Africa Blog

The Ride to Half a Million Miles

Harare, Zimbabwe

    I crossed back into Zimbabwe to see the city of Harare and to visit my friend I meet in Cape Town,  Marianne.

     By the time I got to Harare my left arm was in more pain again.  It was to the point where I couldn't lift the arm to close the visor on the helmet.   Marianne suggested I better have the arm looked at.   So I when to a local walk in clinic to see a doctor.   After reviewing the arm and the movement he had me go down to a imaging center to have some images (ultra sound) made.   The good new was that nothing was torn or broken,  I did have some minor swelling and an irritated muscle.  Not sure how it happen but it could be a result of a lot of the pounding from the gravel roads.   I was given some heavy duty meds to relax the muscle and help with the pain.   All this medical work had a cost of $130.!!

     Marianne also introduced me some very close friends of her,  Judy and Gordon who invited me for dinner.

    I had a great time Judy and Gordon trading stories over dinner.

Crossing Mozambique

After a couple of days on the shores of Lake Malawi it was time for my next destination  Harare but first I had to get across the small section of Mozambique.    This was the most difficult border crossing yet.  They still are not as hard as the ones in Central America but this one was a pain because the official as not in the best mood.  I had to purchase a visa which the official insisted I should have gotten the visa before arriving.  After some phone calls and making faces I was allowed to buy the visa for $80 USD for a 30 day visit. 
    Once I got all the documents done I was on the road again.   Mozambique's country side and its people are beautiful and amazing vistas.  Much like the rest of the Real Africa,  the people are very poor and live simple lives.  

Simple Pains

Sometimes the simplest things can give you such a hard time.  Like the pain in my arm that came from a simple movement of trying to take a photo.   I also have been fighting with a simple oil leak that has become such a pain in the ass.   Its a common oil leak that happens on most 1100 & 1150s at some point.   The o-ring for the oil fill base cap becomes hard and starts to leak oil.   Before you know it the leak has stained your riding pants or the left cylinder head.   After having to deal with the leak for several weeks I discovered that the cap itself had cracked and was pushing up with the engine pressure.   Of course I discovered this after I had left South Africa where I could have gone to one of many dealers.   My first thought was to get some epoxy glue to repair the crack.   This worked well for a few days but then with the engine heat and the glue started to give way.  I tried the re-glue again and again only got a couple of days use.  I was still a long way from South Africa milage wise and time wise.   So finally after having a bad day with very deep sandy roads  going very slow almost walking the bike the oil cap blow off.  Once I found the cap and o-ring in the sand I thought I could just go very slow in the sandy area without the cap and then deal with repairing the cap.  Well that was a very bad idea as before I knew it I had oil dripping off me, the fuel tank  and most of the the left side of the bike.

    I managed to find a rag to shove in the fill hole just to get me out of the  sand.   I made it to the next town and pulled into a gas station.  I had a list of items I needed to make a fix.  The guy at the station scratched his head and said that only at the hawkers market I could find what I needed.   So off I go with my list.  A hawkers market is basically a flea market.   I found some washers,  a bolt and nut and an old soccer balls inter tube.

   The result was a home made gasket !!   My other problem was to clean off the oil on my riding suit.  So I got my hands one a bucket, filled it with gasoline  and socked the oil stained areas the was the gas off with dish washing soap.  

   I had a great crowed gathered around me trying to figure out that the hell I was doing but at the end it all worked and I only smelled a little like gas!!


I entered the next Africa country,  Malawi.  A very small country that I was told is very pretty which it is  and that one problem it faces is over crowding.  I was told that their are as many people in Malawi as all of Zambia, being 5 or 6 times larger.  They were right,  I thought Zambia had people in the streets,  you haven't seen nothing yet!  The people traffic was crazy, along with cows and goats!  The people here seem to be a little better off but not by much, still very poor but the homes are and of clay bricks instead of straw.

  It is very hard to make headway here because you can not go faster than 45 or 50 mph because of the people in the road.

  Malawi has a lake that is 2/3 the length of the country with  waters that are very clear.  The tourist that you do find here are mostly on holiday by the lake.   Many of the locals also live along the lake making a living by fishing.

