Up and then down - The ninth step ... Somewhere in South Africa - CycleBlaze

November 28, 2020

Up and then down

Wolwefontein to Steytlerville

The weather report suggested a strong south-westerly winds for today which was not good news for us since that would be our general direction.  So we organised a six o'clock breakfast with Marius, the hotel proprietor.  He seems to have no staff left at all so he has looked after us all by himself since our arrival.

What is left of the Wolwefontein Railway Station.
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The hotel is really all there is left in the village that doesn't look as if it about to fall down.
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Breakfast was massive and consisted of homemade bread, poached eggs and bacon.  Last night's simple supper of chicken, chips and vegetables was no smaller so we are not having any problems replacing calories that we consume on the bicycles.

A short climb up a dirt road took us to the main road to Steytlerville.
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The first half of the ride was a gentle but unrelenting uphill to the junction with the Klipplaat road.  It was hard work and it looked as if we could be in for a hard day if the wind came up earlier than predicted.  As it was, it was blowing briskly onto our left cheeks and we reached the junction feeling pretty tired.  The road then turned leftwards staright into the wind but also tilted downwards giving us a nice run for most of the way to Steytlerville.

The R329 was a lot quieter this morning than the R75 was yesterday.
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Farms here are large and so views of farm houses are few and far between.
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Poort is the South African term for a gap through mountains.  After we had veered left, we entered the first of two poorts we would pass through today.  This one is called Waaipoort.  Waai means blow in Afrikaans and the name alludes to the wind that howls through the poort.  It lived up to its moniker and we had to pedal hard even though it was a nice downhill.

Waaipoort.
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This is mohair country so Angora goats are the common small livestock.
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The Groot River at the northern entrance to Steytlerville. We have passed many rivers over the past few days but only the Sundays River had any water in it. Most of the rivers in this area flow at most once a year and some never flow for years on end.
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We found accommodation at a backpackers in the main street of Steytlerville, just opposite the far more expensive Royal Hotel.  The room wasn't yet ready when we arrived so we popped across the road to wash down the dust in our throats.  What a contrast from Wolwefontein.

The stoep of the Royal Hotel - a far cry from the situation in Wolwefontein.
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We felt pretty good on our ride today, once we had passed the halfway mark, but still are going to enjoy a rest day here tomorrow.  No need to rush - getting fitter gently is more important.

The Royal Hotel
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Our digs for the next 2 nights
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Today's ride: 55 km (34 miles)
Total: 194 km (120 miles)

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