Tuesday, April 12, 2016
BB2BB Day 11
One third of time on the road has passed and I have done 1,058 kilometers, which also is about a third of the distance.
Today the fact that Natal is the province of a thousand hills was brought home to me. The first 45 km was tar and fairly up and down but nothing too serious. The scenery was quite spectacular. The road had no verge, but there were so little traffic that it was no problem.
Once I got onto the gravel, the hills also became pronounced. There were very few flat sections. I was either racing down a hill or crawling up a hill! It really was a privilege to cycle through this area, but next I would prefer to have a motor driving me along!
One of the interesting observations was the ladies along the roads cutting grass. This obviously is a employment creation initiative. It does help to keep things neat, but a number of them did not look too productive!
After about 95 km, my Garmin suddenly indicated that I was "off course". This after everything was on course and I new where I was on my paper map. I stopped to check and then found that the course suddenly disappeared from my Garmin. I decided to continue to a point ahead where the Garmin, when it was still working, and the paper map indicated a sharp left turn. When I got there, it turned out to be a crossing. I stopped and tried to phone my host for the evening, but there were not Vodacom reception. I brought a spare phone with some MTN Pay as you go along for occasions like thus and this it worked perfectly. She informed me that I could go straight. That would take me to the town of Utrecht. Their farm was 20 km SW of Utrecht. This road was on top of the plato and the ups and down were easier to manage than those earlier ones. The last 5 km was down Knights Pass, a pass with some very nasty inclines. I was very glad that I was going down and not up.
I reached Utrecht after 11 hours in the saddle and 126 km. When I phoned my host to get directions to the farm, she offered to fetch me. At this point I accepted without hesitation. I continued ti cycle towards the farm and after a further 4 km she arrived. I loaded my bicycle onto the bakkie and we traveller the last 16 km to the farm with considerable less effort!
Total for the day was 130.04 km, which took me 11:23 and i ascended 2,034 meters and descended 2,013 meters.