Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 20: Die Hell to Rouxpos & Anysberg NR

We left Die Hell late @ around 06:00am and shortly after got to the foot of 'the ladder' after getting quite wet crossing a number of streams enroute. This is a seriously treacherous & precarious climb straight up the side of a damn steep, rock strewn mountain face.

The 'path' looks like an old tight narrow switchback watercourse but it isn't. It's about a 1km climb to the top & you have to carry your bike all the way up because it's so narrow & steep !
Hair raising stuff to be sure. Amazing to think that this was the alternative Donkey route into the valley on the good ol days when the locals were cut off by road ! I would have said impossible.

Anyway I waited almost an hour for the rest of the group to get up by which time Sean had gone on ahead. I rode steadily along a very rocky jeep track leaving the group behind & finally catching up with Sean.

We decided to press on ahead to Rouxpos farm & made it in by 14:00pm. I was most annoyed after reaching Rouxpos that the group didn't press on to there the previous day because we would easily have made it to the road by sunset & into Rouxpos a few hours later to gain another day stage. I was led to believe that it was a very difficult stage & that we wouldn't manage it in the same day ! Rouxpos however was a delight in many ways, not least of all Ronel & Gerhard's fantastic hospitality. Bobotie, rice, salad, fresh bread, cheese, preserves and a magnificant homemade waffel with ice cream !!!

Sean & I decided to press on for Anysberg Nature Reserve @ around 15:00pm & thought we might try for Montagu for a 230km day. Yeah right ! We entered the reserve in darkness after a much needed cup of coffee & a rusk or two with Mrs Fourie along the way. She's lived on her farm for more than 50 years and is a delightful kindhearted elderly lady.

We got to the 'support station' @ 11pm. Total darkness met us & we couldn't see or find anybody @ Cape Natures offices to let us know what was what.
By midnight Sean & I decided to sleep in the shed where they kept the horses lucerne bails because without our boxes & maps we could go nowhere anyway.
We each grabbed 3 bails and laid them out into makeshift beds. We put on all the kit we could find and wrapped ourselves in our space blankets for added warmth. We fell asleep tired, dirty & hungry despite Gerhard & Ronels wonderful lunchpacks from Rouxpos farm.

So ended a 150 odd km double stage.

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