On the road for eleven hours - The ninth step ... Somewhere in South Africa - CycleBlaze

December 12, 2020

On the road for eleven hours

We were all prepped for an early start when we hit the sack last night and managed to get away at a quarter past five.  Cool weather and cloudy skies gave us really good conditions in which to ride.  That is if the slight headwind was to be ignored.  Within an hour or two the wind had shifted to side-on and we had some lovely riding for a great deal of the day.

The sun was rising as we road out of Carnarvon
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The turnoff to the Square Kilometer Array radio telescope facility 12 kilometers outside Carnarvon. There are two facilities designed to get the best resolution images of the Milky Way. This one and one in Australia. Both controlled from a center in the UK. The sites were chosen based on clear skies and lack of radio interference. The MeerKAT telescope at the same site consists of 64 antennae and is a precursor to the SKA. In September 2019, an international team of astronomers using it discovered enormous balloon-like structures that tower hundreds of light-years above and below the centre of our galaxy.
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The terrain was mostly rolling hills but also the occasional featureless plain.
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A corbelled house in the veld
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100 Km on the clock. First time since the stretch from Villa Tehuelches to Punta Arenas ten months ago.
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The little dams have filled up since the rain.
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The ride was really enjoyable  and it felt good to crack the hundred kilometer mark again.  For the first time we noted a few good places to wild camp, particularly at the halfway mark where there was an abandoned railway station, I think the name was "Goraas", that looked as if it would be a good shelter in bad weather conditions.

The last twenty odd kilometers proved to be a real slog with the wind now back in our faces and our legs starting to feel the effects of the long ride.  We pulled into Williston exactly eleven hours after we started and headed straight to the bottle store to but some beers before it closed. 

Then it was up to Annie's B&B which has a small campsite attached.  After sitting around for about an hour deciding where to pitch our tent in the rather bare and exposed back garden that acts as the campsite, we decided to cough up and move to a room inside the B&B.  We were both rather knackered and supper consisted of what was left of the food we had prepared for the road (inevitably tuna mayonnaise sandwiches) and hit the sack with hardly a glance at the beers we had bought.

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Today's ride: 131 km (81 miles)
Total: 773 km (480 miles)

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