Day three: 2 giant hills, lots to eat and many potholes

Total distance 118km. Total time in transit: 9hrs

Today was another long day. That makes three in a row.

We left Bethlehem at about 8.30am aiming for Fouriesburg because Tony only had one thing on his mind – krummelpap. But it seemed to take forever to get there.

As a warm up for later hills, we had a gentle climb just outside Clarens and then a thrilling fast downhill towards the town. A right turn onto the road for Fouriesburg, then a 15 minute stop for more food and drink. After last year’s tour I honestly didn’t think it was possible to eat more in a day, but we have proved that thinking incorrect. At each stop Mike, Brenda and Maya whip open the huge trailer and haul out biscuits, fruit cake, rusks, bananas, energy bars, tea, coffee, water and Biogen fuel. So far, I have only been truly hungry at suppertime. Not that I’m complaining.

Then it was time to tackle my demon from last year – the 10km climb just outside Clarens. Only this time it was manageable. What I was not prepared for was the 8km climb just before Fouriesburg. And boy, did I take punishment from everyone for not warning them about this second hill.

We had a great lunch at Die Plaasstoep in Fouriesburg but only left at 2.50pm and we still had 47km to cycle to Ficksburg. So we had to push it a bit and finally made it into town at 5.30pm, weary but cheerful. This group is mostly cheerful – apart from Alan complaining a lot about his sore bum! I don’t what wrong with him because the rest of are fine, of course.

Today we were joined by Renier Landman, a student at Queen’s College, who will cycle the rest of the way with us. Jeepers he can cycle. He flew up and down those hills and only commented on his sore legs at Fouriesburg and again when we arrived in Ficksburg. I blame it on youth!

The roads today were full of pot holes and our standard modus operandi is to yell “Hole!” when we are about to pass one, so as to warn the cyclist/s behind or next to us. This inevitably leads to a chorus of “Holes!” as the message passes from the front to the back of the group.

Tonight we are staying in The Woodpecker B&B which boasts comfy rooms and home cooked dinners. We have a late 9am start, so until next blog…

Ashley

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