Riding out of Gecko Lodge, Touws Rivier was bitterly cold, greeted with a wind chill factor of 8 degrees and possibly because we are still in the Karoo. Yes the dam Karoo. Who knew the Karoo spans such a vast distance. We have technically been in the Karoo since kavukiland. “Karoo” the name is derived from the Khoisan word meaning “land of thirst.” Occupying 395,000 square kilometres, almost one third of South Africa. In other words an arid landscape thats Kak hot in the day, and kakker cold at night.
Destination, Bike X Camp, Tankwa. Home of Africa’s version of burning man, “Afrikaburn” coincidently because you just burn and then burn some more. (Throw in a Nivea Sunblock advertisement here) And just when you think you’ve burned enough, throw in gale force winds and a little spicy wind burn. Wouldn’t be surprised if I get moon burn too. Send suncream!
Today was tough! At points bikes were dismounted, tears were shed and sense of humours were lost. Amongst other things the badger will go looking for his tomorrow when the winds died down. So much so, I don’t think one plant specimen was forraged.
Dave, Deidre and Badger soldiered on. Taking into account a 10km stretch of the N1 was not cycled, much to Dave’s dismay. The long not so undulating gravel road and the pretty shitty weather, another 106km’s cycled and and a mere 449m of climbing was done.
Dave’s “adoration” for corrugated gravel roads seems infantile to his love for head-on galeforce winds! Yet even more infantile compared to his love for Deidre. Opting to take the beating and protecting her from the wind as much as he could. Kudos!
The long desolate road took its toll on Matambo too. A very rare sight during the day, I caught him on camera (as it’s solid proof) catching a kip in the car. I bet he could teach badger about selective sleeping spaces. To be honest, this man works hard day in and day out I had to let him catch the zzzz’s (but only for a minute)
We knew we were close to our overnight stop by the random padstal aptly named Tankwa. With not a soul in sight, hours in the saddle and the kakkest weather, rising from the dust like an oasis, this remarkable thing of beauty reared its head. A legendary padstal in the middle of kavukiland. Afrikaburn makes so much sense now.
While it seemed like it was meant to be all downhill today, and the route profile (which neeeeever lies) confirmed it, it felt longer than I’ve been single for. And did I mention how Kak the weather was!? We are camped at Bike X Cape somewhere in Tankwa, as we prepare for another day of crappy weather tomorrow. Excitingly enough, we head to Mount Cedar which leaves us just 3 days away from Lambert’s bay 😱
Time to go look for that humour.