Hello to everyone from a now cloudy and wet Africa,
Since we last wrote we have progressed along the coast of South Africa to the port city of East London. The ride from Durban has been to say the least, challenging, what with long miles and many, many, many feet of vertical climb on the way.
While in Durban some of our folks had the misfortune of being confronted by would be muggers and save some bruises and shaken up people there were no serious injuries. In the end we chose to be extremely careful about where and how we traveled choosing taxis anytime after 6:00PM.
The ride out of Durban was a busy one what with the traffic and a steady flow of taxi buses called combi's that cut in and out of traffic like fleas on a dog. One of our riders had the misfortune of running into a vehicle that cut in front of her. Luckily the only damage was to the bike, which required new front wheel and a new fork.
As for Mary and I, once we got out of the city things went well but the heat God's once again struck Mary and by the time we arrived at the camp grounds she was in bad shape. The steady climb in the unrelenting heat 30+C took its toll and it once again necessitated we jump ahead to East London. Mary drank gallons of water, sports supplements and electrolyte replacement stuff but to no avail.
On the drive over to East London with 70+ other riders we were glad we had not chosen to try and ride, three 100 mile days, no shade, very remote location with limited support could have spelt disaster. In addition we found out one of the riders was recording the total vertical climb on each leg and none of the days was under 6000 feet.
Thankfully Mary is better and we have sought advice from a chemist on what we can do to help solve this heat prostration problem, our fingers are crossed in hope that it works.
The trip continues to evolve (the words of Tim) and in some cases we have been lead to believe from the vendors that they find out we are coming mere hours in advance. The one day it meant adding 10 km to an already long day as the vendor was not able to meet the demands of TK&A on such short notice.
We are off again on Sunday on a ten day uninterrupted trek to Cape Town along what they call the Garden Route. We along with a few others are going to jump ahead after six days, as we want to ride the Cape Argus ride. This is the largest organized bike race in the world with some 36,000 participants riding a 109km course, it is not only challenging but we understand beautiful. It seems a shame to be so close and miss it by a few days.
The riding on this trip continues to be extremely demanding and has taken its toll on even the young, die hard cyclists who are or were committed to every mile, riding, washing, eating, camping, packing, riding day in and day out needs to be fun a fact everyone is learning. There are a number of riders we see at the airport and never see again until we are ready to take another aircraft.
Mary and I are doing well and in general are having a good time (now that we found options) Mary can get her diet coke and I have become an eating machine devouring everything that is put on my plate.
So long for now, until we write again from Cape Town.
Dave & Mary