Boet Werrie June 22 Day 12: Dam se Drift to Willowmore

We planned to ride thru to the Rondawel farm house (an interim stop) almost 190km away.  We still had to climb out of the kloof to Willowmore.  Another long day in the saddle.  Scott told us the evening before that he’ll only ride to Willowmore – he planned to leave at 7am.  Leon was on alarm duties for the day.  We wanted to get up at 4am to get into the road at 5am, but were only woken up at 5am.  He accidently set his alarm an hour later.

We got stuck around the breakfast table, with lots of laughter and friendly banter.  The whole pink panther story was relayed to Hestelle.  And with tears rolling down everybody’s cheeks, in walked Scotty.  He was much surprized to still find us at breakfast – we should have been long gone.  He almost appeared disappointed to find us still there.  When we left around 6 am, he told us that he’ll take off around 8am.

On the way to Nuwe Kloo

Riding out of the kloof, I was feeling very weak.  I suppose the previous 3 days hard effort caught up with me.  My mind was also wavering a bit on the effort to keep up with Leon and JT.  They waited a lot for me.  At one such stop they decided to stop at the Baviaans Curio Shop for coffee.  I was grateful for the break.  As we were having coffee, Scotty rode down the road.  

His 1st reaction was to not see us, but the 3 boertjie waived him over, ordered some more coffee and made him pay for everything…  That will teach him some bike ethics, more on that later.

He gave up riding on his own, and decided to join us all the way to Willowmore.  I was still battling to stay with the group and whilst going up the Nuwe Kloof pass, decided that I’ll go as far as Willowmore.  I couldn’t tell the others because they were too far ahead of me and thought that I’ll send them a message once I got some cell reception again.  I stopped frequently to take in the scenery (and some photos).  I needed to get the fun factor back.

Great was my surprize when I found Leon, JT and Scotty sleeping next to the road at the top of the 2nd climb out.  They also decided that they’ll only ride to Willowmore – they also needed to find their fun factor.  Leon did send me a message earlier, but I only got the message once back in Willowmore.

We got into Willowmore and stopped at the 1st coffee shop we saw.  As we were ordering food, a gentleman walked up to us, introducing himself as Paul Moult.  He drove through from George to give me a product to fix my bike!  It’s called Wrap-Tech.  He handed me two packets of the product and explained in much detail how it works.  The packet only weighs about 100g and consists out of a small piece of steel Pratley Putty and a small bandage with some bonding agent in it.  He offered to put it on the broken piece of frame, but the food arrived and I said to him that I’ll do it later in the day and send him the pictures.

I never fixed the frame and felt very guilty about it.  When we arrived at the Willow Hotel, I phoned Elitza to tell her about the last few days and the change in plans.  I must have sounded like crap, because it was a short chat.  I slept the whole afternoon. 

Everybody caught up on some much needed sleep that afternoon.  We all sounded much better around the dinner table and were treated to the biggest T-bone I have ever seen.  I wolfed it down in only a few of minutes.  The rest and dinner must have revitalized me, I had a lot nicer chat with Elitza later on.

We planned to leave around 3 am the next morning, but Glenn (race director) told us that there’s no need, because we only wanted to go to Prince Albert.  It normally only takes about 12 hours to get there.  So we changed to leave at 5am.

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