After leaving Trouthaven yesterday on his way to Stettynskloof, Jacques was aiming to get to Diemersfontein some time last night - but things didn’t quite go according to plan. Although he made it nearly all the way up the kloof before dark in the heavy rain, he ran into thick mist as he exited the kloof and struggled to pick up the scratchy jeep track after the exit. He eventually found a path and made his way to the nearby hiker’s hut to take shelter from the cold and wet. Fortunately there was an open door and a blanket inside, so he was able to get survive the rest of the night. At first light he got going again and knocked on the farm manager’s door for some tea to revive himself. From then on it was relatively straightforward and he finally rolled over the finish line at 09h40 after a long, cold and wet last stage of his RASA. His winning time of 12d3h40m gives him the 8th best finishing time overall - well done Jacques.
With temperatures dipping slightly today across most of the trail and the forecasts predicting a further drop in the days to come, things could soon become a bit more challenging for the riders out there. There’s wet weather on the way over the weekend and also next week which will catch most of the field as they head into the Western Cape, with only the front runners likely to escape it. For those at the back of the field, this is a distant concern though, as back in the Eastern Cape, conditions are still dry.
Today saw Tim and Didi (Batch 5) leaving really early from Jakkalsfontein and getting all the way to Toekomst, a good day out for them. There they bumped into Gary (Batch 7) again, who had ridden through from Gegun today, a slightly shorter day after yesterday’s long haul from Newlands.
The big group that left Toekomst this morning, Kobus, Pierre and Leonard (Batch 6) with Carl, Russell and Paul (Batch 5) were initially aiming for Bucklands for tonight but decided to push on to Hadley. The Inn was already full though, so after supper at the Hadley farmhouse, they still had to cycle another 8km to the cottage at the Grootrivier which is used for just such occasions. At least it puts them a bit closer to the Osseberg when they get going in the morning again.
The reason Hadley was already full was because Estelle (Batch 3) had booked a spot there after riding through from Kleinpoort as well as the Denny’s, Graham and Matt (Batch 3) who had initially stopped in there for coffee this morning on their way to the Osseberg. Soon after leaving though, Matt unfortunately took a tumble on his way down to the Grootrivier crossing which left him with a badly injured shoulder. They then made their way back to Hadley to assess the damage and possibly rest up and try again tomorrow but on advice from a doctor, Matt has had to withdraw with a separated AC joint injury which will require medical attention. He is really disappointed and sad not to be going on with his father Graham tomorrow but will make make his way to the finish at Diemersfontein to see his father finish.
Ingrid and Charl (Batch 7) left Bucklands this morning and made it through to Cambria without too much fuss. Joining them in the Osseberg today were also Nigel, Mark and Sean (Batch 5) and Wikus (Batch 3)
A large group of riders left Kudu Kaya at Cambria this morning with the 6am shuttle through the Baviaanskloof - Chris, Mark, Mandy, Sarah (Batch 3), Lance, Bruce, Grant (Batch 4) and Scott (Batch 7) spread themselves out during the morning on their way to Dam se Drif. Mandy and Sarah decided to stay at Dam se Drif while the boys all pushed on to Willowmore, all arriving after dark but still in time for supper - a long double up for them. There they caught up with Andrew W (Batch 2) who had ridden though from Dam se Drif - he will be happy to have some company out on the trail tomorrow.
Tim J (Batch 7) started his day at Dam se Drif, passed through Willowmore for breakfast and a short sleep on his way to supper and another sleep at Rondawel tonight. Hhe will be aiming for breakfast in Prince Albert before heading off to Gamkaskloof.
Staying in Prince Albert tonight are Andrew B and Rowan (Batch 6). They are finally reunited after splitting up at Gegun. Andrew had a relatively short day which started at Rondawel, while Rowan came through from Willowmore. Sunrise on the Swartberg Pass for them tomorrow and they will likely be aiming for Rouxpos.
Mike W (Batch 7) slept in Gamkaskloof last night after a late arrival in miserable conditions. He passed through Rouxpos this afternoon and is on his way to Anysberg for tonight.
After a long, cold day yesterday, which ended at Anysberg, Jacques (Batch 7) made it to Montagu by mid afternoon and grabbed an hour snooze there before heading on to McGregor for the night. A few hours sleep there and he will be on his way to Trouthaven and Stettynskloof, the final hurdle before the finish at Diemersfontein, where he is expected to finish tomorrow evening.
Batches starting from Tuesday 12 June 2018 until Monday 18 June 2018.
Batching based on full field