Cycle Namibia

We go to bed at 10 and get up with the sun
Strange – I thought holidays were meant to be fun!
But this trip is not what it first might seem
While up with the lark might not be everyone’s dream
You’ll find it’s better to live in the African way
And avoid doing anything in the heat of the day.

So we set off early each morning on our trusty bikes
Even though they might not be to everyone’s likes
When the brakes stop working and the gears get stuck
Due to the bumpy roads and all kinds of muck
At least there are spare bikes to cannibalise
And if we run out of parts then we’ll improvise
So it’ll never be long before we’re back on the road
Making two-wheeled progress to our next abode.

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As we pedal along on the dusty way
There is laughter and banter throughout the day
We improve the English of the Norwegian pair
And teach them 100 new ways to swear.
On this kind of trip we all learn new skills
Like remedies for curing all manner of ills.
Eric and Tor practise their new-found word “faffing”
While the English contingent have a big fit of laughing
We get plenty of experience in changing a tyre
And practise our stargazing around the camp fire.

If you swear and think that nobody heard
No matter – the GoPro has caught every word.
We know Gillian likes bollocks but not sweaty arses
But who is the owner of the mysterious glasses?
If you’re not keen on swearing then you’re all out of luck
We now know the 68 meanings of f*ck.
From Roger escapes the occasional curse
It’s not that bad though; I’ve heard far worse!
To be fair he doesn’t swear most of the time
But there are two famous words that he likes to combine
And his unusual profanities interest me
It’s all part of my linguistic research, you see.

But forget about swearing, when all’s said and done
We have misunderstandings which add to the fun.
At a T-junction you can’t get a nice cup of tea
And battleships are nothing to do with the sea.
If you want, we can pretend that the springbok is lamb
But I don’t recommend mistaking the Marmite for jam!
Of dodgy inuendoes there is no dearth
Simon’s “strap-on” is a great source of mirth
And if accidental tent-hopping were not enough
Who were you kissing to acquire that cough?

Most of the campsites have a rustic charm
Their open-air showers will do you no harm.
Just be sure not to wander into the bundu at night
Or you might give an elephant a terrible fright
You must sing when you pee if there are no doors to lock
And before entering the shower, do give a loud knock.

We sit around the campfire at night
Eating our dinner in the fast-fading light
There’s no need to stress about the itinerary
For Roger has it covered in the PFT.

Roger is our guide, he makes sure we know who’s boss
He’s a very friendly person if you do not make him cross
He talks a lot of rubbish and his jokes are really poor
But he ignores all our complaints and comes out with more and more.
I shouldn’t really make fun of him – that would be most unfair
Underneath all that bravado, he actually does care.

The highlight for most is the Etosha park
We relax in the day and look for game in the dark.
As we get to the waterhole, right at the brink
We see a huge elephant coming to drink.
While the elephant poses for us on the rim
A rhinoceros joins him and starts to swim
To tell the truth, wallowing is more the right word
With a splishing and splashing that for miles can be heard.
They’re soon joined by zebra and dainty springbok
It’s a photographer’s dream – we’re really in luck!
The setting is perfect, the night air is cool
The animals silhouetted against the blue pool.

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Erik is our official spotter with his eagle eyes
He  points out rhinos miles away and where the lion lies
His enthusiasm is catching but he did evoke a laugh
When on the horizon he mistook an elephant for a giraffe.

So many memories to recall on this trip
Sore bums and burnt bits, the cries of “Battleship!”
Driving in the sweatbox and sweltering by day
Doing the animal dances to bring the big game out to play.
Evenings filled with barbeques and fuelled with beer and wine
No matter if they get mixed up – the fullest one is mine!
Remembering when you go to bed to do up all the zips
Lest you wake up in the night to feel a pair of moist hyena lips.

I’ll miss the wildlife and the scenery, the baking sun at noon
But in my blood runs the lure of Africa; I’ll come back to Namibia soon.

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