Tuesday, 18 June 2013

-12c to 24c what's with the weather ?

It's been a few days since we have had a signal or Internet coverage hence the late update. Peter and I left early from Rhodes to get under the weather which did not arrive. We had a great ride to Slaapkranz where Joyce and Andrea treated us like returning friends. The rest of the batch caught up an hour later after also having a good ride. We left Slaapkranz in -7c temperatures which is not bad for there, and it got to - 10c going up the portage. I got us lost in the beginning which is why I hate the large groups it puts an unfair pressure on me to navigate, any way after we got the correct route we all got lost on the top of the mountain, and the group spilt up again, as we made different ways down off the mountain. We all got into Kranskop that night tiered and it was here that one of the riders bailed due to his knees. It was also sad not to see our host Sandra and her husband, most unusual but maybe ghosts of challenges past are still lurking ? I was looking forward to catching ip with them. The next day we rode through to Romansfontien which is when we had a 36 degree swing in the temperature, -12 in the vlei and 24 going up the hills past Brosterlea, which we missed as the farm name appears to have changed. We found it a long day at 135 km and were glad to get into the support station, where Willie and his wife treated us to the best supper so far, and the best lamb sandwiches for today's ride. It's always pleasant to stay at Romansfontien. We left at 06h00 after the main batch to climb the Assolberg, which I am sure is spelt wrong !! We had a great climb up and the decent was magic, really fast and a large herd if grey mountain reedbuck running down right next to us. As we came over the hill the Karoo opened up before us just as the narrative said, it's a bit of a milestone for Peter and I and the moment was not lost on us. I thought of Tim and how last year he had battled with mist and cold to get to this point, I missed the old fart !! Any way we arrived in Hoffmeyer an interim stop where we had planned to stop for the night, as we now have a strategy for the first time, we will leave early in the morning to get through to Elandsberg and then onto Stuttgart for supper. The weather is really good at the moment I suspect it the best it has been in the 10 years of the Freedom Challenge, and we hope it holds out for the racing snakes that are behind us, the Dreyers and Andy King are storming along we have heard and should pass us in 5 days or so, they are serious machines !! We wish them well and the wind at their backs. Quick thanks for the donations to the FCSF.

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