I had oats and coffee for breakfast. Daniel boiled eggs for the road and made two egg and mayonnaise sandwiches for each of us and after we bid fair well to our hosts, we got going at 05:10.
The road out of Prince Albert was in an excellent condition and we constantly lost elevation with the result that result that we made very good time for the first hour and a half. We then left the main road and had to continue on farm roads, some of which were just two faint tracks through the veld. We also encountered lots of sandy patches, with the result that our average speed reduced markedly. Sunrise was due at 07:03 and we stopped for some beautiful photos. Although the road was a farm track through the veld, I did downloaded it from Track4Africa and there were telephone poles, with lines, next to it. So this must have been a well used road.
After a while I noticed that correspond 100% with the track, but it was along side and we were following the poles! It then started moving away and we realised that we needed to move left. This relatively easy in the Karoo and after half an hour we were back on track. In this little excursion my front wheel got stuck, I lost my balance and fell over. Nothing serious. When we got back on track I noticed something peculiar with my rear brake lever. It seems as though something broke. It was still working but I had to keep it in place with my hand. I later managed to keep it in place by putting my wrist band around the lever assembly.
Yesterday the wind came up at 10:30. Today it came up at 08:50! The elevation of the road also did not count in our favour. The general direction was up. The hills were not very steep, riding up an incline against a wind is not conducive fir a good average speed, which came down to 10.2 kph. Poena Jordaan, a farmer from De Doorns came past and stopped for a chat, commenting "julle ouens ry darem lekker"! I thought afterwards that our ride against the wind was not that pleasant!
We eventually reached a district road and noticed a sign indicating 53. I realised that we had 53 km to the R329 tar road to Lainsburg. This was quite a taxing road. It had umpteen hills followed by a small dip and another hill, a dip and another hill and so it went on. With each hill we were also gaining elevation. With wind and these elevations, we were traveling at between 8-10 kph! This continued up to the point that there was 23 km left. We then encountered our first reasonable down hill. We thought(hoped) that this would continue up to Lainsburg, but no such luck. The hills continued, but at least they were now followed by nice down hills.
We passed below the dam wall of the Floriskraal dam and had to go up the steepest hill of the day. Still it was not the end but due to the good descents, we were making good time and our average speed was moving up to over 11 kph. We eventually reached the tar road, only to be confronted by another little monster and when we hit a flat section, the wind tried to blow us off the road!
Olof de Villiers agreed to pick Hoffie, who had to be in Cape Town on 29 April, up in Lainsburg and take him back home. He came looking for us and found us about 8 km out of Lainsburg. He waited for us on the edge of town and showed us the way to the guest house where I wad booked in. We spent some time chatting, he went to get us something to eat and drink while Hoffie disassembled his bicycle to get it into the back of Olof's vehicle. Once Olof was back with our refreshments, Hoffie loaded his bicycle and shortly afterwards they left for Cape Town.
I settled into my room, had a shower, oiled the chain, arranged a breakfast pack for the morning, settled my bill and went for supper at Cafe Hart, the restaurant of the Lainsburg Country Hotel. One of the items on the menu was "lamb afval" and I just could not resist the temptation to order it, with vegetables. The meal was good and I was back in my room at 20:00.
I think I will start a little earlier in the morning to get more riding time without wind. The weather do not look to promising for tomorrow with a 50% chance of rain. I will be North of the N1 abc can only hope and prayer that I encounter the dry 50%!
Data for the day: start 05:20; time 11:31:55; distance 130.01 km; average speed 11.28 kph; ascent 1,671 meters; descent 1,580 meters.
Total distance after 28 days: 2,871 km