On the road at last - The ninth step ... Somewhere in South Africa - CycleBlaze

November 24, 2020

On the road at last

Port Elizabeth to Addo

There was something scary about the bicycles once they were loaded up with all our stuff.  It has been eight months since we last rode fully laden bikes, eight long months.

About to leave our AirBnB in Port Elizabeth.
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The first task today was to cycle about five kilometers to Carel's home from where we would get a lift to Colchester, about thirty kilometers out of Port Elizabeth.  Carel is of one of the two owners of the firm that looks after the client-facing side of our business (which is what makes it possible for us to travel and work at the same time).  He had kindly offered to help us avoid riding through the unpleasant industrial areas that lie on Port Elizabeth's northern and eastern access routes.  It also meant that our first day back in the saddle would be short and mostly traffic free since it would take us on a quiet farm road that tracks the Sundays River from Colchester to Addo.  Unfortunately, Carel was suddenly called away to a meeting in Gauteng yesterday so his partner Brendan stepped in to give us our lift.

At the turnoff to Addo at Colchester where Brendan dropped us off.
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Once on the dirt road along it was easy and pleasant cycling all the way to just outside the little town of Addo where we joined a tarred road that was quite a bit busier.  The dirt road mostly had a good surface with only a few short sections that were rather rough.  A gently introduction to the what we may experience as we venture onto the back roads of the Karoo.

Leigh squeezed between the Sundays River and the Addo Elephant National Park. Unfortunately, no signs of its famous large grey inhabitants.
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The lower Sundays River Valley's primary industry in the cultivation and packing of citrus. The great white expanse in the middle of the picture is hectares of covered citrus trees. I sure there must be environmentally sounder ways to produce our food.
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Once in Addo we stopped in the surprisingly good local supermarket to pick up some food and a few beers before heading off to The Homestead, a collection of small cottages available to rent that has a small and simple campsite tagged onto it.  The cottages are set in a lovely treed garden but the campsite is quite plain and the ablutions wouldn't have looked out of place in my childhood but, unfortunately, that was more than fifty years ago.  Nonetheless, the showers were hot and had great pressure and that was all we were looking for.  It also has a very neat camp kitchen, not something one always finds in South African campsites so we cannot complain.  The wind came up strongly in the afternoon so the kitchen turned out to be welcome shelter.

A Cape Weaver (Ploceus capensis). One of the many birds in the garden. At this time of year, the polygamous males are constantly building nests and displaying at the entrances hoping to attract a female. They will build multiple nests and hope to attract females to as many of them as possible.
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Elspeth JarmanExtraordinary photo!!!
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1 week ago

Tomorrow is another easy ride up the Sundays River Valley to Kirkwood.

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Today's ride: 36 km (22 miles)
Total: 36 km (22 miles)

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