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Desert Knights 2014

30 Sep 2014

On Saturday 7th September 2014 Songo, Sivuyile Kepelele and Sipho with 2 songo boys (Azu and Siya) drove up to Namibia for Desert Knights MTB Tour. It was a long trip, we left our clubhouse at about 07:00 early in the morning and had only one quick stop in Malmersbury but it was just about 10 minutes. We got to the South African boarder post just before 18:00 in the Afternoon and the border was closed already then we had to sleep on the South African side and drive early on the following day which was Sunday.  On Sunday it was 3-4 hours drive to Hobus in Namibia where the tour start. Luckily we had no bikes with us, Craig Beech left with our bikes on Thursday 4th of September.  It’s always a good feeling to take part on the desert night tour and we were all so excited, we just wanted to ride at night under the full moon with no lights on!

The Desert Knights MTB Tour is 5 days of riding, some of it at night on the full moon, and 1 day of canoeing on the Orange River. It starts at Hobas Campsite, Ai/Ais Rechtersvelt Transfontier Park in Namibia and Finish at Sendelingsdrift Campsite Ai/Ais Rechtersvelt Transfontier Park in South Africa. It is a good training ride but for us is just all about fun. I did some chilled rides on the heat in the mornings just to get used it.

Day 1 was only 30km from Hobas towards the Fish River Canyon view point! It was a lovely day with great canyon view. We started in the last group of the day and the idea was to just chill at the back but Azu, Siya and Svig started racing and I never say no to a challenge, we just raced to the view point and that was fun! Songo just followed the strategy of the day  :-)   but it was a fun day to all of us and really enjoyed the festive welcoming dinner on the first night of the tour.

Fish River Canyon View Point

The majestic Fish River Canyon!

 

Day 2 was 70km from Hobas to Ai/Ais resort camp. Ai/Ais resort camp is one of my favorite places I have ever been. It is a unique environment for adventure sport activities, having beautiful mountains scenery, a remote wilderness character and the presence of a major river within a desert environment. The songo’s were just chilled on the second last group with no lights on, helping by making sure that everyone get to Ai/Ais safe. We arrived at the Ai/Ais resort at about 10pm and couldn’t wait for the following and ride around. That place is so beautiful, I did 40km ride on the following day and that just becomes unforgettable experience.

Day 3 was 60km from Ai/Ais to Camkab campsite, we all enjoyed day 3 and we were all riding together again and that’s where we got the name of Gautrain. It was a really fun day on the bike!
Day 4 ....the canoeing day! It was an early start with the bikes being loaded onto trailers and participants heading down to the Orange River for the canoeing leg of the tour. It was a 35kms down Orange River and it felt like we were waiting for a very long time for the day, we were bit nervous but that was just because we can’t swim.

After a briefing by the canoeing guides, the paddling started and we had so much fun but it was one of the hardest days in the tour. For Azu and Siya was their first time on the paddling and they had the great day.

The mighty Orange River
A new experience, canoeing down the Orange River!

Day 5 was only fast flowing 40km from De hoop campsite to Hakkiesdoring campsite. Svig, Siya and Azu started racing from the beginning and I was a bit tired from the morning ride but there was no chance of chilling at the back, we started to race and songo was a group leader so he had to look after the group while we are racing with each other at the front. We finished early on the day and rest for the last day. Azu added “Paddling was my highlight in the tour, I loved it”.

Day 6 the 12th of September, the final day of the tour! It was the only day where we start early in the morning and everyone just wanted to finish. 70kms to the Sendelingsdrift camp, South Africa and first day with the single track. It was a really lovely day to enjoy and that’s what we did! Songo, Sipho and Sivuyile were riding together and the young stars were racing at the front and we were lucky not riding with them, they took the wrong turn, riding 20km on the jeep track to the finish while we were enjoying the single track to the finish :-)

 We had a great time at Desert Knights and it was good experience, it felt like we are in the holiday. Big thanks to Craig Beech and songo.info for the great support during the week!

 

For more information on the Desert Knights Tour visit: www.desertknights-mtb.com