Today was a relatively hassle free day on the trail for most. Riders kept (mostly) on track, the weather was peachy and most people got to where they were headed in daylight.
A massive batch of 12 headed out of PMB in warmer than usual conditions this morning. This included the last of the 2018 RTR riders. Arno Crous, Eddie Stafford and Colin Ogilvie are really RACING to Rhodes… seeing just how little they can sleep along the way. They flew through Umko late morning, Allendale at 14h30 and stopped for 18h30 supper at Centocow. They are planning to push through to Ntsekeni and maybe even Glen Edward before getting any shut-eye. Brave souls!
The fourth RTR rider is Simon Francis. At 70, he is the oldest rider in this year’s race. He is joined by his daughter Didi and her husband; Tim Deane. The three plan to ride together to Rhodes then Tim and Didi will continue to Wellington. The Deanes have also just completed the 550km Expedition Africa Adventure Race so their legs will be a bit heavier than normal.
Russell Boltman, Carl Combrink, Mark Bowman, Nigel Payne, Paul Marais and Sean Shaw also all started their rides to Diemersfontein today. Most of them will be looking to finish in around 20-22 days.
Yesterday’s starters all had a good day from Allendale to Ntsekeni, arriving late afternoon. Trevor left Centocow at 3am, had breakfast at Ntsekeni and continued on to Glen Edward but his legs were feeling the two big days of riding so he is resting up at G.E together with Angela.
The batch ahead had a trouble free day to Masakala, enjoying some cold cokes along the way. Also pretty smooth sailing to Malekgolonyane today. Most people decided to ride the loop after arriving in the early afternoon but they still had a tiny hick-up in the wattles near Mariazelle School (where the Scholorship Fund kids attend) … even in daylight. Justin and Andrea are in Tinana this evening where, unfortunately, their ride will end. Andrea’s knee is too sore for the portages to Rhodes.
More wind for the front batch today, they are feeling a little ‘hard-done-by’ as they are the only ones really affected by the dregs of the front. Good news is that the Vuvu valley is relatively passable. They all made good time to arrive in the light. There was a sprinkling of snow at Tiffendale last night so lets hope, for their sake, the warmer, calmer weather arrives for their hike up Lehanas Pass tomorrow.