Stage 66 (48): Planet Baobab to bush camp
I think it rained a bit last night and it’s still overcast on first sticking my head outside; feeling rather muggy at 18-19° and not a star in sight as we take bags to the truck just before 5:30.
Forecast of solid overcast and a tail wind seems to hold as we set off before 6:30. In fact, it's dark enough that I have to remove my sunglasses so I can properly see the dips in the road, not to mention the occasional pothole. There is almost no traffic at all during the morning; it’s really an empty stretch of road. Karin will again ride with David and me today.
The road is fairly good tarmac, with a reasonable shoulder. And as I said, almost no traffic.
We’re spinning along very comfortably well above my normal solo rate when about 30 km into the ride, David reports an issue with his rear derailleur. The cable subsequently proves to be broken, so he rides to the lunch stop in the smallest cog on the rear cluster; if anything, it’s at a faster rate than before this mechanical issue arose.
A little bit of rain; not even a drizzle but more like some minor spitting helps keep everything cool. I don't have a rain jacket with me, but even if I had, I wouldn't have bothered stopping to pull it on. The tailwind continues through the whole ride.
No bike mechanic at the lunch stop but not a problem; Dennis is there, helpful as always. He rigs up a field fix (forcing the derailleur inward, bringing the chain onto a larger sprocket) so that David can spin a little easier by using a slightly larger gear on the rear cluster. Very clever:
Later on we catch up with Karin (Denmark) and Hanne (Norway), and spin the rest of the way into camp as a foursome.
Camp is located at what I think must be an abandoned staging point for the original road construction. It’s a few kilometres shy of the Motopi turn-off but seems very remote, and although just 50 m or so off the main road, there’s so little traffic, that it feels very much like a Kalahari bush camp indeed.
We get in by noon, so plenty of time to do nothing. The thought belatedly occurs that we could have continued on into Maun had we bothered to really think it through. Oh well; there will be a 200+ day coming up soon enough.
I’d mentioned the relative lack of visible road-kill; unfortunately we saw today the second body of a small cat. The first (about 2-3 days back) was identified by Colleen as a possibly immature black-footed cat; I had no idea that these even existed (Felis nigripes). This is the smallest wild cat in Africa. Today, we passed over another, or at least what I think was another, corpse of a black-footed cat. Whichever, a shame.