A short day to a little piece of paradise - The ninth step ... Somewhere in South Africa - CycleBlaze

December 6, 2020

A short day to a little piece of paradise

Beaufort West to Ko Ka Tsara

We are spoiling ourselves a bit today.  With the weather not playing ball we have decided to have a short ride to Ko Ka Tsara, a very nice set of chalets at the start of the Molteno Pass just outside Beaufort West.  This chops about a hundred meters off tomorrow's climb although we will still end up doing about eight hundred and fifty meters of climbing tomorrow, almost all of it on gravel roads.

Our climb will be over the Nuweveld mountains taking us from the central to the upper Karoo.  They rise about two thousand meters above sea level but we will max out at about one six hundred and fifty meters.

The Nuweveld mountains looking rather ominous as we head out of Beaufort West on the R381.
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Three kilometers to the chalets. A French-Swiss chap called Pierre with whom we camped for a couple of nights on Ruta 40 in Argentinian Patagonia a few years ago pointed out that not all kilometers are equal. Too true.
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The R381 continues above the dirt track leading to the chalets. We will have to backtrack tomorrow to rejoin it.
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The facilities at Ko ka Tsara are great.  The chalet is fully equiped and air-conditioned (although we might not have to use that even though the temperature outside is around thirty two degrees  at the moment).  There is a lovely swimming pool and an honesty bar with ice cold beers and cold drinks.  Currently there is no-one else staying here so we have had a  relaxing midday, Leigh cooling off in the pool while I wandered around doing a bit of bird watching. 

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We are along a river bed, dry of course, but there is obviously a lot of subterranean water because the Soetdorings (Vachellia karroo), the common acacia thorn tree in the Karoo, are healthy and vigorous and there are a lot of Jacaranda trees around the pool area as well.  The Soetdorings have long tap roots that can reach water and nutrients deep in the soil.  They fix nitrogen into the upper layers of soil assisting other plant growth.  The lawns are well watered too so they must have access to good water.

Laughing Doves are common thoughout much of South Africa.
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Flocks of Common Waxbills on the lawn.
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A few White-throated Canaries were also on the lawn.
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Karoo Thrush. Quite a few of them flitting back and forth between the Soetdorings.
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Cape Wagtail.
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Karoo Thrush.
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African Pipit.
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Today's ride: 13 km (8 miles)
Total: 456 km (283 miles)

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