If you’ve browsed our website you will know that Rob loves cycling and has covered many kilometers on his bike in Southern Africa, Australia and Nepal. There are times when his hobby is a bit of a strain for me – like when he cycles for hours on his static trainer in the house or when I have to massage his weary muscles with Arnica Oil after a long ride – but there are many benefits for me as well.
As the sole member of his back up team I get to spend a lot of time waiting at the side of the road for him. I usually drive about fifteen to twenty kilometers ahead and wait for him to catch up. After checking that all is well, or perhaps sharing a cool drink or a cup of coffee, I then proceed to the next waiting point.
The back roads of Namibia are an absolute treat for this, especially as I like to photograph the scenery and meditate in the silence of the deserted countryside. And deserted it is; we may not see another car for hours! But in the silence I never know what nature is going to offer me in the way of birds, animals and beautiful vistas.
There’s something about being out there, totally alone in the wild, that lifts the spirits and restores the soul. I can so understand why cyclists like to take to the quiet of country roads.
The Namibian country roads that I’m referring to are not in game reserves, they are ordinary public roads flanked by extensive farms that are home to animals of every description. Unfortunately one also encounters evidence of the harsher side of life when one comes across animals that have been hit by speeding cars.
The countryside has a harsh beauty all of its own. It’s here that I take deep breaths and fill my lungs with fresh air.
The birdlife is quite amazing and whenever I choose a place to stop and wait for Rob, the decision is usually influenced by a bird I’ve seen perched in a tree or an animal nearby.
The quiet early mornings on the roads less travelled, moving at the speed of a casual cyclist enjoying the warmth of the sun on his back, gives one the time and opportunity to reflect on subjects profound or subjects superficial. And that in itself is a rare commodity.