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Travel teaches toleration - Benjamin Disraeli

14 March 2019, Bitterfontein to Garies, 67km
Sophia Guest House R550

The first 30km to Garies were exhilarating. We left early enough for it to be cool still; the terrain was hilly, but in our favour; we were feeling good physically. So we spent the first part of the day on a mild high, the kind you hope for as you get fitter and fewer of the kilometres cycled are a chore. The next 30km were a chore. Too many climbs through hot hills. When we finally arrived in Garies it was 38 degrees and we were wilting with exhaustion. We ate lunch at Die Koperketel, then settled for the more expensive Sophia Guest House over the cheaper Garies Hotel, largely because Sophia’s offered wifi along with a R200 discount.
Last night, Dawn cooked us chicken, potatoes and pumpkin for dinner, accompanied by a salad, and followed the main course with pink ice cream over a muffin. So nice to have a home cooked meal. Both Dawn (84) and her partner of 40 years, John (72), are mad about pink. When you ask in town where Dawn Ridge is located, you are directed to the pink house, to find it is pink both inside and out. A delightful backpackers. Dawn was a nurse who worked at Groote Schuur with Dr Chris Barnard.
We met a Khoisan family waiting by the roadside for a child coming up from the Cape in a taxi due at 11:00.
We met Simon, an Irish motorcyclist, on the road today, heading north. He is the same man who chatted briefly to Charl a few days ago when he was heading south, saying he had come from London, but not much else. This time, we got to know a little more about him. He was originally accompanying a friend to Dakar only, but has since been doing Africa in sections. Right now he is en route Windhoek, where he will park the bike, fly home for several months, and come back to resume his return journey in September. Not a planner by nature, he was not sure where he would sleep tonight, a freedom we envied a little. We have to know whether we can achieve a particular goal, not least because we need to carry enough water to get ourselves there.
And we met our first cycle tourer, Edgar from Barcelona. Edgar prefers to work as seldom as possible, putting in 16-hour days during the summer months, so he can travel the rest of the year. On this long break, he set out to do Cairo to Cape Town, and is just days away from his March 25 flight home. He was listening to an audio-book about the Spanish civil war…

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

Leaving Bitterfontein
Leaving Bitterfontein
Bitterfontein to Garies
Bitterfontein to Garies
Bitterfontein to Garies
Bitterfontein to Garies
Bitterfontein to Garies
Bitterfontein to Garies
Bitterfontein to Garies
Bitterfontein to Garies
Bitterfontein to Garies
Bitterfontein to Garies
Bitterfontein to Garies
Bitterfontein to Garies
Bitterfontein to Garies
Bitterfontein to Garies
Charl and Simon
Charl and Simon
Charl and Edgar
Charl and Edgar
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