A Final Word
The 2016 Freedom Challenge has come and gone. For riders in the Race to Rhodes and Race Across South Africa, some of the signs of their efforts are still fresh in mind, the vivid memories of places seen and people encountered along the way, the still familiar aches and pains for those that finished not too long ago. But as time slowly takes the edge off the hardships they experienced and bodies slowly heal and come back stronger, something more permanent comes to the fore.
After the blur of the finish and the sometimes rude awakening of getting back to normal life, the realisation of what they have been through slowly dawns on them and the overwhelming sense of achievement brings with it a new sense of pride. For some there will be unbridled excitement and wanting to share their stories with friends and family, for others it will be more of a sense of knowing, an inner smile that they carry forward with them. Either way, few are left unaffected by overcoming a great challenge and so to with the Freedom Challenge.
We would like to thank all the riders who set off along the trail this year, each facing their own particular challenge and overcoming it in their own special way. The Freedom Challenge leaves room for a person to test their own limits and to overcome many obstacles along the way - and long may it remain so. For all those new Whip Bearers and Blanket Wearers, welcome to the clan and well done for taking up the challenge and succeeding.
From the Race Office.
And in the end there were three - the trio of Neville Higgs, Clint le Roux and Gerald vd Merwe, who after a night out in Stettynskloof managed to regroup and get it done, crossing the finish line at 5pm this afternoon to a warm welcome from friends and family. For Gerald, the final cutoff had been beaten and he received his Blanket after finishing in 25d 11h. For Clint and Neville who started a day later, their finishing time was 24d 11h. The three of them have stuck together through thick and thin and will surely have many shared memories and stories to tell - for now though, all that matters is that they have finished and can wear their Blankets with pride.
As the sun sets on yet another day on the trail, the Race Office waits for the last three riders to arrive. The trio of Clint le Roux, Neville Higgs and Gerald vd Merwe left Trouthaven this morning to take on Stettynskloof, the final stage in their journey to Diemersfontien.
As first timers to Stettynskloof, they would only have known what to expect by the reputation of the place and the stories of those who have gone before. Any Blanket Wearer will confirm that it is a place not to be underestimated. Judging by the time they got going this morning, they may have underestimated it..
Having made fairly slow progress through the kloof all day, they found themselves about halfway with the light beginning to fade. It seems they have taken the decision to camp out for the night and are in for a cold and uncomfortable night in the kloof, waiting for daylight before they proceed further. If they get going at first light, they should get to the finish at Diemersfontein by late morning - where the Race Office will be waiting to welcome them home.
Brad vd Westhuizen set off from Trouthaven before sunrise this morning - a man on a mission. Having rested there yesterday, his first task was to locate his bike and then finish off what he had started by getting through Stettynskloof. His progress was hampered by swollen rivers after all the rain and the ubiquitous thick bush in his path but he steadily made his way up the valley, making it out just after dark. From there it was a slow ride through to the finish at Diemersfontein and he arrived at 22h30 to be greeted by the biggest crowd so far - all the riders and supporters at the FC Finisher’s Dinner. A fitting welcome from the many fellow Blanket Wearers and congratulations all around - well done Brad.
That leaves only the trio still out on the trail - Neville Higgs, Clint le Roux and Gerald vd Merwe are spending the night at Trouthaven, having arrived by lunch time from McGregor today. There will be a nervous anticipation in the air, the task is almost complete but the final obstacle still has to be conquered tomorrow. They should be well rested and up to the challenge - not much will stop them now.
In the early hours of this morning, Caren Henschel and Tony Wright crossed the finish line at Diemersfontein - after a very long day out for them which ended in the pouring rain - but nothing could dampen their spirits by then, they had persevered and finally earned their Blankets. Having ridden together from the start, they finished in 19d19h20min, a very good effort by both of them.
Catching up with the rest of the field today was a bit like watching a game of chess - one rider maintained his position while the others made a strategic move before their final assault.
Brad vd Westhuizen spent the day at Trouthaven, resting up and giving his injured back a chance to recover before his second attempt on Stettynskloof in the morning. He has used the time well, staying positive and is confident about his chances tomorrow.
The trio of Neville Higgs, Clint le Roux and Gerald vd Merwe completed the short hop to McGregor today, despite the wet weather. They arrived in time for lunch which meant they had the whole afternoon to rest and recover. Tomorrow they will move forward to Trouthaven and with the weather set to clear over the weekend, they look to have timed it well for a possible trip up Stettynskloof on Sunday.
