Last day on the West Coast - The ninth step ... Somewhere in South Africa - CycleBlaze

December 29, 2020

Last day on the West Coast

Vensterklip to Veldrif

We went to bed last night with the news that South Africa's COVID-19 restrictions have been tightened considerably with immediate effect.  So no more alcohol sales again and a curfew from 9pm to 6am.  Most beaches have been closed.   So there is not much left for holiday makers who flocked to the coast to do.  Not a big deal for me.  I am happy with zero alcohol beer and I'm in bed by nine most nights anyway.  Six o'clock means no really early starts but that's no big deal either.

We woke up this morning to a dewy and sandy tent.  So we only got going at about half past seven after waiting for the worst of the dew to dry off.  The sand I will have to deal with later.

After four kilometers we started the climb over the headland.  The road turned out to be under construction for forty three kilometers.  However, no work was being done which came with some advantages for us.  It meant where the construction zone was good enough quality we could ride without worrying about the traffic and it also meant that the road has less traffic because drivers were taking the slightly longer road inland.

Making use of the partially constructed road on the climb out of Elands Bay.
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Followed by a great downhill to the coast.
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As mentioned a week or two back, there has been a dearth of roadside stalls on the route we have taken.  At around thirty five kilometers we came upon Die Skooltjie Padstal  ("Little School Roadside Stall").  For whatever reason, I was feeling pretty tired at this point so it was heaven sent.  A venison pie was just the ticket and we carried on feeling a lot stronger.

Die Skooltjie Padstal.
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With the road being pretty quiet there was no need to take the railway road today.
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After turning back towards the coast we started working into a strengthening headwind.  About twenty kilometers from Veldrif we were caught by the first other cycle tourist we have seen in five weeks on the road.  Paul, from Johannesburg, had started from Springbok in the Northern Cape four days ago and would be continuing along the coast to the Eastern Cape and eventually Kwazulu-Natal before his leave runs out at the end of January.  We had a long natter before we sent him on his way - we had to get going because the wind was getting fresher all the time.

Mandatory selfie with Paul.
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From Dwarskersbos to Veldrif the traffic got very busy and the wind was also a real pest.  So we were grateful to check into the little flatlet on the eastern end of Veldrif that we will be occupying for the next two days.  We'll get a bit of birding done here before turning eastwards and head inland to Picketberg where we will be seeing out 2020.

First chore was to dry the tent out properly and to sweep out all of the sand.  It's impossible to camp on the West Coast without sand getting in everywhere.

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Today's ride: 78 km (48 miles)
Total: 1,320 km (820 miles)

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