First view of the sea since we left Port Elizabeth - The ninth step ... Somewhere in South Africa - CycleBlaze

December 26, 2020

First view of the sea since we left Port Elizabeth

Clanwilliam to Lambert's Bay

As much as we tried not to, we ended up eating and drinking too much over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  As a  result we slept badly and felt really sluggish this morning.  It took a good few kilometers before we started feeling fluent.  To add to this we had an early start with the alarm clock waking us up at four thirty and we were on the road at five thirty.

The reason for the early start was the ride out of the Olifants River valley which involved a climb over three hundred meters in less than five kilometers.   We wanted to get it done before the sun got too hot but we were already in a bath of perspiration even before the sun peaked out above the Cedarberg Mountains to the east although it's very likely the previous two day's excesses had contributed to sweating.

Near the start of the climb out of Clanwilliam.
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A bit further up. The sun just starting to colour the mountains behind us.
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Nowhere near the top yet and already hot as hell.
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We had a few kilometers of respite after the top of the first climb before climbing a bit more, reaching over five hundred meters before a quick descent down to the little town of Graafwater.  Here we made a detour into the township to buy a large bottle of cooldrink to keep us hydrated for the rest of the ride.  It was hardly needed because it got a lot cooler with a sea breeze keeping us nice and cool now that we were approaching the coast.

Once at the top we climbed through a series of rocky hills before descending to Graafwater.
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The road was pretty busy today and was also quite narrow which meant there seemed to be more idiotic drivers than usual.  On the other hand, by far the majority of drivers gave us lots of space and many an encouraging wave.

Most of these attractive locusts we saw along the road had been crushed by passing traffic. Thankfully we made it through safely today.
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Scott AndersonSpectacular color!
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2 weeks ago

From twenty kilometers out we could see the sea for the first time since we left Port Elizabeth more than a month ago, although that was the Indian Ocean and this is the Atlantic.

Once we had relaxed a bit we wandered down to inspect the beach and to buy some food for this evening.  Lambert's Bay seems a pretty typical West Coast fishing town.  This means that the prime position is occupied by the fish processing plant.  The beach to the north of the town is, however, still very pretty.  Being the West Coast, the water is pretty cold.  The Benguela Current, in a similar way to the Humbolt Current off the west coast of South America, sweeps icy water from the south Atlantic northwards towards the equator.  This cold, nutrient rich water is the basis for the fishing industry along the West Coast.

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Today's ride: 63 km (39 miles)
Total: 1,202 km (746 miles)

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