Camping at the Keetmanshoop Municipal Rest Camp
Distance 232 + 12128 = 12360
Time 11 h 34 m
Total from Amsterdam 17760
Location S26.579738, E18.130686
A new distance record has knocked the McNulty previous one of 211 km off its pedestal?
Ready at 05h05, woke up Rae to say goodbye (Johan still sleeping) and were riding by 05h20. Got to the B1 highway and Peter had to pump my front tyre. We had a few stops, first was at 33 km for avocado sandwiches, again for an orange and was going to sit a while but the bin was filled to overflowing with rubbish and the flies were annoying. At 60 km we reached the “don’t blink or you’ll miss it” town of Asab, where we were pleasantly surprised that a tiny spaza shop run by Manaliza Fransman had a beverage fridge filled with icy cooldrinks. A nice lady who would like copies of the pictures I took of her.
Next stop was at 100 km for tuna mayo sandwiches where we met Joseph who looks after the goats. We gave him biscuits, a pear and a bottle of water, by now no longer cold. Both Peter and I were gobsmacked to see Joseph open his bag and remove a bottle of water that had ice floating in it. Peter stopped for some reason so I carried on. About 200 metres down the road and looking back I couldn’t see Peter so flagged two Free State cars, one drove back. I chatted to Pieter and Dorette Nortje driving a Prado while Herman and Claudette, Pajero drove back to check. Turns out, having ridden on the dribbled tar to fill cracks, he had gone onto the gravel shoulder picking up small stones and was sitting on the ground scraping off the gunk. I wouldn’t have been happy riding back into the wind. Both couples live in Bloemfontein.
Reached Tses at 152 km and just off the B1 was a small community campground. We made sandwiches, quenched our thirts with ice cold cooldrinks and Peter had tea. From here on the wind picked up from the west, making the last 80 km to Keetmanshoop very difficult. With tired legs and bottoms we carried on, determined to reach our destination in one day. If we weren’t gunning for a new record, it would have been wise to camp at Tses but Peter and I are too pig headed to take the easy way out?
With only 10 km to ride, wind still pumping and with only half a sun on the horizon we battled on. It was lovely hearing the barking geckos chirping away which helped take our minds off the strong wind. Peter tried shielding me from the, by now, south-wester winds but it was difficult with the traffic.
We finally made it to Keetmanshoop, saw a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet and with parched throats patiently waited our turn to be served two ice cold Fanta cooldrinks. We found the municipal campsite and pitched our tent on the grass outside the ladies ablutions. There was a bit of drama when Peter used one of the basins cold tap and it wouldn’t close. Called the staff and even they couldn’t sort it out. We’ve seen throughout our ride in Africa that maintenance isn’t a priority. Wind today … no wind, east, north east, north, west and finally south west … all of the above in one day ??.
Thanks to Rae and Johan’s braai last night, we had sausage and lamb sosaties with our, ever regular, onion and tomato for supper. Had lovely hot showers and then hit the hay, totally exhausted but so happy we carried on and broke our previous record of 211 km.