After the elation of having conquered the notorious Van Zyl's Pass - including the distinction of the first female ever to do it on a big adventure bike - the Honda Quest competitors thought that it would be a rather easy day's ride. Unfortunately for them the organisers had different plans.
At first, they rode down the Otjiha Plains and marvelled at the wide-open expanses opening up to the south of them. But when they reached the Khumib riverbed, things got serious. Here the thick sand proved many rider's undoing, especially with temperatures in the high 30s. In fact, the sand was so challenging that the organisers gave the group the option of riding next to the riverbed for some distance until there was no other option but to get back down into the riverbed as this was the only route south.
After nearly 40km of sandy riverbed riding they were finally able to exit the river and turn left towards the southeast in order to reach Puros, where they would stay for the next two days.
The time would be used to rest, do some washing and perform important vehicle maintenance on their Honda CRF 1000 L Africa Twins, as well as on the trusted fleet of convoy vehicles that transport the support staff, tools, food and precious extra fuel for the whole group.
By now the contestants are having to dig deep, having spent seven days in the saddle, of which the last three were enormously taxing physically.
But more importantly, the organisers are starting to get a better picture of who the real contenders are to win the inaugural Honda Quest.