  For some days now I have been having troubles with my left arm,  some how I pulled or tore something, not sure what but the pain has been great and the arm has been rather useless.  I've also had this nasty oil leak with the fill cap for the engine oil that is a common problem with the1100/1150 GS's so I decided to take a couple of days to slow down, avoid the sandy roads if I can and rest and repair the bike as best as I can along the lake waters of Malawi.

The Other Africa

After my visit to Victoria Falls I crossed the Zambezi River into Zambia  where I turned east. 

   No more tourist, no more 4x4 Land Cruisers and no more fancy lodges.   This part of Africa is the raw and very poor Africa.   Most people live in 4 by 4 foot grass huts.  No running water and of course not electricity.  Most of them are cattle or goat herders.   The amount of people walking or riding bicycles on the road out number car traffic by 50 to 1.

Which also has caused a small problem for me that fuel stations are far between one another.  When riding down the road you pretty much stay in the center of the lane,  and the lanes are not that wide to begin with.  The interesting part is when on coming traffic also driving in the middle lane and they or you can't move over because of the foot traffic.  It becomes a game of chicken,  who will move over first!  There have been a few close calls.  When you come into a town or village its almost impossible to make it across as it is clogged with people, cattle or goats.

   Crossing into Zambia was more to the border crossing I'm use too,  money changers coming at you from all directions, many people standing in line waiting for something that should only take a few minutes and over paying for visas.

   After all the formalities I was on my way, with the first stop being  a petrol station.  As I'm waiting for my turn for fuel I had more money changers try to sale me their monies at better rates.  One of the guys noticed my Hecho en Mexico sticker and ask if I could take some Mexican Pesos off his hand.  I never thought I would be trading Pesos in Zambia!

  Most of the men wear western clothing and the women wear some sort of western shirt with a traditional skirt or wrap. 

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

One of the seven wonders of the world Victoria Fall are the largest falls in the world.  The water comes from the Zambezi river that borders Zambia and Zimbabwe.  As you drive up to the falls you can see what appears to be smoke but it the mist of the water. 

   The town of Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe side was quite a nice place.  Also in the Chobe National Park Victoria Falls town has the same wild life walking the streets.  At my hotel I was told to keep the gate for the complex closes to keep the elephants out.

Kasane, Botswana

I was in the region where four countries meet  Angola, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.  Chobe National Park is so large that it crosses all four countries.   I was told to not to be surprised to see elephants grazing along the highway or seeing other wild life in the roads.  Once you enter the park its about 100 miles to the town of Kasane, Botswana.

   I arrived at the border post like all the others before,  looking for the immigration office but, this time things where different.  One,  you have to drive the cars/bike into a pool of pesticide  but before you do that you have to step out of your car and walk on a matt with the pesticide, thats everybody in the car!   After that a border guard comes running out yelling to be careful if the elephant,  there was an elephant out on the road and seemed to be mad for some reason and was trying to charge.  Lucky for me that when I went past the elephant found some fruit on a palm tree and never noticed me.  Thats a first for me,  elephants at the border crossing.  Finally I got my documents and was officially in Botswana.   Sure enough as I rode down the highway I spotted zebras and buffalos and more elephants in the distance.   Somewhere along the way I had to stop at a check point and just 5 feet from me were a group of warthogs grazing.   As I rode down the highway a car stopped to let some more elephants cross, the as I looked over my left shoulder I saw a large group of elephants coming at us.  About 25 came out of the bush at a fast pace crossing just behind me.  I think I'm in Africa!

  The guide books say not to be surprised to see wild life walking the streets of Kasane which is about the size of Dilley.  And yes there was wild life in the streets of the town.

Hippos and Elephants

  In the Caprivi Strip is where I was told that I would see the Africa that most people think of with the jungle, heavy flowing rivers and the wild life.

   I stopped at a lodge on the Okavango river where I was told I could see hippos.  Booking a tour for the afternoon our guide got us going in the small canoe.  I was hoping to see at least one or two wild hippos as our guide paddled up river we could hear the hippos.  To the untrained eye its hard to find these large animals as they spend most of their time under water.  We rowed along the banks and shallows of the river until finally the guide spotted one then two.  You had to look hard to identify their eyes popping out of the water.  We couldn't get to close because may of the females had calves and it is well known that the hippos are very aggressive.   As we came around a bend we spotted about 15 to 20 hippos leaving a nesting island and rushing into the river.  Its one thing to see them in the zoo but its just amazing to spot them in the wild.

