Wed 14 Nov 2018, Day 346
Staying with Pam and Alan Kietzmann in Thornhill, Eastern Cape
Distance 83 +14302 = 14385
Time 6 h 31 m
Total from Amsterdam 19785
Location S33.868605, E25.142638
Breakfast with a difference, oats with lemonade and Peter had his with Powerade and are saving the nectarines and yesterdays roll with avocado for the road. Left 06h15, saw an African lady driving a bakkie, she clearly doesn’t have a license as she was grinding the gears and not looking confident behind the wheel. There’s a 15 km gravel road that shortens today’s ride by 16 km. By doing the gravel bit also prevents us riding through the informal township of Motherwell, were told a big one. It was stony for the first 8 km, then wet from roads being graded and compacted and the last few kms smooth. Coming back onto tar was a treat and we stopped for a breather.
Next minute a Xinergistix truck pulled off the road, transporting cement, and Eric stepped down from the cab. We saw him on Monday when he gave us water and told us today that he was concerned about our safety ??. It was good catching up with him again. Arrived in Uitenhage and headed for Pnp and afterwards to the Wimpy for waffles and cream, yum, so good.
The ride out of Uitenhage was one long hill and guess what, into strong wind. I must be boring you with all the complaining of wind and coarse gravel but we’ve been riding in these conditions since leaving Henties Bay on 16 September, covering a distance of just over 2900 km so please forgive me when I complain. It’s been a long haul from Amsterdam with 215 km to ride before we reach the magic number of 20000 km. Both Peter and I can’t believe we’ve ridden this distance but have noticed that our bike computer differs from what road signs show and our total mileage should in actual fact be more.
At 55 km we came across Sonnebloem (Sunflower) a quaint farm stall so stopped for homemade ginger beer, banana milk and a block of yummy fudge for each of us. Battling the wind we were almost ‘taken out’ by two idiots overtaking slower trucks with Peter and I in full view.
An unusual site ahead took our minds off the wind when we approached an African guy running backwards. Justice Tshaka’s style looked so relaxed even though he carried a heavy backpack. Directions to Pam and Alan’s farm was to get onto the N2 highway, cross over the van Staadens bridge and take the Thornhill turn off. Our first bit of pedaling on the N2 highway was after 19772 km and at the first km board showing 713 km to Cape Town.
We hugged and I shed a few emotional tears. Pam kindly met us at the Thornhill hotel and we loaded all the panniers and my bike into her bakkie but Peter rode to their house, distance of about a 5 km over a rocky and hilly road. I took the lift. We had cottage pie for supper, then Alan headed off too? (having been up since 03h30 collecting staff and getting the cows milked). We got a machine load of washing done which will save us time in Plett when we take a break for a few days.
Enough for today xx
– If there’s a smooth section of tar, I’ll find it ??
– Have no idea what type of cactus this is but have seen many clusters and now they’re flowering
– This aloe is late in flowering
– Second time we’ve seen Eric. He have us water the other day, today we gave him peanuts and sweeties
– First signboard with Cape Town as a destination
– Pam and Alan, our kind and generous hosts