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Bush Camp to Nata Safari Lodge- 150 Kilometers
The Nata Safari lodge is a classic African lodge of the sort you might you see in a geographic or travel magazine, with a range of chalet and custom tent-style accommodations scattered across the lush grounds; a huge terrace restaurant and bar with a varied menu; and a swimming pool with a waterfall, under which you can massage the tired muscles of your back. Cycling 150 kilometers today to get to this place was well worth it. In fact, it would have been worth even more, and we are all sorry that we do not have an extra rest day here, too, in this place. Even the campground showers are something of a marvel – tiled ceramic floors and full size mirrors. In fact, the campsites that are attached to lodges like the ones we are visiting on this section of the trip often far outrank the typical European campground in terms of grounds and facilities — which are naturally shared with the adjacent hotel. The cycle terrain has been generally flat, lined by wild grasses, bush and low trees that vary in shades of green and brown as the African autumn approaches. Baobab trees, featured in the famous book “Le Petit Prince” by St. Exupery, dot the landscape along this stretch, as do termite hills, which look like half-formed clay shrouds, or human figures, never quite completed, standing about three meters high.
The roads in Botswana are excellent, with little traffic and smooth asphalt paving, and there has been relatively little wind so far, so that the biggest obstacle is the heat, as well as the tedium of cycling for hours on end. On the plus side, this is a great stretch for newcomers who joined in Lusaka or other nearby points to build up stamina, strength and speed. Even for leisure riders, however, there seem to be real advantages to using a more traditional style “racing” bike on this section of the route, so you can crouch low in the saddle, using the thrusting power of your legs and thighs more efficiently, and covering the long distances with greater efficiency and ease. Ditto for the use of bicycle handles fitted with arm rests or hand rests, so that you can change hand and arm positions over long hours in the saddle.
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