Old Legs 2018 Tour
Blog Entry 27 -Day 9
Botswana is very big, especially when seen from a slow bicycle. The towns and villages are intermittent with big lots of not a lot in between.
Our ride today took us 160 km from a little town in the middle of nowhere to an even smaller village also in the middle of nowhere. Rather than ride with trucks and traffic on the busy shiny highway, we opted to ride on a road less travelled, running 40 to 50 kms west of the highway.
I’ve been having sleepless nights about my decision to take the Tour off the highways and onto back of beyond roads, fearing a tsunami of Dick of the Day awards. But the road we rode on today was near perfect, way better than Zimbabwe’s national highway.
When Mugabe famously told the world that Zimbabwe was the second most developed country in Africa after SA, he was clearly talking crap.The Botswana we rode through today is beautiful and clean with good roads and no traffic stress , a visible economy well managed with no potholes and no poverty. I hope President Ed comes here and learns.
We had favorable winds at our backs for most of the day. It was also v hot . Bruce and I hid from the sun, lathering our faces with lashings of sunscreen. Never let it be said that Bruce is not methodical. He also applied lashings of sunscreen to his eyeballs, blinding himself in the process.
Our 160 kms plus ride was easy, for the first 120 kms. We flew along at a cracking pace, with hardly any traffic to stress about. Ryan drove next to us and played the song Mupurisa very loud and we partied on our bikes. Dave saw a real live wild meerkat but never showed it to me, even though he knows meerkats are on my bucket list. Leachie punctured twice. We rode past the 1000 kilometer mark on today’s ride.
For the last 40 kms, I labored hard like an Allan Wilson boy caught smoking.Mostly mY feet burned pins and needles and my arse felt like the bony bits were sticking out, grating. I hallucinated 10 kms out, turning a corrugated iron shed into our support vehicle and trailer, complete with shade and cold beers. Bruce, Leachie and Dave rode strong and did not partake in my hallucination.
Boatlamane is the name of the village we are overnighting in. Chances are it is not on the map. We are camping in the middle of the village in the community Centre. We have our very own long drop, for the use of. Rather than squat, we take our Pooh deck chair in with us and plonk that on top of the long drop. Which actually puts you quite a long way up above the target hole. Not for vertigo sufferers or those with crappy aim, pardon the pun. Luckily Bruce gave us all instruction on how to aim accurately. We set up hot showers. Jenny looked at my bum for bones sticking out but couldn’t see any.
Our arrival in Boatlamane caused quite a stir. One of the villagers told us they had never had white people staying in their village before. Some residents brought their cameras to take posed selfies with us. I feel like a fraudulent rock star.
My ability to rack up Dick of the Day offenses in proving to be very carking a.k.a. burdensome. ( Angela Fivaz please note.) 30 minutes before our lunch break, I gave Ryan strictest instructions to find us a shady tree 30 minutes down the road. So in about 10 kms he asked? No I told him, not 10 kms, 30 minutes. Just as well Ryan ignored my instructions because he drives at 120 kph.
Tomorrow we ride 152 km into Gaborone, joined by Neil McAdam and some other riders, Dave is very excited at the prospect of having people to tell his joke to. We are staying at the luxury Cresta Lodge for a rest day before we plunge off into the great unknown that is the Kalahari.
Tomorrow’s blog will come to you from Gaborone. Thank you for following.
Eric Dick of the Day Again.