Day 8: Bronkhorstspruit to Hartebeespoort Dam

21 March

Start: 08:00 End: 14:30 Distance 116km Avg: 17.8 km/hr

Bit of a late start today due to heavy dew last night which meant all our camping gear was wet. I discover my cycling gear is also wet. It was then that I discovered that my other cycling kit has gone missing somewhere between Lydenburg and here. Damp, rank kit, hooray. Console myself with a clean shirt. Replaced the battery in my odo, still doesn’t work. Looks like it is going to be one of those days.

There is not much to say about the ride to Hartebeespoort. We had a headwind the whole day as well as traffic, due to the nature of the route. The ride through Pretoria was particularly nerve-wracking. As we pass a urology clinic, we notice that the alarm is going off. Colin wants to know if it was someone taking the piss.

We decided to ignore the overweight vehicle detour in Pretoria,

We decided to ignore the overweight vehicle detour in Pretoria,

There is a fair amount of traffic as we hit Hartebeespoort as well due to the Om Die Dam ultra-marathon which took place today. There’s a howling wind which has pushed several of their “Recycle here” bins from the water points over, scattering water sachets all over the road. Irony, courtesy of Mother Nature.

Bianca riding through the Harties tunnel.

Bianca riding through the Harties tunnel.

 

Harties is much more scenic than the earlier part of the route and it was fun riding through the tunnel and across the dam wall.

Hartebeespoort Dam, complete with icky green water.

Hartebeespoort Dam, complete with icky green water.

The water is bright green due to the water hyacinth – looks pretty but is a disaster for the environment.

Buffaloes taking in the view.

Buffaloes taking in the view.

Today is officially one week since we started. So far we have summited 2 peaks, travelled through 3 provinces and cycled 599km. I feel like we should take a 1km ride through the camping resort tonight to make it an even 600km. Tomorrow we should hit our 4th province and 3rd peak. It’s been a challenge so far but the greatest is still to come – the three peaks on the border of Lesotho. At least we have been making decent progress to date and the Qhubeka Buffalo bicycles have been performing admirably. Tough bikes for a tough challenge. Hope our legs are tough enough to keep up.

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