Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Day 3 - Cat and Mouse

Once again we had some early leavers trying to make the break again - Lee and Glenn have tried to get out of the Ntsikeni Reserve to catch the others who are pushing on to the 4th Support Station. We eventually caught them just before our coffee stop at Banchory. I have sort of teamed up with Andy and Earle, who seem to be riding a similar pace to me early in the day, and then later in the day I have been pushing on alone to the support station.
Today we started before dark with a navigation section and portage out of the nature reserve. It went surprisingly easily, and before long we were back onto district roads heading into the heart of the Eastern Cape. It is wonderful riding through the villages - we had kids cheering us on, and one guy claims to have been pushed up a hill! Time penalty?
The villages are alive, with the constant hum of chattering ladies, and kids playing soccer. Each person that we ride past calls out with a friendly wave and a "How are you", which seems to be the only english that they understand. Turqoise paint seems to be the fashion of the season, as all the houses seem to be painted in patterns with this blue paint. One thing that did concern me was that very few kids were at school at 11 in the morning - I hope it is school holiday!
Our stop today is a traditional guest house in a village, complete with black steel pots, singing ladies, and steam bread. Our room overlooks the local football pitch where we have had the wierdest game of soccer on the go. It seems there is a goalie, each person is his own team - if you have the ball you try to score, if you don't have the ball, you defend. You can join or leave the game whenever you want - sometimes there were 3 boys playing, sometimes 15.
Some of the guys I arrived here with have pushed on the the next stop, so the tactical game is really starting to hot up now. It appears that Tim and Hanelie have finally made the day break and are sleeping at the next support station. There are 5 guys chasing them down, and the stage is not too difficult, so there might be a surprise in store for those already at SS4. Ah yes, and Dillon, who hurt himself yesterday, and is a day behind now, but pushing on.
So the state of the race at the moment isHannelie and Tim at SS4Xolanai, Adam, Glenn and Lee on there way to SS4The rest of us are loafing here.


Blogger Dawie de Wet said...

Enjoy – stay positive.
Not nice to work – need a second to make food or help you?
Dawie de Wet

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Andre, sounds like you having a ball :-). Cant believe you are tackling this with a single speed. Jan Löffler

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andre
Enjoying your blog. Go well.

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andre,
I hear you are thoroughly enjoying the ride. Hope the Chocolate Brownie is performing as well as you expected,hope she carries on her good work.
Stay positive and strong.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Grant said...

A single speed and you still have your sense of humour. Am following your progress on an hourly basis but assume those tracking "thingies" are not reliable. Keep it up.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howzit boet
Glad to see that at least you have sussed out how the tracker device works. Now at least we can check out where you are. You are now in the land of the eternal single track, enjoy, ride some for me.

9:28 AM  

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