For these four riders the end may be near but a finish is still not guaranteed - they still need to focus on the task at hand and continue in the same determined manner that has gotten them to this point - their Blankets await them.
The onslaught on Stettynskloof got underway early this morning as nine riders entered the valley at dawn. They worked their way steadily up towards the steep exit slope, beyond which lay a short ride to a warm Blanket. For the group of Hughes Clauser, Greg Perrett, Richard Cole and Gary Scoular, it was business as usual as they forged their way up the kloof and emerged by mid afternoon, then continued to the finish at Diemersfontein, arriving before dark. Apart from Gary, the other three have ridden together since before Rhodes, now their adventure has finally come to an end. For Frenchman Hughes, there will no doubt be many stories to tell back home. Well done to all of them for getting to the finish.
The next rider to emerge from the kloof was Fanus Vorster, who then continued to cross the finish line and receive his well deserved Blanket. His ride has been full of ups and downs and he went from the brink of withdrawing to completing a determined, mostly solo effort - well done for seeing it through.
Pierre Oosthuizen is another rider who had a tough ride - that was last year, when he got as far as Cambria. This time around, he was more determined than ever to get the Blanket and went out everyday, focussed and resolute, steadily making his way down the trail on his single speed. A few late night arrivals and early morning starts couldn’t break his rhythm and today the hard work paid off when he finally arrived at Diemersfontein and wrapped himself in his Blanket - well done Pierre.
Among the nine riders leaving Trouthaven this morning were Brad vd Westhuizen and Caren Henschel together with Tony Wright. Brad made it halfway up the kloof and then his tracker showed him making a u-turn and heading back. It turns out, he took a fall on the way up and hurt his back, badly enough to make it very painful to carry his bike - so he went back down, leaving his bike near the dam and seeking assistance from the manager there, who helped him back to Trouthaven. He’s not done yet as he will rest up tomorrow and try again. Tony and Caren have had a very long day in Stettynskloof but have made it out and are on their way to Diemersfontein, where the are expected later tonight.
The sweeps, Neville Higgs, Clint le Roux and Gerald vd Merwe, are in Montagu tonight, after a double stage from Rouxpos today. Neville had to take a detour to the local clinic to have his hand stitched up after he cut it coming out of Anysberg but he is on the mend and will continue with the others tomorrow. They are still hoping to finish over the weekend.
With the Race to Rhodes riders finished and back at home, we turn our attention squarely to the remaining RASA riders who continue their journey onwards from Rhodes towards their finishing line at Diemersfontein in Wellington.
Let’s start at the back of the field where Jacques Tatersall has ridden a big day from Masakala through Malekholoyane past Tinana and onward to Vuvu. It’s tough being in his position, where the energy of the event has moved down the trail, and, it says a huge amount about his mental toughness and tenacity to be riding with such determination, notwithstanding his previously reported injuries. If not for this year’s race, then Jacques is putting in some big deposits in the bank, for years to come.
Staying at a wet, cold, and windy Vuvu tonight, are the three musketeers: Neville, Clint and Gerald, they, along with Caren and Tony, have had a good day’s riding, to be able to exit the Vuvu Valley before dark without any drama. They need to do the same tomorrow, so hopefully the weather plays along.
It’s been interesting watching Vaughn and Leon, they have hardly put a foot wrong as first timers on the trail, safe to say Gary Scoular owes them at least one beer for saving him from a long cold night on Black Fountain last night! On their way up and out of the Vuvu valley earlier today, they overshot the route, which resulted in some unnecessary trekking, until they finally met the dirt road and rode on through to Vuvu. Thankfully, the race director deemed them to have completed the traverse of the Valley, and no time penalty was added, so they ‘upped and offed’ to Rhodes – but things didn’t quite go according to plan, soon after the start of Lehanas, Vaughn phoned in to say he wasn’t well and was withdrawing. He made his way back to Vuvu where he will be collected tomorrow. So Leon, Werner and Gary continued, arriving at Tenahead just before 8pm - and decided to stay - yes they checked in for the night and will come down to Rhodes in the morning.
The trio of Tim Deane, Theo van Dyk and Bruce Hughes have had their foot flat on the pedal and got to Rhodes in time for dinner, which is early for them to be stopped, so it could be this is a pause and refresh with some night moves on the cards..
