4 Jul 2010

Day ? It is Sunday

i've been out of touch because the places I've been cycling through were far away from civilization.
I must say since the weather is a bit warmer in the Karoo I'm a much happier camper.
Sometimes to find the right track, even with superb maps and confusing narratives, one can get lost. So it happened to me that a wiseman, who has done the challenge before, told me: when you get to the bullet riddled car, you've gone too far. I gptto the car, retraced steps, gone to the car, re.......etc. In the end I sat down and took out my sandwiches wishing all maps would disappear. I looked up and out of the blue a horseman and at least a dozen dogs! His friendly and he grew up there and he knows the way and he will show me the right way. Thank you to Alec who got me back on track.
I arrived at De Doorns and still needed to make up time. So I was in a hurry to leave but nobody at the support station. if I wanted to get over Struishoek pass I needed to leave at one. Nowhere in my instruction book does it say that I must just walk in, the house is un locked and your plate of food is waiting for you. The last riders then caught up with me, Ingrid, Anthony, Leon and Keith.
On the Downhill part of the Struishoek pass the path is marked with white painted rocks. Too many people getting lost? Half way down I saw a white liquid filled plastic bottle hanging in a tree .......David Waddilove's medicine? I arrived in vanderventerskraal during the hunting season, so they moved my bed to another house only 15km further. 15km furrher!!!! Madness, crazy!! My legs!! In the end it worked out quite well as it was part of the route of the next day.......except Butch, a real huge Boerboel stole my helmet. Luckily I found it in the garden, still usable, but with teeth marks.
At Toekomst, we met the most gracious host who showed us in detail how to get passed the Darlington dam. We were racing on so we could reach Bucklands. A stretch of about 120km all together. I would be so relieved because I would have made up my lost day. What can I say? Hot, dry, up and down mountains, sandy ditches, elephant park se Moses. Didnt' see any elephant. Not even droppings. We reached Bucklands at 8pm.
On our way to Cambria into the Baviaanskloof. You first have to get down to the Groot Rivier and the up over the mountain until you reach thewatershed of Grasnek. .......shorter version....reach the Ossewa trek route. it was a trek and a long trek and I do indeed feel now like a Voortrekker. I arrived at the 7m high game gate just at last light. It was locked. Try under the gate.....bike's shocks got stuck. Half way up the gate ........uhuh. There I stand this side of the gate and my bike on the other side. Make a plan Voortrekker, make plan. In the end I fpund about 50m down the fence a broken pole where I could lift the fence high enough for bike to squeeeeeeze through...except front wheel. So off with the wheel, and back on. I arrived at Bruintjieskraal, happy.
Going through Baviaanskloof is beautiful and it was a pity it was a race. One needs more time. Mmmmm, with another flat tyre, I had more time. I sat on a little paved bridge, spread my tool box all over and with baboons watching I changed the flat tyre. Still arrived at Damsedrif in daylight .
Today I arrived in Willowmore, also in daylight. Trying to make a plan with the back tyre with help and instructions from Tim James, the record holder of the Freedom Challenge. No luck, not even from a champ, so hopefully a new tyre will be waiting for me in Prince Albert .

3 comments:

Jake said...

Good going Gerda. It has been a few days that you have been off the map. Glad you found yourself again. I think Rodney is even more exited. Keep up the good going. Not too long now and you will be home and dry! Happy cycling. Regards Jake and Annali

Santacruzrulz said...

Nice going - really good to see how strong you are mentally. It goes so fast now so remember to keep enjoying the moments.

Steve said...

Lovely stories, and welcome to your third and final province. Diemersfontein is around just a few corners now.