Thursday, June 26, 2014

RASA Day 13

RASA Day 13
13 has a stigma of bad luck stuck to it and that applied to us on out 13th day. We did pretty well with the navigation and found all the right turn offs, but George's rear tyre probably cost between an hour and two hours. I will get back to that later.

We got the wheels rolling at 05:30. The first couple of kilometers was district roads and we found all the right turn offs in the dark to arrive at the Thatched gate of the game farm where our journey through the veld started. We initially had some difficulty find the right track because we went through the wrong gate. Once we found the right gate, and saw cycle tracks, we were going. We encountered a steam we had to cross. There was a number of boulders we could step on the get through without getting our feet wet, but there was a small gap so we proceeded to through some big rocks into the gap and managed to complete our "bridge". The temperature did go down to -3.5 From there we had a long "slog" up a jeep track to get over the mountain. Down the other side it was a reasonable ride until we got to the Stuishoek portage. Now this farmer is very supportive and have marked the route with white stones. The actual portage consists of moving down a gorge similar to Skeleton Gorge, but this one is 5.6 km long. This is real hard work. At the bottom we had an easy ride up to the Pearston tar road. From there we had a nice ride down a gravel road until we turned West and had to ride into a headwind. This took us to our halfway stop at Gegun.

After a quick lunch, we were back against the wind for about 7 km up to the Karoopoort turn off. Along the way this road, we were passed by Merle of Karoopoort. She invited us in for coffee and fresh water in our bottles. We then had to go over the mountain behind the farm house. While we were on this, two of the "racing snakes", Graham Bird and Glen Harrison came past.
We managed to get over the mountain and down the other side before it got dark, but with still 20 km to go, we were caught by the dark. The route down the valley was quite quick but fairly rough. Something which can be quite scary at night.

Our biggest problem for the whole day was that George's rear wheel had a slow puncture, with the result that he had to pump it every so often. Have way down this valley he decided he has had enough and put in a tube. This lasted for about 2 km before it was flat too! We tried another tube, which was brand new, but this was leaking even before we put it in. We then decided to go the tubeless option again. All of this must gave taken more than 45 minutes and on the end we only reached our destination for the day at 21:00. That was a long day in the saddle!

Total time: 15:24:18; 129.92 km; total ascent: 1,599 meters; total descent: 2,369 meters.


  1. Sterkte daar...Oom maak ons trots!
    Mag daai band se lug bonatuurlik in bly!

  2. Hectic! Vasbyt, ons dink heelpad aan jou!