A chilly morning on the trail today with sunrise temperatures just above zero along these early stages of the trail. The third batch of eight riders started today, smongst them Chris Morris and Leon Kruger, who collectively already have five blankets to their names. Mandy Joyce, Mark Basel, Sarah van Eerden, and Wikus Van der walt also started on their 2018 RASA adventures.
David McKercher has persuaded his friend Robert Lathem to come out from the UK and they are riding to rhodes together.
The first batch had a pretty straightforward day but had to do a lot of their own navigating as Chris and Leon were out in front. Leon had toyed with the idea of pushing through Allendale but decided to stay after arriving just before 4pm. Chris arrived shortly afterwards, Robert and David made it in the around 5pm and Mark 5h20pm. The others had a bit of dark to contend with but all in safely by 7pm.
Batch 2 kept it pretty tight and tidy today. They all left at 6am, except for Angela, who opted for a little extra rest and shorter ride to Centecow. The group rode consistently well on this tough day and all arrived at Ntsekeni in daylight. Tony and Mark arrived at 16:40. Andrew and Greg arrived at 16:50. Marius, Johann, Philip, Cassandra and Andrew arrived at 17:00. Angela left Allendale mid-morning and had a trying solo day through the forests en route to Centecow. The navigation on this section is tricky as walls of trees often surround you, making it difficult to orientate yourself in your surroundings. There were many dot watchers very concerned for Angela as she made a few wrong turns. Some people even phoning her to try and assist but the reality is that it looks very different on a screen compared to on the ground. Eventually she just put her phone on silent, put her head down and she got herself there safe and sound with great determination.
The front batch had one little wobble through the wattles, where the roads change from year to year but they were all in Masakala by 7pm. Graham and Sarah at 17h30 and Kevin and Nigel at 4pm. At one point it seemed like the “LoveBirds” might be separated but that was just a glitch with Sarah’s tracker.
Batch 4 is a big one. All 11 are in PMB and there are even a few novices talking about pushing through Allendale tomorrow so that should make for some interesting dot watching.