Bed by 7

Day 103, stage 79, 162km

Start, east gate rest camp

Finish, bush camp, road works yard

Forty-five fewer kilometres today. Sounds good. But we still had to cycle a century. Once again it was very cold in the morning. I was very slow to start. Bob went off on hi sown after about 50 metres. I just couldn’t warm up. Every part of my body was cold. My legs were tight. I just could get the engine started for about 20km. At about this time I met up with Maurice, an anesthetist from Peterborough. We started riding together and switching lead every km or so. The pace slowly picked up and after travelling together for about 50km we were doing quite well. Bob had waited for me at lunch. He had arrived ages ago. His young legs had obviously thrived on the 200km day. He said that at times he pushing at 38kmh. Good going. We left together after lunch and travelled at a good pace for me. We stopped in Ghanzi, the town just before our next camp, and stoked up on fluids and chocolate. The towns in Namibia were as few and far between as they had been in Botswana, but at least they were well stocked. We weren’t in the stockbroker belt but we were certainly in an area of middle class affluence.

Our camp tonight was in the yard and field next to the Municipal road works yard. Very attractive. Everybody was tired after four long days. There was a sort of celebration tonight – not sure what for, the 200km day perhaps – and there was a big bonfire. Many people watched as it was lit, hung around for a little and then slunk off to bed by 7pm. Even the die-hards had shut it down by shortly after 8pm. Real party animals. But we all knew we had to ride yet another century tomorrow.

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