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.
This road linked up with the R68 and then sent me down an obscure path, which eventually disappeared, but the gras was short and there were cow tracks running on the general direction. After a while all linked up again. I went through a village and then linked up with a larger well used road. The road I was traveling along did not always match up with the track, but the general direction was the same.

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

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