   Now that I knew what the hippos sounded like I could hear them all night long.  

    The strangest thing about this area was that I was told that it would be warm here and it was not, in fact sleeping in a grass hut with an "out door" shower was cold.  I temperatures  did drop to near freezing here.

   The next day I rode to another camp for a morning "safari" much like Etosha, it would be a ride with a guide looking for wild life like lions, oryx, and elephants. Yes it was cold this morning.   We didn't have much luck with spotting lions,  we were about 15 mins to late.   We did see an elephant and what was interesting about this one was watching him grab a large tree and just shaking it to make the seeds fall off.  So much force to rattle these tress.  Then as the seeds fall off, watching a Kudu come around and try to grab some of the seeds and being chased off by the elephant.

Namibia & Angola

One of the benefits with staying at Pierie and Louise's was that I got more detailed information on the Parks in Northern Namibia and some great advise on great points of interest.

   The day before I felt Windhoek a cold front came blow in.  I have to keep reminding myself that its winter here.   The morning I was leaving the temperature was down to 32 F as I discovered ice on the seat of the bike.  It did get warmer as I rode north but not the promised 80's or lower 90's.  

    This part of Namibia is called the Caprivi Strip and it borders Angola.   As you ride along the Okavango River you can see Angolan villages on the other side of the river.

     The landscape and people in this part of Namibia is very different for the southern and western parts.  The landscape turns greener and the trees are larger and the people are much more poor living in very simple mud and straw huts. 

     The strange thing was that the temperatures were still cold in this area and I found it difficult to see how the people around here could possibly stay warm. 

Windhoek, Namibia

When I came rolling into Springbok I found a nice guest house to stop for the night.  As I pulled into the driveway I was greeted by Pierie who was also there with his wife Louise.  They had had some tire problems with their car and were force to spend the night also in Springbok.  We had a chat about cars and motorbikes for a good while.

   The following morning we meet again at breakfast and I mentioned my route into Namibia.  Louise gave me all kinds of information about traveling in Namibia and she made a point to tell me that I must take the gravel roads, the only way to discover Namibia.

    Pierie and Louise also made it a point to tell me that I must come visit them if I come to Windhoek.  After my visit to Etosha I decided to take Pierie and Louise on their offer.  They live on the  out skirts of Windhoek on a very pretty piece  of land with rolling hills like our Texas Hill country.  The biggest difference is that my friends back home who live in the Hill Country have deer coming to their back doors or lawns,  while Pierie and Louise have graphs, oryx, kudos and baboons coming into their back yards.

   Yes, I forget I'm in Africa.

     Thanks so much Pierie and Louise for all your advise and giving me a place to rest for a couple of days!!

The Etosha Pan

   I arrived at the edges of the Etosha Pan reserve.  The pan makes part of the Kalahari Basin and is for the most part a dry salt lake.  I had been told by many that this was a place not to miss in Namibia and that I would surely see many wild life here.

    Like in Sossusvlei no motorbikes are allowed in the park and this time they have good reason.  Earlier in the trip when I was in Lüderitz I meet  Ulrike a traveler who now was also at the lodge where I was staying.   Because I couldn't get into the reserve on my bike Ulrike took me along in the car.

     Etosha was not a disappointment,  right away we started to see wild life.  The reserve is very large, it would take you days to drive around all the roads. Taking a tour with a guide is often the best way to see and learn about the animals.

    I pretty much saw all the big game here.  Herds of zebras, elephants, springboks, oryx and yes several loins and rhinos  fighting for the territory or the head of the heard.

The Bush Country

I was headed for the Etosha Pan a large reserve in the north of Namibia.    And again the day would be a long day.  My GPS estimated 9 hours of riding 350 miles of gravel of course.

   I left Swakopmoud early in the morning,  the first 50 miles I rode the hard salted sand roads along the atlantic sea.  The fog was cold and heavy like the day before.  Once I turned east way from the ocean the hard salted surface turned into loose sand which I was afraid was going to be the case.  When the fog finally lifted the cold air quickly turned into hot dry desert air.  I told myself I was going to go very slow and just manage the road as best as I could and to keep me from over heating.

    What was different about this road was that I was in a very very remote area of Namibia .  Very little tourist traffic if any traffic at all.   I can across mostly very tiny villages with most homes only simple huts.

