Namaqua Padmaker

namaqualand

Namakwa Padmaker

this is an 8 day “freedom challenge” type of ride, without formal support.
the route stretches over 749km from the southern cederberg to the orange river. or vice versa.

why:
the landscape, the people, the friendship and the riding.

cost:
zero from us.

time of year:
autumn, winter or spring.
obviously early spring would be amazing. the flowers of namaqualand are one of the wonders of our world.

start date:
fire at will.

terrain:
60% gravel road, 20% jeeptrack, 15% footpaths, 5% extremely technical/portage.
the route has been laid out between two parameters. on the one hand the participant needs to get from start to finish, in order to cover the distance this necessitates gravel. on the other we have introduced many unusual and spectacular abandoned tracks(trek paaie) and cattle trails.
it’s arid. it’s only on the steinkopf/umkulu day that the participant will have no access to water though.

which bike:
due to the nature of roughly 10% of this route there can be only one: a lightish full suspension mtb. it’s possible with a hardtail, but this is not advisable.

highlights:
disused donkey cart passes and settlements in an unknown part of the cederberg.
mixed protea veld and the bulb country around nieuwoudtville.
the crossing: namibia-esque tilting landscapes and the nothingness of the knersvlakte.
the granite domes of the kammiesberge.
wildeperdehoekpas and the messelpad pas.
the richtersveld. birthplace of stone.
umkulu camp; river trips and “springbokkie” dance routines.

warning:
this route is physically demanding & will require an amount of field craft over and above mountain biking skill.
it is comparable to events like the cape epic or dryland cape pioneer. there is a marked difference between a 3 day event and this thing. you really need to know that you can cycle for 6h’s+ per day, day after day.
building in a rest day really is a good idea.
the day between steinkopf and umkulu camp is dangerous in terms of breakdowns or getting lost. it’s a very confusing area and you will be quite alone.
do not attempt this day on your own. make sure your group stays paired, no less than two together.

disclaimer:
we do not accept responsibility for any damage or loss caused from this enterprise.

logistics:
email the mzungu here so we can start chatting.

we’ll then send you the very detailed Google Earth file, which also shows elevations and distance for each day.
+ the .gpx Garmin GPS file.
basically you prebook your accommodation. get your fitness levels right and organise your support vehicle.
many of the overnights are on a bed&breakfast basis.
the padmaker lends itself to a broader good time. make a trip of it. it’s all there.

the lingua franca of this land is afrikaans, this would be a big plus for your trip.
every piece of land and every fence has a story, be mindful of that.
this thing is experimental and dynamic. we welcome change, make it happen.

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the route

Namaqualand-Padmaker

i was reborn into ordinariness, but what more could one ask for? ~ kevin kelly

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