From one farm to another - The ninth step ... Somewhere in South Africa - CycleBlaze

December 20, 2020

From one farm to another

van Rhynsdorp

With the Christmas holiday season upon us we have had to book accommodation in advance.  Not all of it made a lot of sense but we took what we could get and have bookings in the area up until the twenty eighth of December.  Today we moved to another farm, this one about ten kilometers south of van Rhynsdorp.  But first we headed back into town to but some food and to have a look around.

The Old Jail is now a museum and restaurant. Unfortunately, being Sunday, it was closed.
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The Knersvlakte are the southern end of Namaqualand.  Very few people still speak the Nama language and those that do mostly live in the area straddling the border between Namibia and South Africa in an area called the Richtersveld, South Africa's only mountain desert.  Probably the most iconic plant from Namaqualand is the Quiver Tree (or Kokerboom in Afrikaans), so named because the San used to make quivers for the arrows from the hollowed branches.  It is part of the Aloe family (which is now split into various genera with the tree aloes being group in Aloidendron).  There are lots of Kokerbome spread throughout the little town.

Kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum), or Quiver Tree in English.
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Then it was surprisingly hard hard work to Maskam farm on the toughest gravel road we had ridden on this trip.  Lots of deep, soft sand and fine gravel and terrible corrugations.   If the temperature forecast is to be believed it was already thirty five degrees before we started and is predicted to head up to thirty eight by lunchtime.  In the end it took an hour and a half to cover twelve kilometers.  We will have to retrace our steps for part of the way tomorrow to carry on to our next stop in the town of Klawer .

The best bits were where the road had been graded down to bare rock.
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Patches of quartz dotting the plains.
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There was a headwind but we were going so slowly it hardly mattered.
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Almost dropped the bicycle at this point.
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Today's ride: 15 km (9 miles)
Total: 1,039 km (645 miles)

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