Boet Werrie June 17 Day 7: Kranzkop to Romansfontein

Luckily for me we only planned to ride to Romansfontein (about 140km with a 1,500m ascent, with only the Stormsberg Block House portage), an easy day.  I prepared breakfast of bacon and eggs for us, and forced the food and a glass of rehydrate down my throat.  I told Leon and Worried Gazza that I’ll see how I’ll hold up in the morning, and will make a call if I’m going to take a rest/half day.  Unbeknown to me at that time, Worried Gazza also told Leon that they’ll have to leave me behind, because I’ll slow them down.
Starting off from Kranzkop

Luckily for me, I must have gotten rid of whatever upset my stomach and started feeling much better.  I was being a tourist again, taking lots of photos and sending it on the whatsapp, chatting to Elitza and generally having a ball.

Closer to Broterlea, Worried Gaza, first stuck to my rear tyre, and later on latched onto Leon’s.  Whilst we were having a wonderful chat (and lots of soup) with Alta at Brosterlea, 

Worried Gaza was having a miserable time, visiting the bathroom constantly.
When we started out to Romansfontein, we dropped Worried Gazza.  We were having a blast!  We were like kids jumping over speed humps, joking the whole time, laughing a lot.  We were escorted by a running herd of Blesbok for 10km!  We took photos of everything and spent quite a bit of time at the British ruined forts and block houses at Stormsberg.  Even admiring the goings on of a family of ground squirrels.  We were happy to be relieved from Worried Gazza’s negative aura.
Behaving like tourists

Leon told me his mountain biking background.  He did the Trans Baviaans (a non-stop 230km ride) in just over 8 hours! 

And he came 3rd in the Munga (1,000km non stop).  

Completed 9 Cape Epics!  WOW!  He is a top endurance athlete!  So I asked him how he’s finding the Freedom Challenge?  His response stunned me – the toughest race he’s ever tackled…  Well… that puts it into perspective.
According Leon, it’s not just the terrain that is so much tougher.  It’s the navigation part that contributes greatly to the toughness of the race, especially when you’re doing it at night.  Not knowing if you’re on the right route.  And the portages…  But he loved it, and won’t have it any other way.  This is true mountain biking.  Good man!
The Block house at Stormsberg

Arriving at Romansfontein, we had the unexpected pleasure of sharing the house with Glenn and Meryl – the race directors.  It was good to catch up with them. 

Glenn, in his quite way, was asking how my arse was doing…?  And then produced a tube of anaesthetic ointment for me to use.  Interesting…

About an hour later Worried Gazza arrived, appearing even more miserable than before.  He was in a very deep dark hole.  I gave him some more rehydrate, and Glenn took over talking some positivity in him.  He contracted whatever I chucked down the loo at Kranzkop – die blinde sjambok is ‘n bliksem!  He spray-painted every loo in the house. 

Leon in his normal mischief called him Picasso.  So from that moment onward Worried Gazza was rechristened Picasso.  Picasso had a dreadful night.

We met another rider, Jacques Tattersal.  He started a day after Leon (2 days after me).  He apparently took a very bad fall earlier in the race.  His legs and arms were testament to that.  He was very tired when he got in, but mentioned, he felt like a fresh spring daisy after he saw Picasso. 

He asked what our plan for the next day was, and mentioned that it fitted to his.  So we planned to ride together the next day.

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