Boet Werrie June 23 Day 13 Willowmore to Prince Albert
As we were having breakfast at 4:30 am, in walked Brad vd Westhuizen. He broke away from his group, he needed time alone. That’s the Freedom for you.
Prince Albert is about 170km away and it’s the only stretch in the Freedom that is flat (only 800m of ascent). As we rode out of Willowmore, Leon, riding at the back, got pulled over by the local police for suspicious behaviour… Brackenfellar! It was good to know that the police are very diligent in this part of the country.
We were making very good time early on and started thinking of maybe pushing thru to Gamkaskloof. We started off a bit too late in the morning, but the seeds were planted. There was no headwind in the day, so we motored, only stopping every now and then to lube our chains and eat something. I rode some time with Scotty and got all his background. It turns out that I’ve met quite a lot of his family and friends. Small world.
There are only 7 farm houses on this stretch. And to keep us from getting too bored, a bit of sand or corrugation is chucked in every now and then. At Rondawel we met the newest arrival of Karien, only 1 week old. The tame Black Backed Jackal was however nowhere to be seen.
The road after Rondawel is a little more up and down. At some stage I stopped to lube my chain. Because I was the stronger rider during that stretch, I told the other to keep going, I’ll catch up later. When I got to the top of the hill, I couldn’t see the other riders, so I gunned it. At the top of the next hill, I still couldn’t see them. So I decided that I’ll take it a bit easier – they’ll have to stop sometime. About 20 min later, I heard some giggling going on behind me, and there were the 3 buggers. They played hide and seek with me…
We kept the pace up a bit and took turns at the front. All to make up time to push thru to Gamkaskloof. The headwind picked up a bit, and made us work hard when up front. The people to take their turn at the front did not include our Scotty. With about 10km to go, we mentioned it to our Scotty. He promptly took his turn up front and sprinted off into the sunset… Bike ethics!
In the last part of section Leon got a rear tyre puncture. I took a nap whilst he was fixing it, and got woken up by a baboon, like the normal one walking on four legs. I’m not sure who got the biggest fright, but boy that baboon disappeared in a dust cloud. And obviously nobody saw it! More banter followed. A little later on I broke a spoke in the rear tyre. Were these omens for us having to stay over at Prince Albert?
We lost some time with the above mechanicals and only got in at 4pm. I still had to replace the spoke and needed some proper bike tools to remove the cassette. I had to do the fix at Dennehof, because there are no tools at Gamkaskloof. You sleep there in a caravan. In the end we decided to stay and enjoy the hospitality of Lindsey and Ria, and the 300g percale duvets…