Leaving Rhodes for Slaapkrantz today were Ann Harrison, Brad vd Westhuizen and Grant Cowen – they seem to have made it comfortably and have settled into a good rhythm. They were surprised to find Hugh (chest infection) and Patricia (a fall) still at Slaapkrantz and probably saddened by the news that both are withdrawing from the race. It seems Scott Rutherfoord has also settled down in Slaapkrantz for the night, after having locked onto the train of Mike Woolnough and Tim James for most of the day. Having been pounded by heavy rain on the Kappokkraal portage, they sought shelter in a shed before continuing later to Slaapkranz. Mike and Scott stayed but Tim, hightailed it out of Slaapkrantz and off into the night for some solo portage time – let’s see what moves Mike makes next…
Stephen Kellerman had a late start out of Rhodes and got to Chesneywold at 7pm, after being caught in the rain for the last two hours of the ride. At least he can settle in for some of Minki’s excellent cooking. He was passed earlier this afternoon by the very steady Liehann Loots - who now no longer enjoys underdog status, but rather prefers to ride alone. It’s going to be a big move for Liehann to tackle the portages through to Slaapkrantz, alone in the dark! If he does indeed do this, he will very clearly be putting down his marker for the other race contenders.
Pierre Oosthuizen unhitched from his group of the last couple of days, after he took a fall and twisted his ankle. He settled in at Moordenaarspoort to recover. The other three, namely Greg Perret, Hagues Clauser and Richard Cole continued to through to Kranskop. Fanus Vorster seemed to have a solid day riding alone, this will do his confidence a huge amount of good, and the fact that the navigation is no longer as tricky, seems to be benefitting his progress. He’s holed up at the interim stop of Brostelea for the night.
The lure of the pie shop in Hofmeyer today, saw Gerrit van der Merwe, Willie Esterhuizen, Chris Morris and Hayden Green comfortably make Elandsberg before dark, another strong ride by this quartet.
The race remains interestingly poised, the wet weather is becoming a factor and its hard to say at this stage if that will suit anyone in particular. It looks like those intent on breaking the proverbial elastic are going to have to do so by riding late into the night – Tim James may just have begun the fun and games.
By Charl van der Spuy
It's been a busy day on the trail, weather not withstanding. Busiest of all is the not-so-sleepy hamlet of Rhodes where 21 people are gathered at the Rubicon, with two more still on the way. A mix of riders and supporters are crowded into the pub waiting for the stragglers to arrive. Among these, some will be going home with memories to process while others will be busy preparing to leave on the next stage of their journey.
So let's recap.
The field is spread out now with the front group reaching one of the legendary support stations on the trail - Romansfontein. Chris Morris, Gerrit van der Merwe, Hayden Green and Willie Esterhuizen have worked well together over the 130km separating Kranskop from Romansfontein. They will be hoping to hold off the chasing batches for as long as possible.
Fanus Vorster, who also started with them but suffered from some ill health, had a torrid time getting off the Slaapkrantz portage. Dropping to the south instead of north, he wandered in circles until finding an alternative route down and getting back on track. He's made it as far as Moordenaarspoort. Perhaps Brosterlea?
A mix of RASA batch C & B are enjoying lamb stew at Slaapkrantz having easily made the journey from Rhodes and dragging themselves away from Chesneywold lunch stop. Among the group is Single Speeder, Pierre Oosthuizen, who seems to have taken his navigational challenges from last year to heart and is well on his way. The first lady on the trail is Patricia Bonneau and with her are Hugh Riemers, Greg Perrett, Richard Cole and Hugues Clauser.
The Rhodes party includes the handover of whips to Arno, Eddie, Richard, Steve, Coen, Jonathan, Kevin, Ingrid, Nikki, Johan, Nick and David C. Perhaps the biggest handover ever? Among that group are some multiple finishers of RASA, Race to Cradock and Race to Rhodes, a wealth of experience.
The RASA group won't drink too much and will have their next goal planned already. This includes Ann Harrison, Stephen Kellerman, Grant Cowen, Scott Rutherfoord and Brad vd Westhuizen. Still to arrive are the first of Batch G, Mike Woolnough and Tim James, both of whom have set tough finisher goals. They are likely to grab a few hours sleep and push on for at least Moordenaarspoort.
