Day one kicked off with an easy introduction to the joys of Richtersveld desert riding. Steady gravel for the first half of the day allowed the teams to find their feet so to speak. Later on the convoy took on a more challenging section of the fabled Namakwa Eco trail to make friends with the sandy remote jeep trails next to the Orange River. This trail consisted of rocky tracks and sandy river beds, witnessed by the massive desert mountains that flank the river as it winds its way towards the ocean along the border of South Africa and Namibia.
For many it was a day of firsts; deserts, sand, over 40 degree temperatures and all this from the driving seat of a powerful Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin!
Some found the introduction a steep learning curve.
Being a desert there is little respite from the sun. The day was cooled by a revitalising dip in the cool waters of the Orange river.
For those that found the sand hard going an impromptu coaching session was held on a plateau overlooking the river.
Tomorrow will take our 7 teams to the heart of the trail with many long sandy sections, steep rocky climbs and iconic panoramic views.