With 3 different start days behind us, the numbers out on the trail are steadily increasing.
Batch 1 RTR had what can best be described as ’a day of squiggly lines’ - with an early start from Ntsikeni, things were looking good but soon they were exploring new lines up ridges and through remote valleys, much to the amusement of those watching their trackers. They all had a go at it but the prize for ‘track of the day’ must surely go to Ernst Behrens for his creative interpretations of the route. PJ, Trevor and Nigel were also in fine form but settled down as the day went by. Chris, Russell, John and Jeremy were lagging behind a bit for most of the day and ended up calling it quits in the village of Shen’xe - where the local villagers are looking after them tonight. Despite their somewhat shaky navigation today, the good thing is that they always eventually got back on track. The decision of the four who opted to stay in the village was also a wise one, since tomorrow is a shorter day and they should be able to rejoin their group again later at Malekholonyane.
Batch 2 RTR had a better day by comparison, although they did a bit of squiggling too - Carl, Russell, Dan, Walter, Frans and Murray got a bit confused in all the endless forestry roads at Nkonzo but after Centocow they really got going and ended up at Ntsikeni with daylight to spare. Rory had his nose out front briefly today due the errors of the others but was eventually caught again - he had a good day and arrived just as it got dark. Shaun, Sergio and Fabio navigated cleanly through most of the day’s route and joined the rest of the guys at Ntsikeni.
Batch 3 RTR and Batch A RASA left Pmb this morning - the RTR guys had Leon Kruger as their guide and made swift progress throughout the day, Leon, Andrew, Alex and Gary were in at Allendale at 16:20.
The RASA riders Johann, John, Paul, Alan and Ian stuck together and were an efficient team, they got through the Umko Valley cleanly but slowed a bit towards the end, arriving at Allendale just before 7pm - their first taste of night riding.
Last man home was Mike Roy (RASA) who rode most of the day on his own. He walked in to Allendale just after 9pm after a very long first day on the trail.