A rest day - The ninth step ... Somewhere in South Africa - CycleBlaze

November 26, 2020

A rest day


The area through which we intend to travel is rich in succulents.  A genus in which I have had an interest for more than forty years is Haworthia, many of whose species have recently been split off into Tulista and Haworthiopsis.  The picture below is of some Haworthiopsis glauca var herrei which I found growing on a rocky hill above our campsite at Nieshoutkloof.  I'm hoping to find a few more species as the journey progresses.

H. glauca v herrei, a rather common species in the Sundays River valley and surrounds from Kirkwood westwards.
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In 1936 two brothers, Eric and Jack Attwell set out from Port Elizabeth on their primitive bicycles and rudimentary panniers with little money and even less knowledge about the route but with the utmost confidence in their ability to make it to London.  They left in the middle of the night to escape people noticing them and made their first stop in Addo where we spent our first night.  Years later Eric wrote a book about their journey entitled "The Road to London", the forward of which was written by the renowned playwright Athol Fugard, and it makes a great read.    I felt quite close to Eric while reading the book and I feel we would have had a lot in common.

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We are only having a single rest day here in the Sundays River Valley but, if I recall correctly, Eric and his brother spent some time here sorting out a few problems before continuing.  They had a few longer stops on their way northwards, mostly to try and earn money to pay their way.  Tomorrow's leg will end at the point where we will veer off from their route so today is a good time for me to stop and think about the challenges they faced and realise how easy we have it.

With no-one else in the campsite we have done what comes easily to us, which is to spread our things out and make ourselves at home.

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