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!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day1-the sneaky warmup hots up

*legend jumps off the train
*game country

Due to there being no moon, instead of a 3:30 start in laingsburg, the local tannies were making koffie and beskuit for Egoli when we started down the R318.

MY word the packs were heavy. First day of any trip is hard, but having three days before the next resupply meant we were chockablock.I'd also filled up the fuel canister for my msr stove and the joggies couldn't believe someome could pay R2.40 to fill up a tank. Oh and I hit the local biltong plek too, with every game park mammal on the wall(excellent stuff, store is just on the bend).

Headwind - major bathos.we picked off the tar and came to decision 1.be boring and tar all the way, or take a detour past the floriskraal dam and down the buffelsrivierkloof to rejoin the tar later. This would definitely end with us riding in the dark, but we gamely took it.

Oh the immediate joy of rubber on dirt. The dam is quite impressively large for these dry parts. We started down the valley gorge through a farm only to hit a horse sized dobermann, apricot orchards in harvest and a private gate in quick succession. The third was a problem and we asked the skattie at the farmhouse what the story was.

Acess not a problem, but the road had been washed away and hadn't been used for a while. Over a few juicy apricots and a squelch squelch test walk we decided to head back. We had about 30 minutes of sun left and hadn't really come for night riding.

Back at the tar we got into dark mode and then hit some hilly terrain. Bombing down the rooinek pass with a handful of candlepowers was a good way to forget the asphalt.

We eventually pulled into rouxpos at 10ish a little bit over it all. The easy tar km had been gradient heavy and the packs were still teething the lower backs. (He owners were away at their son's wedding, but we had arranged to camp out on the lawn. And what a fine lawn it is,even the lord milner's is inadequate.

We wolfed down a pie and got the couscous blaring, only for chris to pull out a bottle of sherry. He'd sneaked in a birthday and it topped the celebration of just surviving the opening day.


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