Behind them, Vuvu has one lonely rider, Liehann Loots. His second time around, Liehann is going steadily and managing some of the night time navigation adroitly.
There are three riders on Black Fountain - tough enough in the daylight and they'll be hoping to make it safely to Tinana Mission and overnight there. Vaughn Roux and Leon Erasmus picked up the hapless Gary Soutar who added significant kms to his ride today. He has seen valleys first hand, most of us have only looked at on the map.
It's another busy night for Malekolonyane with eight riders arriving. Clint Le Roux, Neville Higgs and Gerald van der Merwe are affectionately called the Three Blind Mice... Gerald is flirting with the cut-off to Rhodes with his two sleep outs. He overnighted in the Umko Valley and again in the Bosholweni Forests. He is going to have to dig deep and push on for Rhodes to make it in time.
Also in the group is Werner Nienaber who served a six hour penalty for a replacement frame. However, he is up and running and back on track. Also serving a time penalty of three hours was Bruce Hughes at Masakala when he got a replacement wheel. Bruce started in the last batch and has had a storming run so far.
Two other Batch H riders have reached the small lodge perched on the edge of the Malutis. Theo van Dyk and Tim Deane have also ridden big miles to get to this point and look set to be part of the final mix at Diemersfontein. Our third lady in the field, Caren Henschel started in Batch F with Tony Wright and is in good company.
Bringing up the rear after a hard fall on the concrete strips into the Umko Valley, is Jacques Tattersall. He's a tough competitor and it would take much to stop him. A few days for the bruises to ease and he'll hopefully start to pick up the pace and gain back some ground.
Unfortunately, two competitors have withdrawn today - Gavin Horton injured a calf early on and despite some rest, it refused to co-operate, so he officially withdrew at The Oaks Hotel in Byrne. Gawie du Plessis has injured his knee and withdrew just before Masakala.
And so, one by one, the support stations close behind the riders while new ones open up in the Karoo. We can expect more drama to unfold as the race progresses and the weather settles into the grip of winter.
By Fiona Coward
Sleeping at Kranskop tonight and currently forging their way ahead at the front of the field are the RASA Batch A riders Chris, Hayden, Wille and Gerrit. Unfortunately they had to say goodbye to riding companion Ray Sephton at Chesneywold yesterday and would have heard the news today that Ray decided to withdraw after his night’s rest at Chesneywold did little to improve his chest infection - a big disappointment for Ray and a sad loss for his fellow riding companions - get well soon Ray. Their other Batch A compatriot, Fanus had another easier day today, also for recovery, stopping at Slaapkranz for the night.
Rhodes was busy as ever today as the riders kept on arriving - but the sunny hamlet of last week is now a cold and damp place. The first arrival of the day was Martin Dreyer (RTR Batch 11) who arrived at 07h47, a bit later than expected after getting a bit lost on Lehanas in the dark. His non-stop ride from PMB in a shade under 50 hours is the new Race to Rhodes record - 49h47min - an impressive effort, well done Martin.
Later in the day we had the RASA Batch C riders Greg and Richard arriving - after leaving Vuvu this morning, they opted to go around Lehanas via the Mcambalala route due to the threatening weather - s good decision on the day. Their riding mates from the last few days, RTR Batch 8 Nigel, Adrian, August, Arrie, Richard, Steve and George all rode in together and were well pleased with their ride, having had a great adventure together over the last six days.
Next to arrive was Janine Stewart (RTR Batch 10), current women’s record holder and narrowly missing out on her own record by finishing in 3d 11h 10min - only 10min off her previous best - her solo ride is a remarkable effort but not entirely surprising as she is also the current record holder for the Race to Cradock - well done Janine.
Soon after Janine, we had the RASA Batch B riders arriving - Pierre, Hugh, Hughues and Patricia - all slightly cold and wet after testing conditions on Lehanas. Tomorrow they head for Slaapkranz and then into the Stormberg region where more adventure awaits.
Still expected in Rhodes much later tonight are Arno and Eddie (RTR Batch 11), who left Vuvu after supper to take on Lehanas - brave men indeed.
Vuvu is also a busy place tonight with a mix of RASA and RTR riders there - Brad, Ann and Grant (RASA Batch D) came through from Malekgalonyane, together with Stephen (RASA Batch B) and their friends from RTR Batch 9, Nikki, Nick, Johan, David, Richard and Steve. Its been a festive time for these guys with early arrivals and a few she been visits - making it look easy and always having fun - but they still need to get over Lehanas before the final celebrations can begin. Also there tonight are RTR Batch 10 riders Johathan, Kevin and Coen, they initially started out racing but then switched into cruise mode, they will also finish tomorrow.
