9 June - wrap up for the day

Tomorrow should see the first batch of riders arriving in Rhodes - that’s PJ, Trevor, Nigel, Chris, Russell and John, together with Ernst - only the last little hurdle of Lehana’a portage to get over and the weather is looking fine and clear.

Batch 2 RTR is still split at this stage - Rory, Carl, Dan, Murray, Frans, Russell and Walter are sleeping at Malekholonyane, while Sergio, Fabio and Shaun are still at Masakala tonight.

Batch 3 RTR, that’s Leon, Gary, Andrew and Alex had a good day and got in to Masakala, despite losing their way coming out of Ntsikeni. The remainder of their start group, RASA batch A, opted to stop short at Glen Edward for the night to sample their host Shiela’s legendary Beef Stroganoff. Mike Roy arrived just in time for seconds and dessert.

Batch 4 RTR, Merak, Francois and Neil, together with RASA batch B riders, Rob and Tessa all got to Ntsikeni before dark, a solid effort on what is considered by many to be one of the toughest days on the trail. The last member of their start group, Singlespeed Pierre, sleeps at Allendale tonight, after his chilly night in the Umko Valley last night. Let’s see if some company and a warm bed help him recover for tomorrow.

Allendale is particularly festive tonight, with all of today’s batch sleeping there, except for Paul Erasmus, who had to withdraw at Minerva due to illness. So Anton, Tony, Tracy, John, Stephen K and Steve J, Maarten and Neville are all there - Neville is unfortunately man down with flu, so he’ll stay there tomorrow to recover and hopefully push on the next day feeling better.

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