Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day six

Day six
Got up at three, had breakfast and was ready to go by 03:45. We finally got going by 04:12. When I got to the gate I realised that I have forgotten my water bottle. Dropped bike, ran to living, look on table, no bottle, ran to room, look next to bed, no bottle, ran back to living room, look around, found it on another table in corner, ran back to bike, close gate, chase after other guys. Fortunately they were waiting, so the panic was over. Meanwhile the wind was blowing at between 50 and 60 kph. The retain also was such that we had to push, but it would have been difficult to stay on a bike in that wind. The first two hours of navigation was through grassland with the odd stream to cross. The only "riding" which we did was when we crossed a stream that was about five meters wide and the only way the get across was to ride! It was not deep, but wet shoes on that wind would have been very unpleasant. We got to the Ongeluksnek gate after two and half hours of walking. There we found shelter from the wind behind the gate house and took a bit of a breather. The weather forecast said that the wind would stop at 12:00, the locals said 07:00. After a rest, we started pushing our bikes up Ongeluksnek. Over the nek we managed to get on and do some riding for a change. After a ride of about an hour, we had to turn off and follow some tracks to get the Taba Chitja peak. By this time the wind had died down. We were now starting the climb to Black Fountain. It was a reasonable climb and most of it could be ridden.

Just past Black Fountain, which consisted of some abandunt buildings, we had a rest stop. Keith Scott looked at me and took my pulse. He did not find anything irregular, but suggest that I stop immediately. We discussed this with some of the other guys, who confirm that most if the rest is downhill. I therefore decided to continue at my own pace. It was about 13 km to Tinana Mission. This should normally take about two hours. It took me 6 hours to complete the journey! I got to a point, which I was sure was the "koppie". When I finally found my way around the right way, according to the narrative, I realised that the end was still some way off. When I finally found the right "koppie" I descended to quickly. I could work out the route to Tinana Mission from there and proceeded at my leasurely pace. I also found some people along the way who understood enough English to confirm that I was heading in the right directio. I came upon, what was described as a "good track", and followed that around the base of Ntabayikoniwa. A bakkie came down this "good track" and was only travelling at about 10 kph, due to the condition of the road! In some places it deteriorated to a single track in the grass. During my journey down from Black Fountain, I made peace with the rralisation that I must pull out and informed Race Office accordingly. I finally reached Tinana Mission at 16:30. I was offered a hot chocolate, which was greatfully accepted. Due the time it took me to get down the mountain, it was decided that I will sleep in Tinana Mission. Somebody would take me through to Matatiele in the morning. I was accomodated at Mrs Zibi, who provided a hot meal, a nice bed, some plastic bowls and hot water to wash with and a longdrop toilet which was 100 meters away from the home and so small that my knees touched the door! The bed was wonderful with enough blankets to keep me warm. I went to

sleep at 21:40 and slept like a baby. Breakfast was scheduled for 07:45, so I set my alarm for 07:00. Arrangements were made for me to be picked up at 09:00 at the mission.

1 comment:

  1. Jy mag wel uit wees, maar wat jy reeds gesien het en gedeel het was ongelooflik mooi!
    Laat mens lus voel nog