Day 19: Sterkfontein Dam to Winterton

1 April

Start 08:30 End 15:30 Distance: 117km Avg:18.5 km/hr

A very misty start to the day means we set off a bit later. Once we climb past the dam the sun is out and it becomes very hot. We both stop to take off our unnecessary vests. There’s a descent down the pass that goes past Woodstock Dam. As I have Colin’s unfamiliar back wheel and he has only a new, relatively untested front brake, we mutually agree to take it easy down the slopes. Thus begins the exciting descent of the pass, undertaken at about 12km/hr, which is actually less than our usual climbing speed. As Colin points out, it does give one a much better opportunity to take in the view. Upon reaching a rather steep downward section, we mutually agree to walk down to prevent disaster. While my back brake is much better now, I still have moments where I feel like it is going to give up entirely and send me hurtling into the stunning scenery. If you ever think you get strange looks from passing motorists while pushing your bicycle up a hill, you should see the baffled expressions when you push your bike down a hill.


Berg omnipresent.


The rest of the day is very hot. Heat reflects off the tarmac and doubles its intensity. It was over 30 degrees Celcius most of the day. In addition, my legs are still cursing from the Namahadi hike, despite the rest day.

Colin in discussion with Maggie in the backup vehicle.

Colin in discussion with Maggie in the backup vehicle.

We cycle with the berg constantly lurking on our right but not much of interest on the left. It’s a tough day but fortunately the bikes hold together and so do we (possibly less than the bikes).

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