Day 18 – OLT Lockdown Tour SA

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Breathtaking Baviaans!

A cold wet morning deep in the Baviaanskloof chasing false summits, for every downhill, theres an uphill waiting. With every summit in the distance there’s another and yet another. Pretty much sums up the day. You would think going North to South is all downhill. With every peak I can hear CJ in my head going “It’s all downhill from here.”

A good massive ride from all as another 85km stretch of gravel road donned the day, and 1157m of climbing on never ending hills. As you guessed it, yet again, Dave’s favourite corrugated roads… Only this time with a few more hills. Conquering the almighty Nuwekloof pass, aptly named the Baviaanskloof sleutel, or for the non Saffas, the Key to the Baviaanskloof. Rightly so being the first pass as you come into the Baviaanskloof from Willowmore.

At some point in the kloof, parking off on the side of the road, waiting for that shot. The million dollar shot that never happened. Screeching to halt pulls in mapurisa (police) staring at me. You know that stare, the one where you question everything you’ve done wrong and your time in the chookie is nigh “Sorry sir, but your presence is requested back up on the hill.” Don’t tell my mother. Deidre, Dave and Badger stopped in for a coffee at Vero’s kindly requested the assistance of the boys in blue to let us know. As there was no way in hell they were coming downhill to find us.

After a morning of rain the day got warmer as we head back into Mohair country and a slight indication of what heat tomorrow’s weather is going to hold. But first, we need to get to Willowmore, as no one has clean underwear. With the vastness of the baviaans, there sure as hell was nowhere to dryclean anything. Did I mention it was raining?

Deidre pulled rank today, making sure we get to the destination long before dark as there was washing to do, errands to run and replenishing the food banks for the last leg of the tour. If it wasn’t for Deidre, I’d never have breakfast.

Deidre has Dave by the underpants. Pulling rank and making Dave lead the peleton. Seems like the French lessons have died down too, bummer. I do believe when Dave’s in the zone, he gets on with the task at hand and if he doesn’t, trust Deidre’s not too far behind. The boisterous uncle Dave a formidable force in the saddle.

Badger finished off the day strong. A good day in the saddle as the ankle is healing. As for the site seeing, we will have to check the tour manual on that one. The badger loves nature, and tries to take in all the views and not to mention every flower possible. Sometimes so that before he knows it the peleton is on the horizon. Nothing wrong with a little saddle sight seeing. Kurumidza Shamwari! 🙌🏻

Matambo’s Sibanda files (Jeremy Mansfield impressions of Zimbabweans) nearly made it out the window today. 3 days straight, one CD and only 8 jokes on it. I could tell you the whole Sibanda family in my sleep by now 🤦

As much hardwork as it’s in the saddle, there’s always time for some humour and memories. Tomorrow is going to be a long hard day in the saddle, with the temperatures to hit the 30s by lunch. We ride to De Rust along yet another corrugated road. Dave’s going to be ecstatic 🙌🏻

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