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26 March 2019, Boplaas Campsite to Rosh Pinah, 66,2km
Amica Guest Lodge R1,050


Thanks to the extraordinary kindness of two good Samaritans met on the road to Rosh Pinah, we made it to our destination. Not only because they brought us Coke and served it to us with ice, but because their actions boosted our flagging morale.
We were up at 05:30, our headlights around our heads, packing as quietly as possible so as not to disturb the two Pretoria couples camped in style nearby. By 06:40 we were breakfasted and on the road.
We had just over 50km to do through the remainder of the Ai-Ais Richtersveld Park, then another 15km north to Rosh Pinah, all but 10km of it on a gravel road. For the first 35km or so, the road was in good condition and undulated gently in the same valley as the Orange River, sometimes the water visible, sometimes not. For the next 15km in the park and the 5km of gravel outside the park, the terrain got tougher and the road deteriorated substantially. The final 10km, on good tar, were all mildly uphill.
We only left the park at 12:20, turning right toward Rosh Pinah, the left-hand turn leading to the Sendelingsdrift border crossing and the pontoon to South Africa. It took us until 15:50 to reach the Spar in Rosh Pinah and a much-needed fast food meal, wolfed down on the steps of the little shopping centre there, an average of under 4km per hour.
The park was as beautiful this morning as it has been for the last couple of days. Dramatic mountains sometimes reflected in the Orange; buck, having come down to the river to drink, taking fright at our arrival and bolting across the road in front of us, hooves clattering across dry stones on the dry hills to our right. The sound of a South African shepherd’s whip cracking from across the water.
The first 5km outside the park were really tough. A long climb in the heat, our bodies already weary, our bikes heavy. All either of us could think about was an ice cold Coke. One couple stopped beside me to ask if I needed anything. I said if they had a Coke, I would buy it from them. They had no colddrink, but offered water and apples, both of which we had. We talked for awhile. When they heard our plans, the man said I had a heart of iron, and laughed when I said either that or a brain of mush.
I had to walk a long, long hill. It seemed an impossible task, so I did it 30 paces at a time. Thirty paces… stop… rest… wait for heart rate to return to normal… face turned toward a cooling following wind… head thrown back, mouth agape, throat clawing for air, furnace breath.Thirty paces… stop… rest… Thirty paces…
Shortly before I reached the summit, I saw a car had stopped and the occupants were having a lengthy discussion with Charl, who gestured for me to join them. And there were Pierre and Annalet, he of the iron heart discussion. They had arrived in Rosh Pinah 13km after chatting to me, and decided to buy us Coke and ice and return to us with it. We have never tasted anything so good. Ice cold and sweet and just what we needed to finalise what we had started. THANK YOU!

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

Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah - Fish River
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah - Fish River
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah - Fish River
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah - Fish River
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Boplaas campsite to Rosh Pinah
Coke with ice from good Samaritans
Coke with ice from good Samaritans
Rosh Pinah Skorpion zinc mine
Rosh Pinah Skorpion zinc mine
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