Inveterate dabbler in business, travel, gadgets & life

Biking Africa – Velddrif to Lamberts Bay

On my bike
On my bike – Thanks Kevin Large

I managed to get a £2 haircut at the hotel after breakfast and then stocked up with drink before setting out at 9am on the coast road. Just outside Velddrif  there was a lovely new thatched beach restaurant, Soverby Lapa, which I couldn’t resist taking a closer look 🙂 It was so gorgeous sitting on the deck with a cool ocean breeze. I could easily have stayed all day admiring the view & eating Malva pudding.

However, I had booked my b&b so kept on going past the rather attractive but all to twee estate at Slakkepas safe behind its gates & razor wire. Cycling on I came to a delightful farmstal, time for another drink and a chat with a van full of locals on a day out. One of them, Kevin Large, was apparently a photographer so I gave him my camera to get some action shots 🙂

I eventually came to the 500 foot climb where my front derailleur started to play up in not getting the smallest gear 🙁 there’s something to be said for the old fashioned change levers rather than these click things 🙁  followed by a lovely drop down into Elandsbaai.

Iron ore train
Iron ore train

I then followed the railway dirt track road for 20 or so miles a bit of a nightmare especially with the corrugated service and odd cars, trucks bombing past. However I did get to admire one of the iron ore trains about 2.5 miles long with 8 locos two of which are intermediates! pulling over 34,000 tons of iron ore!

Eventually I hit tarmac again in Lamberts Bay and quickly found the Sir Lambert’s Guest House and its yappy dog but Port in the room :-). Followed by a walk into town to get my fish & chips at Isabella’s on the Quayside in the wind which is now turning really cold in the evening at least 20 degrees!  The little island which for R40 you can walk to has apparently the highest density of gulls in the world 🙂

Strava made it 59.5 miles with 1597 feet of climbing at an average speed of over 11mph.

My pictures are here

Biking Africa – Bloubergstraand to Velddrif

A long straight  R27
A long straight R27

After another bout of decision making on whether to use the N7 straight away or continue up the coast on the R27 and then take my chances on reconnecting with the N7 further North. I finally set of to get some breakfast in nearby Melkbossstrand after which I headed North on the dead straight R27 to Veldrdrif.

In August/September this becomes the flower route, ablaze with colour but for now just low lying scrub vegetation. Interesting to see Africa’s only nuclear power station producing 5% of South Africa’s electric in a small squat building. Then it was into an endless series of resurfacing for the next 50 miles. After the first long stretch I finally cracked the system and just biked along behind the barriers on the surface they were working on. A bit tarry maybe but a lot safer than having huge trucks squeeze past you on the traffic lane.

New mirror in action
New mirror in action

As the day progressed the wing became stronger filling my head with ideas of making a jacket that converted into a spinnaker since it was coming from the South and I was heading North 🙂

No habitations for 60 miles or so and only a couple of farmshops where I got to try out by new SnapScan app for auto paying at the till. It works a bit like Apple Pay but allows you to enter how much you want to pay. Pretty neat the lady says it’s getting a lot of use.

Finally I crossed the Berg River and found the Laaiplek Hotel right next to the fish processing unit on the rivers edge. Good dinner of hake & chips with a Greek salad.

The Etrex failed to generate a gpx today as it had decided to go into test mode! But Strava on the iPhone behaved today so Strava reckons I did 83.3 miles with all those rolling hills adding in 1813ft of climbing and an overall average speed of 12.2mph.

The pictures are here