Monday, April 4, 2016

BB2BB Day 4

I ordered a breakfast pack, which management promised will be ready at 04:30. When I went looking for it, there was nothing and not a sole in sight! So it was peanuts for breakfast again!

I nearly forgot my water bottle in the fridge. I noticed that it was missing as I was about to leave. I then also remembered that the bladder in my back pack was just about empty, so I replenished that also. Finally got going at 05:15.

There was a faint drizzle in the air, so I stopped outside the gate to put on my windbreaker to stay dry. The first 10 km to the Tzaneen turn off was not very pleasant with lots of traffic on the N1 and a fair number of trucks. Once I tuned left, the traffic died down. The road was in a good condition with a reasonable tar shoulder and a very gravel shoulder beyond that. Riding a mountain bike on a tar road is not one of my favourative pastimes!

The first 30 odd km to Soekmekaar (now called Morebeng) went well and I got there at about 07:30, found a cafe which had ab egg burger on the menu for R30. I ordered one with a cup of coffee. They did not have any tables, but there was a side area with chairs and a wall counter. I made myself at home there and waited for breakfast, which did arrive after a while, nicely wrapped in cling wrap. It turned out to be quite a nice burger and real good value for money.

By the time I finished eating, it was 08:00 and I phoned Garmin. They indicated that they be able to get a replacement unit to me at a reduced price. All this took about 20 minutes and I got going again just before 08:30.

The road out of town took me up a hill and once over the top, the vegetation changed drastically. Where as everything was bushveld until now, I now entered the lush green of the Eastern Transvaal and the country side also became more mountainous. Riding was also more pleasant with the road snaking through the  hills. Traffic was fairly quite. That was until I came to the Polokwane/Tzaneen intersection. From there was a marked increase in the volume of traffic and also more trucks. The road was in an excellent condition with wide shoulders and lots area with three lanes to accommodate the slower traffic.

By now behind started giving me real problems. If was very difficult to find a way to sit that did not hurt! I had similar problems in a most of the previous long distance riding which I have done and will just have to live with it. It normally do get a little better after a couple of days, so I will have to wait and see. In the meantime it us case of applying some ointments to the tender area at the end if each day.

I did stop for a Coke and a Lunchbar at  Modjadjiskloof. It was a fairly uneventful from there to Tzaneen and I arrived at Chrisrie's Inn at 12:45

Managed to sort out Garmin. Replacement, which I will get at reduced cost, to be courier to Con Malherbe in Pietermaritzburg to be picked up on my Nothingham Road stop.

Quite an interesting encounter with Garmin. I forgot the name of the lady who emailed the price of a replacement unit when I explored the option three weeks ago, but I knew it was Abigail or Alice or something of that order. When I get through I ask to speak to Abigail or Alice. No they have mo one with that name or similar there. OK so I ask to speak to Marc the sales manager. After a further two calls I get through to Marc. He listens to my story and says he will see what he can do. By the time I get to Tzaneen I have not heard from Marc, so I phone again and this nice guy with the name of David is on reception. He informs me that Marc and the sales team are away for training all afternoon. I tell him my sop story and he says yes he knows who I am talking about and her name is Angie. He will get Angie to call me after the meeting she just went into. 15:30 and I have mot heard from Angie, whose name I had forgotten again at that point. Get through to reception and try the other two "A's"  again with no success. In the end I ask to speak to David again. Get through to one of his colleagues who informs that he had gone to the loo! I tell the story again and he immediately realise that I want to speak to Angie and he puts me through to her. Angie remembers me and we get things sorted out in a couple of minutes! Amasing  how helpful people sometimes can be and how can one struggle with a receptionist, who seems to lack some initiative and she is the entry to the business. I did send Marc an email during the morning and he did reply before he went for traning!

Will have supper at Christie's, who will supply breakfast pack tonight. Plan to leave at 05:00 in the morning. Tim van Coller confirmed he will ride towards me from the Houdspruit crossing, so we should meet between 09:00-10:00

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