Sunday, April 3, 2016

BB2BB Day 3

So it turned out that I took the wrong turn last night and that is why I could not find the restaurant. I should have turned right and then left. I turned left where the lodge road joined the larger road. Breakfast was some peanuts and water!

Got going at 05:03. The weather was perfect. It took me 50 minutes to get to the beginning of the Waterpoort, which starts of with Van Coller Pass. The pass and the scenery is very similar to the Mother of All Climbs in the Baviaanskloof on the Transbaviaans! After about an hour into the kloof, I came to a 2 meter locked gate just after crossing the railway line. The gate was similar to the one I encountered at the lodge yesterday morning, but now I had no option but to go over. I managed that but first dropped my bike on the other side. Fortunately with damage, but picking up a lot of dust. As soon as I started cycling, my Garmin told me I am off course! I had no option but to go back over the gate again! This time went considerably better with the bike, but I lost my balance as I jumped down and landed on my back with my backpack absorbing the fall. Afterwards I remembered that the lady who rode with us yesterday said something about a pedestrian gate but I missed that!

There was no other track, but I did remember Casper and John Brand saying something about going down the actual railway line so for the next hour I went down the railway line. I tried to cycle, but it was just to bumpy so I had to walk. One of the interesting thing about going down the railway line is that there is a tunnel one has to go through. Casper's advise was to put my ear on the line. It I hear nothing there is no train coming and it is safe to go through. The tunnel also os fairly close to the end of kloof so I knew once I get there the end is in sight, or so I thought! I got to the tunnel at 07:43.
I continued down the track, but after a while my Garmin once again told me I am off course. This time I left my bike and did some scouting. I could not see any clear track where the Garmin indicated the track, but I did notice that there was a bank through the river by which I could cross it without getting wet. I decided that Garmin was right and negotiated my way down a rocky bank and crossed the river. On the other side there was nothing but a cattle track where Garmin said I should go, so I followed it. After a while it become more of a track and later it did become a ridable track. I was of the opinion that this would take me out of the kloof, but I forgot that there still was a serious climb past Medike guest house. It took me an hour and a half from the tunnel to the end if the kloof. I did meet up with the owner of the guest house as I past it. I asked him if he is farming. His reply was that he is farming with "humans" i.e. guests and making a living from it.

I thought I will stop at the first spaza shop for brunch. That took quite a while and I only found one at 10:25. The only fresh produce they had was tomatoes and onions! I settled for 3 tomatoes, a liter of long life milk and 2 liters of Coke.

The track I was using was once again along the railway line. This was not a railway service road as such, but it hugged the railway line! To make life a little easier it was not 100% straight, but one could see the road the trees for disappearing in the distance. This was all that was on the menu for the rest of the day. The condition of the road was better than the the pervious two days, especially for the last 25 kilometers. The surface was mostly silky smooth and I was going along at 18-25 k.p.h.

Just before Bandelierskop I picked up a gravel road which took me to the N1 and after a couple of hairy kilometers with trucks and cars speeding past, I got to Lapalanzi on the right. I was delighted to see a knife and fork on the signage, so I ensure of supper tonight.  

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