2300km, but where to start?

As you can imagine, a 19day epic generates a fair amount of copy.

You can go right to the beginning of the whole ordeal, or the startline/day 1.

I'm looking at moving from a general ride report to a more up to date what's happening site. Yes, Freedom Challenge doesn't just finish in Paarl! When i get round to it, there'll be a PDF of the 19days reports.

Send some feedback (I'm aware that the whole layout is just, well kinda rubbish!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 3 - the R&r day

Wow, the mood has shifted and early start is king! We set the alarm for 5 and woke to find it was already light, could even go earlier.

There was quite a bit of animal activity in the park,and bokkie spotting became the new sport. Only later could we see how different the reserve veld is to the bog standard bleak sheep farming scene.

For the first time we had a wide open vista and the view over the touwsrivier plain had us guessing the destination valley. Riding out the park, a first turn off the established trail onto our recce route was made at a spot auspiciously called brakputs. What looked like scarred river plain on google earth was actually green veld on the ground.

Confronted with the first electric fence, the hierarchy made chris try it out, luckily eskom was off. The next 30 km had a straight plod broken by one event. Just discussing a lunch plan a great red Massey Fergusen combine harvester rolled past at a good 30km/h. With glee we slipstreamed(and even held on at times) the next 10 clicks closer to home.

If you look hard enough you can find some gems in the karoo. Leeuwenboschfontein is one such place. Jannie, the owner, has developed it as a holiday farm and done an excellent job. He'd come through to see us about the trail and getting involved in it, so we had a bit of a grand tour.

Best swimming boating dam in ther karoo, and it has a little chalet too. Damon and I took a ride around the dam and up the kloof, so easy unloaded. We invented a new sport-jeep track racing. You each pick a lane and race to a point. Given a good combination of corners and dips it's a challenge of skill, speed and pure balls!

We had a hairy 4x4 ride to a possible route through the back of the imposing Swartberg which had us all nervously regaling our rocky riding skills. Then we went up an almost impossible track to a viewpoint. It must have been a 30' rock on a knife edge, and the faces around were whiter than squirt lube. We got a peak at the distant Matroosberg peak, where we we sleep behind tomorrow.

Another big highlight was that our stay coincided with the makadas overland tour and we shared the campsite. Mitzi puts on excellent races and this was a 4day ride taking in the best of the klein karoo. It was great to have bikers as campmates and a lot of free food came flowing our unsupported way. Sheesh we felt like kings, we even had wors to braai!

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