Monday, July 03, 2006

Day 14 - Night Riding

Andre here

Once again a generous stranger has come to our rescue. OUr overnight stop had problems accommodating us, so another farmer has opened up his home - really open - there is no bathroom door.

We left the game farm, with a big portage out the back of their farm, which took 2hrs, and another 3hrs down. We stumbled, crawled, carried, bush-wacked our way down a shaded kloof into the Karoo - another one of those "now you see it..." terrain changes. Now just flat scrubland!

It was arranged that our daily distance was increased, to decrease tomorrow's distance. This meant that we got to our original overnight stop (Van de Venterskraal) at 15h00, then pushed on for another 35km to Mentzdam. I thought we were in for a really long night. The 1st 4km after the farm took over an hour. We got to what was described as the "hoofpad" (main road). My only comment was "Holy sh!t, is this what they call a main road" - looked more like a goat track. We switched to cold weather gear and lights, and started our trip down the river valley. This section was some of the best night riding I have ever done - smooth, fast, sweeping and downhill. The only hold-up was a 8ft game fence that had to be scaled, but we're getting good at that now.

After about 20km of this we got to a district road and did 10km to our overnight stop. Just before the stop, a guy in a bakkie stopped us and told us we were staying at his farm, 5km back up the road - ouch. Xolani, who had coped well the whole day, fell apart at this stage - mental meltdown - he could hardly turn his pedals.

There is food here and a warm bed, so I am happy. Xolani has passed out without eating - bad news - we'll see how he does tomorrow.


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