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Day 9 Biking Africa Barrydale to Montagu

The Karoo Moon Motel with the adjacent Diesel and Creme restaurant didn’t open up till 8am so it made for a late start especially with their service times. The “healthy breakfast” was a trendy jug filled with fruit, granola and yogurt. Not enough for me so had the two eggs as well.

I filled up with water at the local petrol station where a group of youngsters on an African Adventure truck were tucking into ice creams for breakfast. The first part of cycling alongside the vineyards was OK and the R62 even was much wider with yellow lines with a light tail  wind.

Truck on The Tradouw Pass
Truck on The Tradouw Pass

However, The Tradouw Pass soon loomed into view with it’s 1000 feet of climb, the couple who shared the Karoo Moon with me roared past on their shiny, but noisy, rented motorbikes to disappear leaving me pedalling. 1 hour 56min later I topped out (Looking at Strava now I see the record is just under 33mins! putting me at position 2233 of 2235 riders).

Apricot picking
Apricot picking

The Akkerboom Farm Stall just past the top was a huge disappointment the worse one yet so after a coke I pedalled on. On this side of the mountain there was a huge headwind 🙁  which was awful. I spotted some workers in a field picking apricots which they kindly gave me a handful, bit hard but delicious and a good diversion.

I crawled on with many smaller hills but overall the tendency was down 6 km out of Montagu I saw a sign for The Guano Caves, the most interesting bit being the restaurant symbol! I stopped and had a couple of coke floats amidst the building works.

7 Church Street  Room 3
7 Church Street Room 3

I eventually made it to the upmarket 7 Church Street Guesthouse with its voluble Mancunian owner describing the route to Stellenbosch whilst showing me around my resplendent quarters in the amazing luxuriant garden. After drinking 3 pints of water I wandered around this very pleasant town, amazingly free of razor wire 🙂 I eventually had a pleasant 3 course dinner in Ye Old Tavern for 190 Rand! I had to dash back to get my wallet as I had gone out without it!

Strava says I did 40.2mi Distance and 2,684 feet of climbing all at temperatures in the mid 30’s No wonder I felt wrecked 🙁

A few pics here I’m now pretty sure all these photo links will break when the Do no Evil crowd discontinue Picasa. I’m trying to get Smugshot up and running.

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