Daily Archives: April 5, 2019

20 March: field in paddock to soccer field one

Today we have 113k to ride, 850 climbing up 850 down

This morning we have toast instead of the usual bread, which I enjoyed with my cup of tea.

The road is much narrower today and there are numerous motor bikes, trucks and buses as well as the locals on bikes and walking. Every time a bus or truck comes along you have to get off the road quickly as they don’t slow down, even when they see you.

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Start of the first full day on the dirt

We are way off the usual tourist route so a group of white folk wearing weird bright clothing is an unusual spectacle, which is no doubt why children race across the fields when they see us coming.

There are children everywhere, everywhere in big groups going to school and also all along the road peering out of bushes and drive ways. Some family groups also watch you go past.

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passing school kids

99% interact with you and smile, wave, ask how are you and say good morning. By the end of the day your hand becomes sore from all the waving. A number of the children run alongside you for a few hundred meters which can be a bit tricky on the gravel, sand and rock surface, if you suddenly have to change direction so as not to hit a patch of sand.

I fell off when I pulled off to get out of the way of a bus, as I tilted to the right and couldn’t unclick my right foot fast enough. I then couldn’t get my foot out so had to take my foot out of my shoe Thankfully just some minor abrasions. A couple of other riders have had some falls and a couple have ended up with stitches so I figure I got off very lightly.

I am pleased we have somehow managed to avoid rain as there are places where there is really deep sand, that would be hard going if it was wet.

Got to lunch at 60 km at 1015 am and the day is still cool and pleasant riding.

After lunch it got progressively hotter and hotter and often there is no shade and the sun is beating down on you. We stopped at a small town for water. I was outside while Brett was inside buying water, so I could keep an eye out on the bikes. I was surrounded by a group of children who all wanted to touch my hands and arms. A man came up with a small boy who also wanted to touch me but was too shy but after a few minutes he was touching my hand also. It’s hard to describe but it felt very friendly.

The towns here don’t have power but a few of them have generators so sometimes you are lucky and strike a shop where the water is cold.

There were lots of herds of cows that get walked to water holes to drink and then back again to the paddock to graze.

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In the ditch for the cattle to pass

It is really hot and even though the hills are not steep I struggled the last 10 km and was very pleased to get to camp. Today we have bucket showers again, but you can pay double and have a room to shower in that is not a long drop, so I take that option plus there is a clothes hook – luxury.

The soccer field has a ring of locals around the outside watching everything we do with interest.

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Local kids along the fence whilst we have dinner

A pub down the road is rumoured to have cold beer so we go down to have a look. The pub is a dirt area with a roof with seats and a couple of tables. The beer is not cold but it isn’t warm so I decided to have one. On all sides locals are trying to sell things to us. A young girl is wanting me to buy a very pretty bracelet off her. I offer her some money which she seems happy about. However, the bracelet seems too nice and I worry that she has just sold her one valuable possession, so on the way out when I see her in a crowd I put it in her hand as I walk past her. It may be worthless junk but I felt better about it.

Dinner is cottage pie, and tomato and cucumber salad. Finally starting to get an appetite and managed to eat the whole serving.

I am stuffed and in the tent straight after dinner (about 6:30pm) but it is ages till I get off to sleep as it is hot and the locals are laughing and talking outside until it gets dark. Then we have the trucks and motorbikes that seem to go by in a constant stream.

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Sunflowers

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Local Beehives

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TdA Mothership

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Coke Stop

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