Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Day 8: Brosterlea to Elandsberg.
190km/17hours. After an early night at Brosterlea, I left at 3:30am and even though the temp was -3, it felt a lot warmer than previous days. First up was the Stormberg portage, which I hit just before sunrise - got it a bit wrong which cost me some time and added some extra distance, not a great start! The riding afterwards was mostly on district and good farm roads and went well. At one stage, just before Romansfontein, these wierd snowflakes started falling, almost like light, hollow balls... Arrived at Romansfontein farm around 11am and had porridge and tea. Stefanie, the host, packed me some lunch and the boys showed me the back route through the farm, taking care of the gates as they went.(thanks guys) Made another nav error going over Aasvoelberg which cost me about 20 min, that's what you get for trying a shortcut! Got down the back of Aasvoelberg in one piece although it was hard work for the arms and shoulders because of the rigid fork.(The bike handled the very rough descent extremely well but I was most impressed by the Hope Mini brakes, ample power and no fade from such small, light brakes.) Then the race was on to get to the town of Hofmeyr to sample one of the famous pies from the Karoobos Stall but even though I got there before 5, they had closed early for the SA vs France soccer match. So it was on to the final obstacle for the day, the Elandsberg portage. I didn't quite make it to the start before dark but that was fine, the worst part was the loose, rocky jeep track off the other side, it just wouldn't end! Not one of my favourite parts of the route but it's done. In a few minutes, Margeret from Elandsberg farm will bring supper and then a hot bath and sleep. The weather here seems to be changing, so may wait until morning before deciding on the next day's riding plan.