Saturday, June 23, 2007

Day 5 - Revenge is sweet

But the Freedom Challenge gives nothing away for free. The section of trail that took 24 hours last year took me 4.5 hours this year. It's amazing how easy things are if no navigation errors are made and the single track entry points are located on first attempt.

I nearly sat down and cried when I got to the place called Black Fountain which I had struggled so hard to get to last year. But the riding was worth the effort. The track was 13km of downhill on a ridge - heaven. There were some slightly steep sections that I had to think twice about but other than that, I was in my element. I was alone at this stage because I wanted to try an alternative route that had not been used during the Freedom Ride last year. As I said earlier - nothing is for free. I got to the new section at 1pm and was soon up the creek without a paddle (as usual). I had mud squishing through my toes while crossing the river and the so called path was so overgrown that I decided to back out while the going was still good and I had light. I joined up with the official route and started a mean climb up to Vuvu.

I stopped at a shop where the shopkeeper looked after me last year and his first question was, "where is your blue bike?" He was so happy to see me and the little kid that had felt my hair the year before was back excited as hell to see me again.

The rest of the guys caught up with me at the shop so I managed to garner some business for Christopher, the shopkeeper, before heading to the support station at Vuvu. We have now had a hand shower and are using a classroom as our accommodation so things are quite elementary. The spirit of the group is great and the conversation is continuous. Hennie and Dillon arrived at about 7:30pm so it was a really long, hard day for them but they are here and safe. Mike's shock is broken and he is currently walking up a hill to here. Who knows how far he is but the new shock is on it's way - he just has to push through.

We are all off to sleep at huts around the village and then tomorrow we have a monster portage. Leana, here we come.


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