Ingrid (RTR Batch 10) and Scott (RASA Batch E) are both at Tinana tonight, having ridden through from Masakala - a good effort considering the blustery conditions on those parts of the route today - tomorrow they will aim for Rhodes.
Only three at Malekgalonyane - the two RASA Batch G riders Mike and Tim and RASA Batch F rider Gary. Gary’s antics on the Mparane ridge have kept tracker watchers entertained tonight, he’ll be a bit tired when he finally arrives. Tim is struggling to keep any food down, something that has happened to him before but it doesn’t seem to after his progress much.
Masakala hosts quite a few tonight - from RASA Batch F are Caren, Tony and Werner, back on the road again after taking a replacement frame at Glen Edward, for which he will serve a time penalty in the morning but it shouldn’t affect his plans too badly, he’ll still make it to Malekgalonyane quite comfortably. Joining them are Clint, Neville (RASA Batch E) and Gerald (RTR Batch D) who had another short day from Glen Edward today - they really need to pay attention to the first possible cut-off looming: 8 days to Rhodes… Expected later tonight are RASA Batch G riders Leon and Vaughn, who came from Centocow today, matching the ride of Liehann (RASA Batch G), although he arrived much earlier.
At Ntsikeni tonight are the RASA Batch H racers, Bruce, Theo and TimD, with Jacques still on his way - quick riding by these guys today means they can afford to bank some sleep here before heading out in the early hours to continue. Not far behind them at Centocow is fellow Batch G rider Gawie, who arrived there for supper.
All the way back at the Oaks Hotel tonight is Gavin - a torn calf muscle stopped him in his tracks but after initially indicating that he would withdraw, he changed his mind and hopes to continue tomorrow after some intensive treatment and rehab tonight - let’s hold thumbs he can go on in the morning.
Racing through the night.
The racing got underway in earnest with the start of the last two batches of the Race to Rhodes. The first rider to show real intent was Anton Maybery, who reached Centocow before nightfall on day one and continued to Ntsikeni, arriving soon after 10pm. After a short stop, he continued, passing Glen Edward and Masakala before eventually stopping to rest at Malekgalonyane by late afternoon. He headed out again at 8pm to ride across Black Fountain to Tinana, although his pace slowed somewhat due to a faulty light which caused him to lose the path. A few more similar incidents have slowed him somewhat this morning and he started up the Vuvu valley just after 8am. With a quick stop in Vuvu late morning, he should push on to get over Lehanas and into Rhodes by late afternoon, which means a possible sub 60h finishing time.
Janine Stewart also rode from PMB to Ntsikeni on her first day and opted to sleep for a few hours there. Leaving again at 3am, she got to Masakala by late afternoon, where she again stopped to sleep. On the road again at midnight, she timed it perfectly for first light on Mparane ridge and breakfast at Malekholonyane - at her current rate of travel, she should get to Vuvu just before sunset and then the big decision is whether to go over Lehanas tonight or wait for daylight tomorrow. If she goes tonight, a sub 70h finish is possible.
Martin also rode all the way to Ntsikeni, arriving soon after 9pm - a longish stop there to thaw out (Mr Ncgobo brought buckets of warm water to revive his frozen feet), saw him leaving again by 10pm. Foregoing a stop at Glen Edward, he made it through to Masakala just after 7am, arriving just in time for breakfast. On the road again just after 8am, he will be aiming to get to Tinana by sunset today. If all goes well, he’ll have a late night stop in Vuvu and then go straight up Lehanas - the carrot he’s chasing will be a sub 48h finish, which at this stage still looks possible.
Arno and Eddie have been making steady progress through their first night - a quick check in at Ntsikeni in the early hours and then on towards Glen Edward. They should get to Masakala by late morning and to Malekgalonyane by early evening - this would put them on par with Anton’s effort up to there. Whether they will continue into their second night remains to be seen.
Carl Scholtz got to Ntsikeni at 2am and stopped for a short sleep. He’s on the move again and heading to Glen Edward - his first goal for the day will Masakala by mid afternoon and then probably on to Malekgalonyane.
