Day 22 – Tuesday 19th June – Swakopmund 0km
We pick up the bikes at the workshop later that day. All seems good and we pack up in the evening, ready to leave early the next day.
Day 23 – weds. 20th June – on the road and back to Swakop.
The morning is incredibly foggy. It is after the case, after all it is winter here. We decide to leave at 9am. We aim to get to Palmwag, 430 kms away, so it will be a long day, up the skeleton coast mainly.
I can barely see through the visor of my helmet. It is very cold. By the time we get to Henties Bay, 70kms later, along the salt road, I am shaking because of the freezing weather.
Riding is hard as visibility is extremely poor through the visor, while at the same time I fear that if I go too slow, I may end up being smashed by a car from behind. We stop for fuel and tea, after buying fuel in Henties Bay. We decide to leave the muddy salt road that runs north and, instead, pick up a gravel road going inland, as it will be much warmer, once we get away from the sea.
After another 65kms we stop for water and to stretch. We are finally clear from the fog and it is warm.
As Alistair walks around the bikes and check our oil levels, he notices a pool of oil on the rim of him front wheel. His trousers are covered in oil too. The brand new fork seals are a spectacular failure. So much oil is pouring out that, surely, there cannot be any oil left in the forks. We have no choice but go back to Swakopmund and straight to the Yamaha workshop.
We turn back. We are gutted. I take the lead and ride fast. As we come closer to the coast, we can see the layer of fog still hanging far away in front of us, along the coast. The weather turns colder and colder until we hit the fog again. We barely slow down despite the poor visibility. It is all straight anyway!
We ride to Yamaha and have a chat with the guys there.
After that we go back to the Skeleton Sea backpacker place and get a room again. Shame, our previous room was big and airy, this one is on the ground floor and colder and humid. Nothing seems to dry ever. We take all the luggage off the Honda and ride to town to drop the bike to the workshop. We ride back 2 up on mine.
The shop will order genuine Honda parts from Cape Town. They fitted after market brand originally, although no after market can be that bad. We suspect either the seals were the wrong ones or they fitted them wrongly. Either way, they have to put it right.
Day 24 – Thursday 21st June – Swakop
We walk back to Yamaha. They confirm the parts will arrive on Monday. So we just have to wait.
We load on vegetables at the supermarket and cook a big chicken and vegs curry to last few days. Our diet lately has been petty poor, no vegetables. Only pastries and carbs.
Day 25 – Friday 22d June
Day 26 – Saturday 23rd June
Day 27 – Sunday 24th June
Day 28 – Monday 25th June
We are waiting, with not much to do. We do some washing, I read few books ( I loaded few Anne Cleeves murder mysteries on my iPad ) we watch too many repeats of Top Gear and too much football on TV. The weather is very cold, especially when the eagerly wind in blowing. Sometimes, mid afternoon, if it is sunny and not windy, for about an hour, we can get warm.
The backpacker place is busy as it is very cheap.
We come across a young couple riding two up on a Yamaha DR650. Jordan (from Oz) and Malina, who joined him two weeks ago, from Germany. Jordan rode from the UK. I tell him that we met an American, riding a BMW, in Springbok. He ask me “was that Clark?”.
Indeed it was! It is such a small world. There are very few people riding around Africa at the moment! Funny how we still manage to bump into each other! Jordan and Clark met somewhere in Sudan!
He also followed on Clark with regard to Etosha, and stayed in Onguma private game reserve. The campsite is cheap and they provide affordable drives into Etosha. So I take a mental note of the game reserve, and we will aim for it, once we are in the area.
The backpacker place is full of people coming and going. We get to know the few who are hanging around a bit longer. Jordan and Malina eventually leave, once Jordan has fixed few things on his bike.
Twat ahead and The Yah-yah girls turn up. A day after us, and it just seems like they will be there forever as they don’t seem capable of taking any decisions.
At first, I thought there was a repeat of the comedy The Windsors on TV, and that we were hearing the parody of princesses Eugenia and Bea. I turn my head, and I see two girls of about 20, talking with exactly the same ultra posh accent than the TV serie. ( if you have not seen this program, make sure you do, it is very funny!).
Initially, I thought they were having a laugh, but no, they really talked exactly like princess Bea and Eugenie, in the parody of the Windsors. They also seem to have the same single neurone to share between the 2 of them, from what I gather with their constant inane laugh and comments. Every comment they make seems HI-LA-RIOUS to them. They are constantly laughing and giggling loudly. All. The. Time.
Alistair nickname them the Yah-yah girls, based ( for non English readers) on the very posh way some people say yes, but sounds like yaaaaaahhhh.
They hook up with Twat Head. Again, nicknamed by Alistair.
Twat head is a 25 year old lad from New York. Difficult not to know he is from New York as he keeps saying it. He has a car, so he is very attractive to the other backpackers ( including the Yah-yah girls) without car. He is groomed and buffed to an inch of his life, like a cast out of Sex and the City. Maybe it’s a New York thing?
Twat head is loud. Very loud. In the communal living/ dining room and the kitchen, next door, you can only hear him. He loves the sound of his voice. He holds court in the communal TV / dining room , with The Yah-Yah girls, as well as two other girls, who were more quiet and left after few days.
As you may guess, they are irritating. There is no escape from them, and even putting the TV louder, they don’t get the hint!
We try to find peace in our room, but Internet only works in the communal room and our room is very cold. So everyone tends to gather in the large communal room.
Some other characters we meet are very interesting though. Like an 18 year old lad from Oz, who seems to be travelling around the world, working here and there to funds his way. A pleasant intelligent chap. He disappears some afternoons to skateboard into town.
On Monday 25th, we finally pick up the bike and we are get ready to go.
We are happy to leave behind Twat Head and the Yah-Yah girls!