So I stirred t with my steely knife..................apologies to the Eagles who have been on my mind on this ride.
It was grey and cold when I poked my head out of my room, coffee in one hand and Janet on the phone in the other, "Oh no! not rain?" she wished me luck.
I decided to ride without the wets, I would put them on later if needed - that didn't take too long, soon it was bloody cold and my rain jacket made an excellent windbreaker. Graaf Reinet to Middelburg was alright but after I left Middelburg heading for Steynsburg I ran into heavy fog.
I was really not enjoying myself very much by then, wet fog caused me to slow down and the condition of the road was deteriorating the further I went.
The cold and foggy plains of the Camdeboo, at least this was all new scenery to me, I have not ridden these roads before and quite frankly I probably won't do so again. I'm sorry but the small towns in the Eastern Cape are definitely not inviting!
In the small, untidy little town of Steynsburg I needed to stop, my saddle muscles were clenching and I had to get off the bike for a bit, also I was literally shivering cold and I wanted to get some warm gear out of the topcase.
There is no Wimpy (or any restaurant) in Steynburg apart from this one;
where I was happy to warm up with two cups of coffee and a really mediocre breakfast, at least when I left the sun had broken through the fog and I was able to make up some time.....but not for long!
Molteno, Dordrecht, Indwe, Elliot, Ugie all passed by during a couple of hours of riding in wet fog, none of the places invited a stop until Maclear where I filled the tank and stretched my legs. The worst was yet to come; Maclear to Mount Fletcher is a nightmare, apart from the on/off wet fog and rain this is Transkei proper with houses right up to the roadside and sheep, goats and cattle constantly roaming on the verges and crossing the road, constant vigilance is required, all while wiping water from the visor!
Towards the end of my ride, after I had seen the very welcome sign; "Kokstad 198km" and knew that I could make it by 16h00 the skies began to clear but I was very tired by the time I rolled into the town, 685kms today!
I am in a comfortable B&B establishment, I have just had a very good meal at the nearby Spur and I have a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label to hand, things are actually not that bad, also I have only 155kms to ride tomorrow to be in Margate in the afternoon so I can take it easy. We'll see how it goes after a nice "Wimpy" breakfast.