Our Book
Videos Routes Eat Sleep Daily blog
We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls - Anaïs Nin

24 March 2019, Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (Gamkab Entrance) to Boplaas Campsite, 27,1km
Boplaas Campsite - camp R160


Charl had a puncture. So much for our kevlar-lined puncture-resistant Mondial tyres. We bought the Mondials because we had read that they can go up to 12,000km without a puncture. But today, for the first time since we left Cape Town, with less than 1,000km under our belts, Charl’s back tyre went flat. The culprit: a tiny, almost invisible piece of sharp wire, found poking through the tyre wall by touch not sight.
On the plus side, we had the puncture not on the long uphill slog that defined the middle part of our day, but on the longer, more pleasurable downhill run to a dry river of sand. And there, where the two rivers meet, as promised by Daniel, the keeper of the Gamkab gate, was the Boplaas Campsite, right on the Orange, and complete with green grass, colourful flower beds, shade trees, picnic benches (the ultimate luxury when camping is somewhere to sit), and reed ablution blocks open to the sky. There is something sybaritic in taking a cool, open-air shower under a hot sun. Biking through inhospitable desert is dry, dusty work; camping ain’t comfortable, so I will take what pleasure I can in the small things.
So exhausted were we yesterday, that we were “in bed” (actually on our less-than-comfortable blow-up mattresses) soon after dark. Initially, we slept outside the space Daniel had said we could use*, as the room was incredibly hot and airless. Slept outside under a blanket of stars, bright and beautiful. Later, when it cooled down, we moved inside and only got up as it began to get light, to pack and prepare for the road.
Initially the road west followed the river again, but soon turned away from the water and reeds and green trees,to weave a path through dry hills. We climbed interminably, grateful for the chill in the headwind, putting on our sunglasses to protect our eyes every time a car came by, raising clouds of fine dust. Several people stopped to chat to us, one asking Charl if we had spotted leopard. We had not, only a troupe of baboons, several small buck and a solitary eagle circling above.
*Today’s host, Robert, told us he had heard from Daniel that we had been offered the back room, and said: “I’m surprised he didn’t fine you”. A kindness to two obviously tired cyclists.

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

Gamkab gate to Boplaas campsite
Gamkab gate to Boplaas campsite
Gamkab gate to Boplaas campsite
Gamkab gate to Boplaas campsite
Gamkab gate to Boplaas campsite
Gamkab gate to Boplaas campsite
Gamkab gate to Boplaas campsite
Gamkab gate to Boplaas campsite
Gamkab gate to Boplaas campsite
Gamkab gate to Boplaas campsite
Boplaas campsite
Boplaas campsite
Previous Page
First Page
Next Page