Tuesday, April 12, 2016
BB2BB Day 12
My GPS distances from Piet Retief to Elandsheim was 232 km. As I did 130 yesterday, today should be about 100 km. My host's warned me about the fact that it is pretty hilly around Elandsheim, so I prepared myself for another difficult day. They also gave me directions down a gravel road, which runs past their farm to link up with my intended route via the Blood River Monument.
I decided to start a little latter because my rear light is very faint and got going at 05:37. The condition of the road was very good and I remained on the higher ground. It was a beautiful morning and three vehicles passed me during the first hour and a half. The hills all had reasonable inclines and I was moving along nicely.
I stopped for a break after 3:20 and 50 km. Just after this I finally linked up with one of my tracks on my Garmin again. This was a track I got from Jaco Strydom's book Four Glorious Years. Cancer took Jaco away two years ago! I went past the Blood River Monument and managed to get a reasonable photo from the road.
Going down a hill on a very badly surfaced road a small car pulled up along side. The couple in the car enquired if I knew where the road was going as they were lost and their GPS has packed up. They were on their way the Pongola. I advised to carry on and that they should link up with a good road soon. I was right and after a few minutes this road linked up to a road going to Dundee. Was went over the Buffels River and past the Buffels River Lodge, a beautiful lodge over looking the valley. The web address was info.rockesdrifthotels.co.za so I knew I was close to Rocke's Drift. I stopped for a Coke and had the rest of my breakfast pack for lunch.
My over night stop was about 15 km away and I was on for an early finish, but there were still a number of hills to negotiate before I got to the end. The last 16 km took me 1:31 and I climbed 326 meters. I clocked into Elandsheim at 12:47. A relative short, but well deserved after yesterday.
Data for the day: 96.29 km; 7:07:33; climbed 1,151; descended 1,319 and average speed of 13.5 kph