B2B Manager from CAKE, Sinje Gottwald, is crossing the African Continent, from Europe to South Africa on a Kalk AP. Two batteries, a satellite telephone and an adventure spirit beyond limits. THE PACK asked her very kindly if we could publish her (electric) travel diary, and she said yes! If you have missed part 1, just click here > and if you want to know more about Sinje Gottwald, please check out her Instagram page >
All pictures & texts ©Sinje Gottwald
Monday Update: After I took a couple of days off I got back on the bike yesterday and am now crossing Cameroon towards Gabon. Today I swapped my batteries right outside a family‘s house and while doing so I got into a conversation with Ngema Dieudonné, the grandfather of the family, 65 years old. He very quickly not only wanted me to understand his thoughts but also asked me to spread it to anyone outside Africa. This is what he said:
“There is an error in the system. How can we still live like this in the 21st century? Is this a house? All the money is in Europe. My sons have a hard time finding jobs. We have the sun but no money to buy solar panels. The technology exists but we cannot use it.”
Monday Update: Celebrating crossing the equator in Gabon last week and covering over 10,000km since leaving Barcelona 3 months ago😀 I am also very happy I managed to get through 200km of very muddy terrain between Gabon and Kongo in rainy season. On average I rode 200km per day this past week which means 12/13 hours on the road per day, including charging the batteries once and sometimes twice.
My favorite encounter was with Joseph, he is 19 years old, lives in a small village in Gabon and speaks 6 languages, self taught. His dream is to become an interpreter and study in England.
Monday Update: Next to the usual daily tasks of planning, organising, researching and decision making, I faced two new challenges past week. The cable of one of the chargers burnt and melted while in use in a remote area in Congo, which later led to one of the batteries not charging anymore. Luckily with the help of my colleagues in Sweden, I was able to find a workaround within a day and the battery is charging perfectly again.
I am currently crossing Angola, a vast country with beautiful nature and great roads. The difficulty here is the hilly and sometimes even mountainous landscape. It reduces my range significantly and makes it harder to plan and requires me to stop more often during the day to top up – thus leading to even longer days.
Monday Update: A couple of days ago I crossed from Angola into Namibia. What an easy and emotional border crossing!
After a few challenges and long days lately, I am taking it a bit slower until Windhoek now – preparing physically and mentally for the final stretch to Cape Town.
Monday Update: Less than 1000km till Cape Town! I‘m in the desert in Namibia and so close to my final destination. While in my mind I am so excited about this, yesterday my body very clearly told me to take a rest. It seems that there is absolutely no power and energy left, everything is exhausting to me right now, even just sitting or eating. In addition, I am in an area with no traffic, gravel roads and 40 degrees Celsius during the day. So I’m resting today as well and hopefully I’ll have a bit more energy tomorrow!
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