Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 4: The Queens Mercy

Well, it had to happen sometime - THE SADDLE & THE PAIN ! The track across the Queens Mercy wetlands is very bumpy especially if you head off the ridgeline into the wetlands proper where grass knolls & dried cattle tracks abound. I took another swan dive over the bars today because I was riding too gingerly to save my bottom. Smacked the same shin as before and now it's very painful & swollen thank you very much.

Anyway enough doodah. The route was stunning once again and worth every bit of pain & suffering. The company was fantastic & the sights amazing. The picture was at a tea break just on a rise looking away from the wetlands towards the Lesotho mountains.

After leaving the wetlands we headed up a mountain, got lost for a while before heading onto the top. Dave Wadilove passed us on the district road & advised us to head for & turn right at 'those huts up there & you'll be ok' Yeah right - Those huts up there happened to be a rather large rural settlement with about 300 huts !

Anyway the views from the top of the mountain were amazing - Beautiful grass & farmlands below on one side & stunning views of the Lesotho mountains on the other. We stopped for a break before blundering our way back down off the mountain & on to Malenkoloyane. The local ladies at the lodge treated us to freshly baked vetkoek & honey and later to a delicious supper of rice, pap, mashed potato, butternut, marog (spinach) & chicken.

So what was my memorable moment ? Well as Sam said to Frodo in the Lord of the Rings :'You have to be able to believe that there is still some good in this world Mr Frodo'. And there is everywhere we've been so far. Smiling, happy, incredibly helpful people all around us. That has made our race / journey an incredibly rewarding experience. I'm not afraid of getting totally lost out here because Mama Africa will take me in, feed me & care for me...

Anyway it's a long day ahead tomorrow: A 4am wake up & hopefully a 5pm finish at Vuvu village, some 85 odd km's further along.

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