Tue 6 Nov 2018, Day 338
Sleeping (inside??) at Johnny and Karen Jelinek’s farm, Kaalplaas, a few km from Jamestown
Distance 69 + 13777 = 13846
Time 7 h 2 m
Total from Amsterdam 19246
Location S31.100085, E26.824892
No wind at 05h45 but after having breakfast, panniers loaded and saying goodbye to the Freeme family, by 07h35 a stiff head wind had picked up. From Lady Grey it was 7.5 km on tar to the Jamestown turnoff and then the fun and games kicked in. With four days resting our legs and bottoms, we both felt positive about today’s ride but the road deteriorated from washboard to stoney and bumpy. We had lowered our tyres which made the bumps less painful on our bums but our average speed was between 6 and 9 kmh so were literally ‘going nowhere slowly’. It was icy cold even with two windbreakers, buff covering heads and ears, jacket hoods on and a sock on each hand as we only have short fingered gloves. I counted how many times we stopped to pee … Peter around 10 and I stopped and dropped my drawers about 8 times … checking wind direction … always pee downwind?
We are still riding on the Maluti Scenic Route which started in the Free State. The landscape was initially lovely but I eventually gave up what with having to keep both eyes peeled to the road looking for the smoothest bit of gravel to ride on. The road was relatively flat other than one ‘mother’ of a hill … I pushed while Peter rode up and he then came down and pushed my bike up the rest of the way. Not much to write about as the road was very quiet but we did see three hairy worms crossing the road, had to dodge a few colourful locusts and rode past many herds of cattle who stopped munching grass to stand and stare as we rode by.
My right knee took a pounding with the bad gravel road and rubbing Voltaren into the back twice didn’t help. We eventually reached the tar, pumped up the tyres and was ecstatic to be back on a tarred road. Also shed a tear or three with relief. Didn’t get to Jamestown but opted instead to knock on a farmers door. Johnny and Karen Jelinek own a cattle and sheep farm named Kaalplaas, and we are sleeping here tonight. Their friend, Pierrie Botha who farms 18 km from here was visiting and stayed for supper. Karen rustled up fish and chips with a tomato salad and cut up pawpaw. They poured over Peter’s map and Johnny and Pierrie suggested an easier and flatter route, cutting out hilly Grahamstown, yayyy. We are tucked up in single beds in the spare room, hot blankets switched on … its 2° outside. Johnny said temperatures in winter go down to -15°C.
That’s it for today, not very exciting so hoping tomorrow’s 73 km ride to Molteno will be smooth and wind free. Night all xx
– The weather looked like rain leaving Lady Grey
– 58 km of gravel to ride
– A hell of a hill that Peter rode up. I’d run out of steam so he came back to push Muffin to the top
– Looks like snow but the white stuff is from a tree
– Dinner with Pierrie, Karen and Johnny