Today there is only 100.5 km to ride, with 820 of climbing and 750 down. I am feeling good and back to riding full days.
It was actually chilly when setting off but the climb soon sorted that out.
The surface was pretty good and there were climbs up and down all the way to lunch. Mostly I was able to stay in the big ring of cyclists and get a good run up to all the hills.
I was at lunch at 60 km by 10 am. After lunch there was not such a good surface, it was busier, plus often no shoulder. I had to get off the road on a number of occasions for trucks and buses. The road rules don’t apply as far as cyclists are concerned.
Plus, a number of local cyclists ride on the wrong side of the road so they can see the oncoming traffic. They frequently have big loads and no brakes and you have to avoid them as well.
The last 5.5 k to camp was gravel. The last 2 k was not rideable.
1 km before the camp gate, they have chosen the day they are expecting 43 cyclists to arrive, to re-cement the gate. The workers doing this have to lift our bikes over the gates and there is a small gap for us to squeeze through the fence.
The camp is ok but it’s 45 min from town, with one restaurant which will have all the problems of trying to cope with a large group.
We have booked a nice room in town. Going by TDA routes we were given at the start we thought we would be 2km from the hotel – not 45 min by car. The TDA staff on this trip were unaware that the GPS route we have is different, so it was good that it was picked up otherwise riders may have ended up not at camp.
Shirley and Dan have also booked accommodation in town so we shared a taxi with them. We had quite a long wait for the taxi to arrive – nearly two hours. Over an hour of that was the delay in the camp staff actually ordering a taxi.
The Raddison Blu is a nice looking hotel. Our room is very nice with a shower and a bath. It is advertised as pool view, which it is if you peer around the corner of the window.
However, it had one towel, plus hand towels. The room service menu wine list was comprehensive until you tried to order, then it was “we have two wines – one white and one red”. We ordered a Caroline Bay White and burgers. The meals which were nice but came with one set of knives and forks and one napkin. The bottle came with one glass.
I had a sleep until 8 pm and then we went down to the restaurant for dinner. I was tired and too full from the hamburger to eat (you would think I would have learnt from last rest day), so I had butternut soup which was nice. I also ordered a salad which I just couldn’t eat. The staff kept coming over and asking if my meal was ok, to the point where every time I saw them look at me I picked up my fork and played with a couple of the tomatoes.
Brett had soup and oxtail stew plus my salad. The rose wines on the menu were all out of stock so we stuck to a castle beer each.
We have a late check out tomorrow – 3pm than back to camp