Thursday, April 7, 2016
BB2BB Day 7
Yesterday it took us 11:47 to do 96.78 km!
As today was going to be an easier day, we decided to only start at 06:00. The first thing we looked at after we woke up was the weather. Prayers were answered and it was dry outside with very little cloud cover! The first 9 km was downhill on the Long Tom Pass to Misty Mountain Inn. There we picked up some jeep tracks which took us down into the valley. This 7.25 km took us 54 minutes. There after we joined district and farm roads through to the N4. A distance of 39 km which took us 2:57. At the end we missed a turn with the result that we had to do a couple of kilometers on the N4 to link up with the track which would take us to Kaapsehoop, a further 34 km of which most was going to be uphill on forestry roads.
We picked up a district road and after about a half an hours riding came to a split. The GPS said we must go left, but the road to the right looked much better. There was a local coming down the road and Hennie used his knowledge of the local language to confirm directions. The young man confirmed that we could use the right road as they converge further up. This was a big mistake. This road took us away from the track we were suppose to follow and when we realised that the two was not going to converge, we were too far up the hill to turn around. We could see the correct track about 2-3 km to our left on my Garmin, so we decided to continue with the hope that we will meet up with correct track sooner or later. We tried to get directions from the local forestry workers but most of them did not even know where Kaapsehoop was! We got to a point where we saw a "better" looking road about 100 meters below us. There also appeared to be a good road about another 100 meters higher up and we knew we still had to gain altitude before we get to Kaapsehoop. After a lengthy debate and some difference of opinion, we decided to go up. When we linked up with the larger road, we went left, but a further km or two, we came to a dead end. We went back to the first link and went higher up, but in the wrong direction. Fortunately this road went around a corner, which got us in the right direction. This happened a number of times where we felt we were going in the wrong direction only to find the the road made a u-turn in the right direction again. We were moving up the mountain about 2-3 km to the tight of where we should have been. After about 3 hours of laboring up the hill and covering only 15 km, our tracks started moving closer yo where we should have been. We finally linked up with the right track again after 3:50 while progressing only 21 km. We still had 15 km to go and this took us a further 1:52 as most of it was uphill.
We finally reached Kaapsehoop after 10:03 covering 92.83 km for the day climbing 1,916 meters.
A special thank you to Tim van Coller who joined me for the past two and a half days. His wife, Annette came through from their lodge near the Kruger National Park to fetch him after he left his home last Sonday and cycled to join up with me half way between Tzaneen and Ohrigstad.