Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Montagu to Trouthaven


Montagu to Trouthaven
I woke during the to the sound of raindrops, the first thing I did when I got up was to check what it looked like outside. It was wet with a light drizzle. I could handle that ad long as it did not come down in bucket loads and a stormy wind.
My "breakfast pack" provided by the hotel because I left early consisted of two salami and cheese sandwiches and apple juice.
Windguru predicted 70% change of rain, so I decided to dress for the occasion! Out can the rain jacket and I now had an opportunity to try out the rain pants I bought for last year's Freedom Challenge.
I managed to get going just after 06:00. The rain was not to bad, but the road between Montagu and Ashton was quite busy so early in the morning. I stopped at the garage in Ashton go fill my water with Coke. In the darkness I missed the Zandvliet turnoff, but realised it quick enough not to loose too much time. I now stated raining harder. Fortunately I was on tar. It stopped raining by the time I got to the Bonnievale road. My bum was holding up quite well after yesterday's pounding! As I took the turnoff to McGregor at the Bonnievale/McGregor inter section, I really started to rain again. The road was getting very wet with some muddy patches, which caused me to become quite a site and settled on my bike. 
In McGregor I stopped at one of the houses and got permission to hose my bike down and oiled the chain. The sky was looking gloomy over the Greyton Mountains, but promising where I was going. I had some drizzle at the top of Coenies Rivier, but nothing serious. As I was making my way towards Kasra, my phone rang. It was Meryl informing me that traversing over the top of Stettyns is only allowed while the Freedom Challenge is in progress. I therefore would not be able to concur the” sting in the trail" of the Freedom Challenge again! I dropped in at the Oestervanger, Kasra to say hallo to the ladies, but nobody was home. I then took the liberty and hosed my bike down again. The mud was clogging up due to some wet patches I went through.
On my way to De Fonteine, I came across a most peculiar sight. Two guys counting traffic in this remote area. It must be equal to watching grass grow! Trappies Kraal felt more difficult than the previous times I went over. Very rocky, which made pedaling difficult, whit the result that I pushed a fair part of the way. 
From the top it was plain sailing to the store at Hammanshof, where I filled my water bottle with Coke again. Once I was over McKays Kop, I felt relieved, but the stretch around the dams felt very long and the same goes for the first part of the turnoff past Dashbosch. It just goes on and on and on. I finally reached Trouthaven at 17:45, only to find nobody home, not even the farmer! I made a number of phone calls but all were on voice mail. I saw light at one of the cottages and decided to see if it was open, but it was locked. As I was busy trying to arrange for somebody the come and fetch me, Meryl got through to me and told me to look for the key under the mat. Volla, I was settled for the night. Tomorrow will now be a bit of an anti climax seeing that I cannot go over Stettyns. I will have to go through Rawsonville and over the Du Toits Pass. At lest I will be able to enjoy the decent into Diemersfontein.
Statistics for the day: 155.4km; 10:10: 32 riding time; 12:41:22 total time; 1, 769 meters climbed.

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