   The people with the reddish mud are Himba who do this to protect themselves from the hot sun.  The woman with the hat is from the Herero people how are cattle farmers.

    This was to me the best gravel road yet because of my exposure normal people and the non tourist road.   I came across my first elephant crossing sign that was in a non park or reserve area.  I keep looking to the sides and watering holes but I also had to keep an eye on the road still.

     Again the landscape changes some much that its fascinating to me to see the changes.   This part of Namibia is what many imagine when they thing of the Africa Bush.

I came across the large termite hills about 4 to 8 feet high



    I left Sossusvlei early for my next destination of Swakopmund.  I had read about this very cool and interesting german community on Namibia's coast.

    More gravel roads about 250 miles today and like yesterday pockets of loose sand that have a way of surprising you when you least expect it.  The country side was very pretty with open fields of a yellow grasses that grow on the prairie and framed by the jagged mountains in the distance. 

I came zipping along the road when a sign caught my eye.

I had just crossed the Tropic of Capricorn.

    As I rode across the desert its very interesting to see how the landscape changes.  I left the orange sands of Sossusvlei  crossing into the rocky mountains and now I was back into the white sands of Swakopmund.   About ten miles before the coast line I could see a white blanket of fog.   As I entered the fog the temperatures to me as if they had dropped by 20 degrees.  The seas where very rough and the waves where huge.  Sometimes I could see that the waves had over taken the coastal road.

    After finding a hostel for the night and finally getting out of the cold fog I was out to explore and find something to eat.

   The city is very german with the building architecture and of course the restaurants offer mostly german food.  8 out of 10 tourist were German.   Back in Lüderitz  I meet a group of German tourists on a green bus touring Namibia and it was funny to keep running into them. 


For all the effort to get here I was finally at the entrance to the Sossusvlei Dunes.   I pull up to the gates and was instructed to stop 100 yards down to purchase my permit.

   I walk in the office get the permit and discover that we have a problem.  No Motorcycles Allowed in the Park!

   No way - No how!   Now the really crazy thing is that in the park itself the road is Paved!  45 miles of asphalt and I can't go because I'm on a motorcycle.   Now there are no wild dangerous animals here,  just miles of sand dunes.  My only options were to leave but after 420 miles of hard riding to get here I wasn't going to do that.  Or catch a ride into the park and leave the bike at the gate.   After asking and talking to many driving into the park all I got were no,  we don't have room or we just can't .   After waiting an hour finally one of the employees, Krista found a local driver that I hired to drive me into the park to see these red dunes.

    I have to admit that seeing the dunes was very amazing and worth getting here.  The colors are different shades of orange depending how the sunlight is hitting them.

 Sossusvlei Dunes

Desert Camp

  I left Lüderitz early in the morning knowing that I had a long  day of riding ahead of me.  The GPS showed 420 miles out of which only 64 were on paved roads.   It was a nice and cool morning with no fog insight.  Just before my turn off the paved road I came across  more wild horses grazing along the road near Aus.   As I took the turn off I could tell it was going to be a long day as right off the road was rough and sandy. 

    To travel 350 miles I have to keep a pace of at least 40 or 50 mph in order to get to my destination in day light.  The corrugation has a way of rattling the bike and your body.  Its hard to keep a pace above 60 when the bike wants to vibrate to hundreds of parts.  And then there is your body.  My hands and chest are very sore for hundreds of miles of this stuff.  Then you have the sand  that will challenge your confidence anytime but more so when your tired and sore from the pounding.

    After about 50 miles of fighting the rough roads I finally got a break.  The road was smoother and I could push up to 70 mph to make up time.  Then out of no where the winds of Patagonia started.  They weren't  the 60 mph winds of South America but they were somewhere around 30 to 40 mph gusts causing the back of the bike's rear to want to slide around in the lose gravel.

   My stop for the day was to be a one gas station / hotel  stop  called Solitaire.

    About 60 miles from Solitaire are some of Namibia's most famous red dunes.  If you come to Namibia,  you must see these dunes.   After talking to some locals they told me that if I left Now I could make the park entrance before sundown.

   So what an other 60 miles of gravel.   The road was not bad for the most part but every now and then the sandy pockets would throw a little stress your way.  I also discovered two problems riding this late.  One was that there was a little more traffic then normal which most of it was coming at me in stead of going with my direction.  As traffic would pass there would be a huge white cloud of dust that would turn into a blizzard of white dust.  The second problem was I was riding into the sun for the most part and at times the shadows cast by the mountains would make it very hard to see the road surface.

