Being spontaneous has its rewards. I got offered the amazing once in a lifetime opportunity to go and partake in the Desert Knights mountain bike adventure in Namibia! Frankly, when I got the message I thought it was spam, but I had nothing to lose by responding and hey, presto, it was genuine!!!! It’s an event I had looked at previously and thought looked like a bucket list must. Who doesn’t want to cycle through the desert during full moon and canoe down the Orange River?
The event takes place in the Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and combines 5 days of cycling and 1 day canoeing down the Orange river. I have been lucky to spend a few holidays in this region and absolutely love it (read here). So we start on the Namibian side of the park in Hobas and end on the South African side in Sendlingsdrift. What is so unique is that the event takes place during full moon and most of the cycling is done from late afternoon and into the night. How incredible to cycle to the Fish River Canyon and watch the moon rise over this iconic and beautiful place? Or to camp in the dry river bed of the Gamkab Canyon? As you can tell, I am beyond excited!
Having only gotten my entry a week ago, one week before departure, means that I haven’t had months to prep and train. But here is another bonus, this is a tour, not a race. You are supposed to enjoy the scenery, stop and take pictures and generally just appreciate the area that is truly a magical place on earth. Luckily I ride regularly and am pretty fit….well here’s hoping.
So I am off tomorrow and we start on Friday. It has been a bit of a scramble getting my bike together as I was waiting on a part from the UK, but all is sorted in the nick of time as well as having to have the clutch replaced on our Toyota Fortuner. But all was packed this evening and I am ready to get going early tomorrow morning. Hopefully the sun will be shining and I will get to see some of the flowers through the Namaqualand en route which will be a treat.
This will be a solo mission, Simon and the kids will sadly remain at home holding the fort. But a solo adventure isn’t always bad, it is good for the soul to have time to think, meditate, appreciate and rest and this is something that the silence of the desert does bountifully.
Here is to a Bucket List Must!