The efforts from these riders are immense, most of them are new to this non-stop approach to racing and it’s great to see them trying it on for size - we watch and wait to see how things play out over the next day’s riding.
Rhodes is busy again tonight, not only another 4 RTR riders but the first of the RASA riders arrived today. The RTR Batch 6 riders, Andrew, Jan, Gordon and Willem have ridden together most of the way and thanks to Blanket Wearer Andrew, always had a capable guide to steer them along the way. They got to see some snow on top of Lehanas too, after the light dusting from last night. They had a steady ride and were full of smiles as they crossed the line - well done all. The RASA Batch A guys arrived before the RTR guys, a measure of the strength of this lot - Chris, Ray, Hayden, Willie, Gerrit have stuck together since day one and will likely do so for much of the rest of the way. Fanus has been with them the whole way but not without struggling with health issues - he stopped at Tenahead today with the intention of withdrawing - after a brief discussion with Race Office he was brought to Rhodes to recover. He will now attempt to go again tomorrow by starting back at Tenahead. If all goes well, he will try to get to Chesneywold tomorrow. The rest of the RASA guys will be aiming for Slaapkranz tomorrow.
Staying at Vuvu tonight are the Woods brothers Anton, Adam and Matthew with their mates Ian and Tony. They enjoyed a great days riding from Malegalonyane today with almost perfect conditions, nothing like the gale force winds of yesterday. Tomorrow’s stage will be their final march to Rhodes.
Nobody at Tinana tonight but there could still be a late night visitor - Anton Maybery (RTR Batch 10) continues his charge to Rhodes after a brief pause at Malekgalonyane, his first stop since the start in PMB. He’s had a fairly clean ride up to now, managing to get away before the rain and wind that have been pounding the other racing batch pushing him today. The weather looks promising for the crossing over Lehanas sometime tomorrow, so a lot depends on how things go tonight - will he continue his relentless progress or will the wheels eventually fall off?
The large group at Malekgalonyane tonight is a mash up of various RTR and RASA batches: those going to Rhodes are Batch 8 riders Nigel, Adrian, Arrie, August, Geoff, Richard and George. They’ve ridden all the way with RASA Batch C riders Greg and Richard, who will soon say goodbye to their trail mates in Rhodes. The other RASA riders there tonight are from Batch B - Pierre, Patricia and Hughes - it seems Pierre has been trading route knowledge and guiding services for French lessons from his new found friends. Another Batch B rider Hugh R, is still making his way there to rejoin his batch after saying goodbye to his son Brett at Glen Edward earlier today, who withdrew.
Another full house at Masakala tonight, with RTR Batch 9 - Richard, Steve, David, Nikki, Nick and Johan sharing with RASA Batch D riders Brad, Grant and Ann - another strong group of riders who are sticking together and riding well as a group. Janine is also at Masakala, catching up on some sleep before heading out later tonight to continue her remarkable effort to Rhodes.
Still on their way to Glen Edward tonight are RTR Batch 10 riders Kevin, Coen and Jonathan. They started from Allendale today so it’s been a long day and their nav errors at Politique earlier tonight must have been frustrating but a warm bed awaits at Sheila’s if they can just keep going.
Ntsikeni is a bit like a bus stop again tonight as racers pass through at all sorts of odd hours. Martin (RTR Batch 11) is having a cracking first day, refuelling at Ntsikeni before heading on onwards. Sleeping there are Ingrid (RTR Batch 10) and Scott (RASA Batch E) but they may be gone before sunrise. Still on their way are Arno, Eddie and Carl (RTR Batch 11), who are due in tonight - whether they stay and sleep or keep going remains to be seen.
Not too far back in the Bosholweni forests are the trio of RASA riders Clint and Neville (Batch E) and Gerald (Batch D) - their day hasn’t gone according to plan, with a major detour via Creighton after a nav error on the way to Centocow cost them dearly. They will have a cold night out tonight with not much sleep.
RASA Batch F riders Tony, Caren, Werner and Gary are all at Allendale tonight - no thoughts of pushing on into the night for any of them, they are easing their way into it, which is the wise thing to do - it’s still a long way to Diemersfontein.
With temperatures in Rhodes falling sharply today and even further tonight and tomorrow, the predictions of more snow will be just what the riders don’t want to hear - how this will affect them remains to be seen - for the RASA riders this could turn into a real adventure.