Monday, 09 May 2011

Kissing the road and crossing the Grinding Plains

Die Knersvlakte, or 'Grinding Plains'...I've been here before. Though after today even I don't know how I managed to cross over 100km to Bitterfontein, smack in the middle of summer just over a year ago!?!

The roads just go on forever and ever and ever...and EVER!!

But first: a bit of an update on the last few days.

Clanwilliam to Klawer - went fairly well. Started the day out in heavy mist and a chat with a couple from Robertson who were on their way on holiday. Just before I set off they stuck R100 in my hand, insisting that they want to contribute to what I'm doing. How unbelievably sweet is that!? The rest of the day went well, apart from some gear trouble.

Klawer to 'Oom Buys Wiese's' farm, 25km outside of Vanryhnsdorp. I had a very late start. Woke up feeling a little despondent because of the howling wind outside. I'm talking "take you right off your bike" kind of wind. It was a slow day, tough...extremely windy. Made it though and spent my first night in my tent, alone...without a sole nearby. No water. No electricity. It was great! I made myself supper on my MSR cooking stove. Bully Beef (canned corned meat) and a can of baked beans! It was awesome! (funny how when you're hungry even the simplest of food tastes great).
I slept like a baby and made myself some coffee and oats this morning before I set off again.

I had a nice early start this morning. Though today has maybe been one of the toughest days I've had so far! The long, seemingly never-ending hills really test you! And I had my first fall on the trip today. And the universe threw in a flat tyre just for kicks! The first thing that went through my mind on my way down was: "get off the road, get off the road"! I fell right into the road! I got up so quickly, but then realised just how heavy my bike is. I struggled to pick her up and had to kind of drag her off the road. That's when I noticed I have a puncture.

Once I had that fixed the wind camd up, meeting me head on. I thought to myself: "what is this? Let's see how hard we can push Jo day"? The last 16km to Bitterfontein was a real fight. Against the wind, the road, myself. I hurt my neck and lower back with the fall. That just added to all the other challenges. But, I still made it! Just before sunset and 9 hours on the road. 3 more days to Springbok and then I can rest!


Rob said...

And I thought a couple of 90 mile days over the weekend at 22C was tough! Hang on in there!!!
BTW what sort of daily mileages are you covering Jo?
Rob, (UK)

David said...

Thanks for the posts - it is great to keep up with your progress. Do you have a map on your site that is tracking where you have been? If not, it would be a great addition. All the best, David