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The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes - Marcel Proust

11 April 2019, Gibeon to Mariental, 73,9km
Mariental Rest Camp N$300


The B1, Namibia’s main arterial running from the South African border to the Angolan border, is not in as good nick as the other tar roads on which we have spent time, but neither is it terrible. It is an unexpectedly narrow road, without a shoulder. All potholes have been filled; all cracks in the surface dribbled with liquid bitumen, a hieroglyphic scrawl, black on black, old and new mendings criss-crossing in a tangle that roughens the surface. The repair dates are noted on the road, either in white paint or black tar.
Motorists can be forgiven for calling the road from Keetmanshoop “flat”. It passes through mainly uninspiring terrain, running beside the railway line, running to the horizon. Cyclists know to trust their thighs not eyes and do not need the elevations depicted in maps by “Ride with GPS” to know the road climbs almost imperceptibly for much of the time. Cycling it is a little like cycling a large exercise ball that is slowly turning toward you. The road runs to the horizon, looking as though it crests there, but when you reach the horizon, a new section of road runs to the horizon, looking as though it crests and will reward you with a downhill, but…
We would have enjoyed today’s ride for the entire distance had it not been for a strong headwind the last 20km. Headwinds require you to double your effort, for half the result, and this one certainly slowed our progress at the end of a longish morning. In the past, I have asked Charl to act as a windbreak for me, but he is of the opinion I should break my own wind! Today I found him tucked in behind me using me as a shield!
We had seen on Google Maps that there is a Wimpy at the entrance to Mariental; I confess to thinking about a Coke and a burger long before we finally reached it. Then we shopped at Shoprite for a simple dinner and made our way to the Mariental Rest Camp, where we are the only guests. We have a private, lockable ablution block - a great innovation as one can safely leave one’s luggage and valuables there hen out for the day - and a swimming pool. When we told Simon who works at the camp that we would like to swim, he obligingly removed the pool cover for us, folding it neatly on top of the pool pump.
A good day.

For today's route see below photos
For overview route, click on ROUTE tab above…


Gibeon - church
Gibeon - church
Leaving Gibeon
Leaving Gibeon
Near Gibeon station, 9km from Gibeon
Near Gibeon station, 9km from Gibeon
Gibeon to Mariental
Gibeon to Mariental
Gibeon to Mariental
Gibeon to Mariental
Gibeon to Mariental
Gibeon to Mariental
Gibeon to Mariental
Gibeon to Mariental
Gibeon to Mariental
Gibeon to Mariental
Gibeon to Mariental
Gibeon to Mariental
Mariental
Mariental
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