for some crazy adventures, Rich and I decided it was time for us to make the trip over to the land of kiwis and hobbits.
Last day! Last day! Last day! Oh what a feeling. Another 63.5 kilometers and we’d be finished. We’d be able to go home, crawl into our own bed, and never have to get on a bike again.
Still grey. Rich and I woke up this morning to find ourselves trapped in a layer of mist. It was surprisingly chilly so we shoved our Patagonia‘s on and headed across the street to enjoy a breakfast of pancakes and jaffles before heading out of town, almost ready for the 76.8 kilometers and over nine hundred meters of elevation gain waiting for us.
Waking up this morning was not nice. Grey skies seem to have a habit of following us around, and even though they had let us be the previous day, we saw nothing but grey as we climbed out of our tent. I really hoped it wouldn’t rain today. Today would be one of our shortest days, coming in at 49.6 kilometers, but the hills were going to be horrendous. We were looking at an elevation gain of 1030 meters over less than fifty kilometers, with one seriously massive hill and lots of steep little ones.
Rich and I had been waiting for this day of riding since the moment we started out of Adelaide. Today, we were going to leave the normal, boring old roads behind and start up on the Great Ocean Road. To get to Port Campbell, one of the first towns on the Great Ocean Road, we were going to have to travel 95.6 kilometers and to climb some pretty massive hills.
Overnight, it pissed down rain, and we awoke to a cold chill and grey skies as far as the eye could see. As now seemed customary for me, I spent the morning packing up and chowing down on Pop Tarts (apparently that’s all I wanted to for breakfast and lunch this trip). Rich had gotten sick of this diet and resorted to something neither of us were normally able to stomach – McDonalds. Considering we never eat the stuff, I took it as a bad omen when we showed up in the McDonalds parking lot and a local decided to drive into the back of our trailer. Luckily, there was no damage, but we were really unimpressed by how little caution the driver exercised around cyclists.