Day 3 – 8th April 2016

The “Newbie” Blog

It is only fair to say that our blog, Desmond (Arch)(ngu Desmond Tutu omhlophe majita ke lo) and Setu (Sprinter)(hayke nguMpehle lo kayi 1) should be considered as the first really “newbie” blog. Neither one of us has done this epic ride before so yes we are green and constantly being reminded of this by the stories of that are being bandied around by all the “old manne and tannies”. Amabali enu amnandi kodwa ke, ngani mamele apha kuthi abafikayo. Ok’qala masithi yhuuu thixo wase George Cough, hayi ayi nguwe wedwa mongameli oocinga njalo nathi sinawe, 1965 ride akudlalwa.

That said, it is only fair to say that our blog should be for at least day 3½ rather than day 3. We stayed in this really “charming” place in Reitz called Poelanies….the name should have been an indication as to what to expect…. Ukufika kwethu besicinga uba siseNkandla, ngelishwa safikela eNewland West.

Lunch was good and then we got to our rooms. Save to say the accommodations was not exactly what one would call luxurious but comfortable and cosy. The bathrooms on the other hand was nothing short of requiring the skills of a trapeze artist to navigate the shower, for those of us unfortunate enough to have only a shower in our “suites”…

We need to explain why at this point a good well equipped bath or shower was a requirement; we had just finished riding in weather that was most likely similar to that, that what was experienced by those poor unfortunates that endured hurricane Katrina in the USA, we all so vividly are reminded of and  cold and rain they suffered. In short, we needed to thaw… Besifana nabakwetha aba se suthwini ebsika…

All said it was fine and most of got away with minor injuries but at least a bit warmer. Dinner was at a lovely local steak house called…..um the name escaped us but the food was good and the wine and beer even better.  A rather interesting blond and as one would say curvaceous blond lady appeared and made a beeline for Roger and thank him for the booking, for which she seemed very gracious and quite excited. Sayibenga yaphela lankomo, kwabe kokho ntombazana ethile ephitizelayo pakathi kwamadoda, noko ke uRodger wamqoqosha, kamnadi…

We finished our dinner and headed off to our luxurious accommodations for the evening to get some nice rest for the next days’ onslaught.

We were commanded to report for breakfast at 06H00 this morning, which was made by pretty much all of the crew. Fortunately breakfast went without challenge as it really takes a lot to ruin this meal.

The highlight for us before seeing our teammates at the breakfast table was the fact the sun, glorious sun, was in fact making an appearance.

The banter around the breakfast table was quite a diverse mix of conversation ranging from nocturnal habits to drug habits. We never knew that hard core cyclist we so astute with narcotics and could advise exactly which “supplement” to take for which “ailment” or boost…move over Lance Armstrong.  Alas this lovely breakfast was over and we were off to collect our ridding machines and kit and get cracking for the day. Yhuuu madoda wafika uTony nezidakamiso, hayke nathi uba sifika sazitya, hayi kanti lento ebeyenza uyayazi njenga mkhuluwa we1965 ride.

It took some time to get on the road as the chief support driver misplaced his vehicle keys, Gavin lost his bicycle and in that was so elated that he was already strapped into the support vehicle wanting to take off not bothered about his very expensive and very lost bicycle.

It was interesting to see that all the crew members were in a joyous mood and we can only surmise it must have been the sunshine that brought about a burst of endorphins in all and put them in a “happy place”.

Through the morning we have to commend, Ian, of Ian’s Mobile Catering, as his skill to deliver fresh coffee, tea, rusks and fruit on time was nothing short of “par excellence”. Sadly so he seemed a bit lacking on delivering, cappuccinos and lattes…oh well. Oko sifikile kukho lomfo umfitshane, akapithizeli maan. Ingxaki hake yiservice delivery, hay combrade besine carcus, ayikho le yakho, sifuna wenyuse ikawusi….

We rode into Bethlehem with all the pomp and ceremony that I am sure our esteemed leader and President receives when on a state visit. We were escorted by nothing short 6 traffic control vehicles escorting us through the bustling metropolis of Bethlehem. One wonders what happens to the rest of the non-law abiding road user during time….? It was a rather interesting experience and made all of us feel like the “President” to see an entire town come to halt. Lovely.

We left Bethlehem end proceeded to enter a part of our country which made our hearts swell with pride as its beauty was nothing short of mind blowing. We travelled well and had good roads all the way to our lunch stop in Fouriesburg. An amazing little town right on the periphery of the Maluti Mountains. Here we engaged in some good haute cuisine and as usual good banter and exchange.

After lunch we proceeded on the final leg of our journey towards the town with the juiciest cherries, Ficksburg. A superb road with great scenery, mountains and newly flowering Kosmos, which made for some excellent backgrounds to the obligatory selfies.

We arrived at an oasis in town called the Woodpecker Guest House, where at the list of priorities to all was to check out the ablutions subsequent to our last stay and I think we could hear a collective sigh of relief in the complex…..”We had arrived…phew”

Dinner was sublime a real SA braai, coupled with good company and good wine. So off to bed now but before we do some highlights of the day:

At this point we would like to highlight the team members who stood out with their various commentary:

Roger: “My leg warmers are stupid they fall off all the time..”

Leon: “Perhaps you should grow more muscle, you have you seen mine?”

Hester: “Leon, how many climbs do we have ahead?”

Leon: “I am not Google.”

So suffice to say Leon is forthwith known as Mr. Leon “Google” Annandale

 

Hester: “Roger can I use your tool?”

Roger: “Which one?”

Mmmmmm……right

 

And then we are afraid to report that my blog buddy Setu’s bicycle is in love with him and just does not seem to want to let him go. He tried to get off but yet the bike hung onto his feet which drove him to the ground. Here a song comes to mind. Sergio Mendes’ “Never Let you go”.

Overall a great day, however we cannot finish the day off without awarding the Speed Queen award of the day…which goes to Hester and the Hero of the Day which goes to Gavin. Gavin was wiser than all of us and listened to his body and chilled.

So in closing we leave you with this:

“He that fights and runs away, may turn and fight another day, but he that is in battle slain, will never rise to fight again”

Tacticus

 

Good luck fellow riders we only have 500km’s left to go……. J

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