   About 10 miles before the end of the road I hit the perfect storm.   As I was coming around a wide curve try to scan the road a head , I meet with a truck coming at me,  just about that time I entered the shadow of the mountain.  I was completely blinded and going about 70 mph.   You have to remember that when riding on gravel often you pick a track or rut and have to just stay in it.  As the road curve and I could not see  where I was I managed to hit a sandy pocket.  The GS started to going in to a major wobble, the kind where the back is swinging  and my biggest problem was I had no idea where I was in the road.  This was a big one,  about 100 years long.  The GS was singing all over the place and I just keep trying to find the harder surface but, I still couldn't see a thing.  The 100 yards seam like a year long.   Finally luck came and I hit the hard surface and was to control the wobble and was out of the blizzard!!

    How life can change in a second. 

The Sands of Time

Riding across the deserts of Namibia you see the many different types of desert.  From rocky and jagged stones to the sandy dunes.   Along the way in the Gurab Plains near the tiny town of Aus you see groups of wild horses grazing along the road.

    My destination for the day was the port town of Lüderitz

on Namibia's south Atlantic coast.   As I neared the coast the air was cooler and damp,  the desert has changed from a rocky surface to  sand dunes and lava stones.

    This area has a history of having diamond mines.  Near Lüderitz is the  old mining town of Kolmanskop now a ghost town.  Much of the buildings and homes left behind have been  taken over by the sands of the desert.  A very surreal place to walk and explore.

    Just outside of Lüderitz is a point in the bay where a cross was erected by the Portuguese sailer Bartolomeu Dias

who is credited for sailing around  Africa's tip the  Cape of Good Hope.  Upon Dias return to Europe he reach the mouth of the Orange River and dedicated a cross to St James in the year 1488.

Metal Shop

   I left the lodge on the Orange river in search of a repair shop of some sort.   I had to cheat and only stay on "tar" roads and I was sure that any more rough roads would most definitely case the left pannier to come flying off.   I rode about 190 miles into the town of Keetmanshoop in need of fuel.  As I took the exit I just happen to see a shop with the name Pro Steel Metals, we fabricate,  just what I want to hear!!!   Because it was late in the day I pulled into a hotel next to the petrel station.  I got there just in time as a bus load of German tourist got there right after me.   Today first thing in the morning I rode to the metal shop and explained my problem.  No worries I was told in Afrikaans,  we can make anything.  With in minutes we were making the exhaust extension.

  Then it was on to the bracket.   We found the "just right" piece of metal and with a massive metal bender the Z shape was made.  A few rubs with the grinder and it was a perfect part.  All this took about an hour and soon I had a secure pannier again.

     I asked for the bill and the owner looked me in the eye and said $250, USD  and I thought wow that was pricey!   A moment later the owner came to me and said, no I meant R250 which is about $25. USD,  wow that was better.  I gave him R400  and said your prices are too cheap.  He was happy and I was happy.

   On to the next adventure!


     Today I entered into Namibia and knowing how borders can be I decided to make it an easy day.   Plus the next point of interest stop was 300 of dirt road.   I pulled into a Lodge on the orange river.  I was lucky as they only had one room left.  As I was unloading the GS I happen to look down at my left pannier and again discovered a problem and again due to the rough corrugated surface.   The exhaust extension had broken off.  The result of this is that the heat from exhaust is trapped by the pannier and in this case has melted the rear lower pannier mount.  There is still a little of it left but will not last long.  The area I'm in is very remote,  with my chances of getting it repaired here being zero.   After looking at the map and talking to other travelers at the lodge I decided to travel in the opposite direction I had planned on in search of a larger town where I could make a new mount and exhaust extension.  The key was also to travel on a "Tar" roads as they are called here.   In this part of the world everybody drives on "Gravel" roads because if you want to see any thing of interest or amazement its on a gravel road.  That also explains why I'm traveling mostly on dirt roads,  plus when locals ask if your traveling on gravel and you say I was thinking of tar,  you get this major look of disappointment!

    The day was not a disappointment as I meet a great group of guys from Cape Town here in Namibia to do a week long hike in the mountains and canyons.   The land scape here is much like the deserts of Nevada.

