Thursday, June 24, 2010
Day 9: Elandsberg to Van der Venterskraal
208km/17hours. Another early start, this time 03h45; and another cold morning, dropping to -6. Thank you Margeret from Elandsberg for the great food and for getting up early to let me out. My legs felt heavy from the previous day and only really started firing again after a brief stop at Stuttgart for another breakfast just before 09h00. Francois and Amanda took good care of me and sent me on my way to tackle the first portage, the Schurfteberg. Although long, this went well and the downhill carving its way off the back was superb. Then the race was on to get over the day's other portage, the Struishoek mountain. My lunch stop at De Doorns was a hit and run affair, refilling liquids and grabbing food to eat on the bike, all in 5min. Pushing hard up the back of Struishoek, I arrived at the top to see the old farm buildings bathed in an amazing golden light and not a breath of wind. Took some pics, had a snack and headed over the mountain and down the rocky descent gully. The moon was bright by the time I reached the farmhouse at the bottom. I stopped in at the farmhouse to ask for water and was invited in for tea and Wimbledon! David and Verity are such nice people, they farm cattle and Angora goats at the foot of the Struishoek. They offered me a place to stay but I had to decline and push on. The last 3 hours riding took me past Pearston and along some very corrugated dirt roads to the farm Van der Venterskraal where I arrived exhausted at about 22h30. Just had a bath and eating now but when my head hits that pillow, I'll be out.