Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Day 15 - Into the Baviaanskloof

What a fantastic day riding - the stretch from Bucklands to Cambria must surely rate as one of the hardest stages but is probably the most scenic.
Thanks to my boys Gerrit and Olaf back home I was able to take full advantage of all the downhills on offer which were many. Of course with each downhill there was a corresponding uphill but we were happy with the opportunity to walk. The difficulty of the day can be measured by the 90km that took 10.5 hours. Steve and Kevin are still out there and it's now 8:30pm.
The highlight of the day was the steepest, roughest technical downhill ever causing every muscle in your body to beg for mercy. The bottom of the jeep track drops into Utopia - a secluded valley with steep side walls and plenty of wildlife. We came face to face with a huge kudu bull as we entered the first river crossing. The path basically follows the course of the river - no where else to go so every now and then the river must be crossed. Luckily it is not too deep but in some cases the crossing is 100m long.
Today was definitely a major highlight of this years race - up there with the day 3 single tracking in Kwazulu Natal. The riding is very different to that, but equally rewarding.
Our stop is lovely house overlooking the bottom of the Baviaanskloof. The food took a while to arrive but once it was here we ploughed through it like there was no tomorrow. We will be doubling up tomorrow to try to get through to Willowmore and see if we can put some pressure on the other guys.


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