The Cape Townions

Good People

This morning when I went to load the panniers I noticed the right box had split at the lower seam.   This was a result of the tip over from the other day and also from a good crash when I was in Argentina's Patagonia.

   With more than 400,000 mies on these panniers and the hard vibrations of the last few days I was not surprised to discover the problem.

   The plan for the day was to find someone who could weld aluminum.  I drove around Calvinia stopping at three places before I was directed to a machine /heavy equipment repair shop.  Loepie was the man to talk to and after determining that he couldn't weld aluminum he said he could rivet the bottom of the box to give it straight and prevent the gap from growing.  After about an hour of cleaning adjusting and riveting the bag was good as new.  Add a little silicon and it was now waterproof.   

   After all this work Loepie would not take a payment from me.  I tried several times but he refused.  About that time his wife Jackie and their son Zach drove up.  With some brief hellos I was invited to have lunch.  So thought here's my chance to make good and at least by them lunch.   Lunch was great,   Jackie and Loepie ordered traditional means from South Africa for me.  I have Oryx meat pie which was very good.  A friend of Jackie's also stopped by for a visit.

  Once again Loepie and Jackie refused to let me treat them.

I said my good by's and was on the road again.  Today like yesterday was going to be all dirt roads.  250 for today and yesterday was 300.  About an hour later I ride up to the very  small town of Loeriesfontein,  as I approach the town I noticed that the GPS is showing that the bike is not charging.   I thought, crap!  All the heavy vibration has damaged something.   I drove around Loeriesfontein looking for an auto repair place.  Finally after three stops again I found a place that could have the meter I needed.  As I lifted the fuel tank I found the broken wire.   Again with the help of the local shop I was given the tools I needed to do the repairs.

    As a traveler one is always amazed at the kindness of people to are willing to help because they want to help.

Thanks Loepie, Zach & Jackie

   Now my concern was racing the sun again.   I still had about 160 miles of dirt roads to ride before sunset.   It was a hard 160 miles as the road was sandy and with much corrugations.   I couldn't keep a fast pace like the day before but I had to keep a pace so some sort.  In this part of South Africa its mostly desert.  These gravel roads are often the only way there.  I know I'm in for trouble when even my GPS say in the heading of the map Soft Sand!   I have to concentrate to the last mile because I'm the only soul out here for miles and miles.  There was one spot about 7 miles from my next town where I hit some sand,  not to bad but being tired the bike hit a scary wobble that gave me a wake up.  Your not there until your there!

Flying Solo

  As my friends says, I'm flying solo now.   Today I said my good by's to Tony & Cheryl and see you down the road to Damien.   It was time for me to continue on my journey alone.  But,  I did have to take care of some unfinished business.   I needed to get my Malaria meds.   I made one more trip to the Waterfront in down town Cape Town in search of the Travel Clinic.   Once there Dr Clair took me in rather quickly and explained to me all the options of the different types of Malaria meds.   She even scared me into taking others vaccinations just to be on the save side.  Actually she was very good at explaining what was a good idea to take.  So I left her office with a sore arm and my meds.

    Now the adventure begins,  I was off in the direction of the wine country in search for the city of Ceres.   I found myself on this amazing road that was like a ribbon along the edge of the mountains.  Tall pine trees from time to time and massive rocks scattered along the way.  Some stones were balanced on their tips on top of other massive rocks.

   Once on the other side of Bain's Kloof Pass I started to come into the valley that Ceres was in.   Because we are in the late fall and early winter season here,  as I rode into the valley it reminded me of some of the New England towns in the eastern states of the USA.   Trees that looked like maples had their leaves changing to yellows and reds.

   One quick stop for fuel and the next stop was the village of

Calvinia.   As my GPS indicated the road from here on out was gravel or dirt roads.  This leg was 140 miles long.   I was a little concerned that I was could run out of daylight as I left Cape Town late.  Plus I was climbing in altitude and the air was not very cold but cooler and I'm sure worse with the sun dropping behind the mountains.   The road was long and straight for long sections.  I was able to hit speeds of 75 to 80 mph at times.   This area was a high desert with no trees and masa type mountains in the distance.  I was the only one out here for most of the time.  From time to time I would see what I thought were people out in the desert but it would turnout to be baboons.

    I arrived in Calvinia just as the sun was dropping behind the mountains and yes, it was getting colder.