Day 8 – 19th April 2017

Up and Over

 The day started off in true fashion with a chilling feeling of what awaits. All were keen to get on the road early as what lay ahead was only known to some but not to all.

Leon and Annie, in true fashion gave the lead for a good part of the day. The rest all found a comfortable speed to start the day off. 

Alas, Mr Frost’s statement of “all downhill” was not meant for this day. At 7km we started our sheer climbing for 6 Kim’s and as Ryan and I gave it our best we voted that its was the best way that we had gotten this hill over first thing in the morning to warm up.

At the crest of the pass we met a walker, yes a chap called…….who was walking his way down from Joburg to Queenstown. With Vata in conversation and Lynn seeing to it he had some food and warmth of coffee, Louis soon loaded the chap up and gave him a lift as far as Hazelmere  and Vata assisted in the last leg.

Summitting the passes was not easy with the well known traveller Mr Moorcraft giving us a running commentary of how his amazing Bakkie gains momentum up these passes when he goes home to Queenstown, but the aircon must be off and you have to be in 4th. At this point we had our own Bakkie moment, when the support crew of Louis and …….. gave us some shielding from the wind ahead. This was much needed and a pack of 6 riders rested their legs for a short period. Some were suffering badly while the like of Princess pace and trusty Tony kept  pace maintained with some motivation and support to get up some hills. However she really put in the effort with climbing hills standing and we were all worried that she had super legs today. 

Soon we saw it, hidden behind trees, an over head bridge and the many distractions of stunning views and wildlife (known by farmers as stock, being horses and cattle), there was Penhoek. Now who knows why it’s called Penhoek but could easily have been renamed as “what-a-bugger-of-a-hoek ” as it most certainly is a bugger to get to the famous point where we have the traditional picture taken.

 At just short of 100km on the day and the sun keeping us a little warm, The Craft (Mr James Moorcraft) had the moment of changing into his “stealth” suit for the descent of Penhoek. With some in tow and others being rather eager to get it over with, yes Rodger who took of like a jet to get away from the pink “stealth” suit, it was time that James stood up to his dare. He wore it with pride, but we had one problem. The photographer could not take pictures due to his tan that had not reached the top part of his legs so the “stealth” suit, being the pink and spotted white speedo and hence there are some photos taken by the crew of Vata and Lynn in their support vehicle through a dark glass lens. I’m sure that is what happened.

We all arrived safely at Hazelmere Farm and settled into a lovely afternoon. Tony, was suggesting that some attempt should be made of us making our way back to the top of Penhoek again to enjoy this decent for a second time. This was shortly cut short by Rodger who has known Tony for many years, to avoid spoiling the moment that we had all just enjoyed. Thoughts came out that if you done it once in such good style why try it again. 

Uncle Paul arrived later on to allow the men that are now known as the “usual suspects” to have a pain killer or two in the form of some beers. 

With some of the crew staying at Buffelsfontein they came down to the supper that was arranged by uncle Paul, his amazing team and friendly neighbors helping out.

 I’m hoping that you would be able to assist in sponsoring me on the ride through the next day or two. If possible could you and no matter what the amount is I’d appreciate it. Some chaps have sponsored a day of my ride at R1000 and if you could I would be honored. Let me know if you can? Cam some neighbors helping out. 

 Tony started our evening off with a vote for the participant that lived the cause to the full on this ride. After an IEC voting process and with Lynn and Tony as the IEC regulators , being the Independent Electoral Chiefs, the vote was in favor of none other than Lungisa “I’m available” Tshele. Well done brother you have left a saying that will keep us all going for a long time and truly lived this tour for it cause. In true style Tony gave thanks to the hosts and presented certificates to all participants partaking more than 50% of the ride. He then honored two members with special kit for the last and final day. This was to one solid participator and true character of the 1965 ride Rodger Webb. He had now completed 5 years and knows every bump and hill on route so has certainly earned his new stripes. The other went to Princess Pace, Lauren Kilian, who I’m not sure was either very eager to ride or just to get out of Queenstown for a few days, but she was the first to enter and raise her sponsorship for this cause. Well done to you both on your new colors for the last day.

 In true Eastern Cape hospitality we enjoyed an amazing three course supper with fresh cream on the desert, and yes no cherry on top as that we had with the pancakes earlier in the ride. I do have to mention that no cherries were needed as the meal was a 7 star meal in its own. We all had one of the most stunning and straining days on tour but knowing that the end is near. 

 Off to rest the weary bodies until the last and most rewarding days, said by all…..

Over and out but once stallion and now just Cam.

And edited for character by Mr Frost.

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