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Biking Africa – Springbok to Steinkopf

Monday 14 March 2016

The long straight road
The long straight road

After a dreadful disturbed nights sleep caused by a bunch of flies who kept waking me up. I finally departed the caravan park after 9am 🙁 and with no breakfast. My good samaritans Eugene & Marti had hitched their caravan up and departed so I was unable to say farewell to them.

I crawled up the hill to Springbok working out what ‘essentials’ I needed such as suntan blocker & antiseptic cream. I had breakfast where we had dinner last night whilst waiting for an omelette I drank a litre of grape juice. Afterwards, at the garage I stocked up on water and a never to be repeated experiment 1.5 litres of Sprite. Eventually at 10.51 I set of – way way too late to start a ride 🙁

Road sweeper at work
Road sweeper at work

The road was hilly I was tired and all the shady picnic benches have disappeared plus lots more roadworks where folks exit them like greyhounds from a starting gate.

It was extremely hot, the hottest day yet for me, drinking boiling hot Sprite is dreadful totally drying out my mouth and making me even thirstier 🙁 and the hot water wasn’t much better,

Steinkopf came into view and I decided to abandon the day whilst at the garage slurping cold drinks and ice cream.

The guy from Cedswill Guestouse came to find me and even better drove me to the out of town petrol station for rather disgusting take away fish & chips, grapes & beer.

Tomorrow will be an early start to get to the border, then I have to decide whether to stay the night in South Africa or Namibia.

Strava says 34.2mi Distance 4:08:45 Moving Time 1,673ft climbing giving an average speed of 8.3mph 🙁

Pictures are here

Biking Africa – Garies to Springbok

Sophie's place
Sophie’s place

Well Sophia’s Guest House came up trumps with an excellent breakfast for me, such a pity that the Harley club had booked the place out so I couldn’t sleep there. With a final top up of drinks and sweets at the new 24 hour petrol station I was away with the good name of Garies restored in the memory banks.

The climbing started as soon as you leave Garies and is relentless 7,000 feet in total for the day. In the end the bike had basically two gears the lowest for climbing and the biggest for the descents, there was minimal flat cycling. Nearly 50% of time was below 6 mph at the other extreme 4% was over 25mph.

Lovely roadside cafe
Lovely roadside cafe

Fortunately at Kamieskroon everyone was proved wrong and the delightful cafe was open so I could slurp down 1 litre of cold grape juice whilst listening to motor bikers saying just how tough sitting on a bike is 🙁

Then it was through yet more roadworks. South African roads, the tarred ones at least, must be the most cared for in the world. Onwards and upwards I went peaking out at 3000 feet. So at some point I have a 3000 feet descent to go down for free 🙂

The long road
The long road

The end was crippling as I could see the caravan park across the way but the only access was to go up the hill, over the main road and back  down again all accompanied by the smell & flies from the local meat factory 🙁

The Rondawel (imitation circular mud hut) was like an oven 🙁 There’s no food on site but I cajoled a very sweet elderly caravanning couple (their son is 57!) to drive me into town for food amazingly they even paid for my dinner a great ending to a tough day.

Just a pity the flies took a fancy to me all night 🙁

Strava says I did 75.3mi in 8:12:16 Moving Time and  6,999ft climbing.

The pictures are here 

Now done 1.018 miles and 56,586 vertical feet on this trip