7th February 2009
Birthday.....! Whey-hey! I'm 36 years young today and to make it even better I'm in Namibia, a first world country, food in the restaurants, petrol in the fuel stations, good roads, actually...... bloody wonderful roads! Long stretches of mile after mile of billiard table smooth tarmac. The adventurous side of Africa has finished, the bad roads, broken bike, unpredictable fuel situations, dodgy police and officials, sickness, foreign languages and I've loved it!
I'm in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, sat in 'Joe's Beerhouse' enjoying a birthday pint. Actually I've enjoyed a pint nearly every night on this trip, throwing the budget out of the window but tonight I'm getting shitfaced and will recover tomorrow with the worlds largest hangover.
The push through Angola was completed in 6 days, 1 day over the visa allocation. Migo and I went through the formalities of the border rather quickly, the immigration officials ensured we paid a 'fine', initially demanding $300 for the 2 of us but the price dropped to $150 and not being in the mood for negotiations I agreed and just wanted to get into Namibia soonest. We very nearly got away with not paying and after the carnet was stamped we returned to the bikes but were 'captured' by a guy who claimed to work for the immigration and wanted the $150. I asked for his ID and as he didn't have any then I told him to go away, which he did only to return with the official, Bugger! Who ensured I paid up.
Arriving in Windhoek felt a relief as there's a Yamaha dealership in town. I was shown there by a lovely couple, Paul and Brigit, riding their Honda CBR 1000. They also were kind enough to show me the hotel, Kubata lodge and Joe's.
After waiting out the weekend and getting to the Yamaha garage with a bad head and not feeling too good, either recovering from the weekend or getting some illness of sorts, I was disappointed to find the repairs on the bike wouldn't be worth the money value of the bike. $1,000US for the parts and then labour charges on top! I only paid £1,250 for the bike initially and the rigours of the trip have taken their toll. So I've decided as it's only 1500kms to Cape Town and the roads are good, I've replaced the rear brake pads so I can at least stop now, fill in the holes from the blowing exhaust and see if it makes it to the Cape!
Namibia doesn't have much of a reputation for violence, unlike South Africa and further north but I'm finding it to be really violent! The obvious dodgy countries of 'Congo', 'DRC', Angola, etc were rather pleasant and nothing like I expected but here in Windhoek after 3 days there's been 2 knife attacks on tourists already! A Dutch guy from the 'Chameleon Lodge' was robbed in a taxi and he was a big guy. He had to escape by climbing out of the car window after relinquishing his wallet, watch, phone, etc and the second was near my hotel, a tourist/white was stabbed and robbed by unknown assailants and left bleeding. “Watch yourself Geoff my boy!”
Posted by geoffshing at February 25, 2009 04:48 PM GMT
A couple of days here, where hopefully I'll feel better although I may go for a malaria test to rule that one out then I'll head down towards the border with ZA and ultimately Cape Town. I hope the Yamaha reliability God is looking favourably down at me...........!
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