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6 February 2019, Kimberley to Jacobsdal, 58,6km (2km more than needed due to turning too early)
Die Vat R450


We awoke tired and got on the bikes tired, but perked up considerably for the first 30-odd km along the N12 to the turnoff to Jacobsdal. The N12 has a wide shoulder on both sides of the road, which is in excellent condition. Intermittent signs, triangular and displaying a bicycle, give permission to cyclists to share the road, and warn motorists of their (potential) presence. So the only thing to worry about traffic-wise, is slower traffic moving onto the shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass. I am a huge fan of this South African politeness, at odds with our otherwise often aggressive road manners. Blue km markers, every 200m, count down the distance between Kimberley and Hopetown, though when one is enjoying the ride, one is less likely to monitor these with the kind of obsessive care exercised when desperate to reach one’s destination.
Beside the N12 runs a railway line. On two occasions long freight trains rumbled past on our left. With cars to the right, I was cheerful enough this morning to sing: “Trains to the left of me, cars to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you” - shockingly out-of-tune (Charl says he was glad he was not close enough to hear me). The third train we saw was stationary, the driver giving two long melancholy toots on his horn in greeting.
When we turned east just beyond Ritchie on the Modder River toward Jacobsdal we still had 20km to do. Although it was relatively early, we found ourselves cycling toward a burning sun. On this narrow stretch of road, we were very pleased to find drivers patient enough to wait behind us when approaching traffic made it impossible for them to pass. Only one truck, seeing several vehicles approaching, decided we should free the road for him and began hooting a long way back to encourage us to take to the gravel shoulder. Ten km outside town we took a food break at a roadside stall / restaurant, the More Dou, then got obsessive counting down to town where we have an enormous and cool room at Die Vat.
A lone cyclist, exercising not touring, passed us heading out of Kimberley and greeted us on his speedy way home; and a Gift of the Givers truck passed us bearing bales of animal feed for drought stricken farmers; and a small herd of black-clad motorbikers on Harleys growled past us; and at a roadside stop with a civilized group of green cement chairs under a thatch rooflet, a truck driver pulled up to free his travelling companion, a small and cheerful dog, to take a quick loo break.
On today’s route were intermittent reminders of the Anglo Boer War including block houses watching over railway bridges.

For today's route see below photos
For overview route, click on ROUTE tab above…

Kimberley to Jacobsdal
Kimberley to Jacobsdal
Kimberley to Jacobsdal
Kimberley to Jacobsdal
Kimberley to Jacobsdal
Kimberley to Jacobsdal
Kimberley to Jacobsdal
Kimberley to Jacobsdal
Jacobsdal outskirts
Jacobsdal outskirts
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