Getting ready for Christmas - The ninth step ... Somewhere in South Africa - CycleBlaze

December 22, 2020

Getting ready for Christmas

Klawer to Clanwilliam

Today's ride up the Olifants River Valley to Clanwilliam was only sixty kilometers but it entailed seven hundred meters of climbing in rather hot conditions on the busy N7.  In the end it wasn't too bad, thanks to a tailwind that got  stronger as the ride went on.  I guess we are also starting to get fit again.  The N7 wasn't too bad either.  We had a good shoulder the whole way and shared the road with mostly friendly and considerate drivers.

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Snacks for the road were things we weren't even aware of until a couple of weeks ago.  Skuinskoek, literally sideways or diagonal cake, is the traditional confectionary of Namaqualand. It is a deep-fried sweet doughnut-like confectionary flavoured with aniseed (and sometimes cinnamon and nutmeg). Its name is derived from the angular, diamond-like shape of the doughnut.  A bit like small, sweet and spicy sopapillas from Patagonia.  Great energy food while on the road.

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African Horse Sickness is a highly infectious and deadly viral disease affecting horse, donkeys and mules, spread mostly via the biting midge (Culicoides imicola) but also ticks and mosquitoes.  In is widespread in southern and eastern Africa but is mostly absent in the Western Cape.  Equines cannot be brought into the area without the required veterinary authority.  In the past, horses that were infected but recovered from AHS were highly prized in South Africa.

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Our first two nights in Clanwilliam will be spent at the Mad Mongoose run by the very friendly and helpful Pete and Eve, two seasoned overland travelers who have covered much of sub-Saharan Africa in their Land Cruiser.

Clanwilliam also has a strong connection to Leigh's family - more of that later!

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Today's ride: 63 km (39 miles)
Total: 1,139 km (707 miles)

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