We had better get used to the wind - The ninth step ... Somewhere in South Africa - CycleBlaze

January 5, 2021

We had better get used to the wind

Worcester to Robertson

Late yesterday afternoon the storm clouds built up and at about five thirty we were treated to a good African summer storm.  Thunder and lightening followed by the electricity going off and buckets of rain lashing down.  The storm only lasted about half an hour but by that stage the courtyard outside our digs was awash as was our bathroom which seemed to have a leaky roof.  Soon afterwards the electricity returned and within an hour or so the skies had cleared completely. 

So it was a bit of a surprise to wake up this morning to full cloud cover and humid conditions.  The wind was also back to its old tricks and the first twenty odd kilometers were rather dispiriting.  Even after cresting the climb at Mowers it was hard work down the hill to Rooiberg.  The forecast for the next ten days suggests the wind will always be in our faces so we had better get used to it.

Not much to see from the top of Mowers.
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Also at the top of Mowers.
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We had hoped we would be able to spend some time in the Robertson area doing a bit of wine tasting.  The soils here are rich in calcium and  there are a number of specialist Chardonnay wineries in the area as well as a few decent sparkling wine producers.  Unfortunately the current lock down regulations mean that no alcohol can be sold and that includes wine tastings.  Ultimately the alcohol ban has seemed to have saved the health system with trauma cases down dramatically.  As an example, South Africa's biggest hospital, Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, didn't record a single trauma case on New Years Eve when they would have expected to be run off their feet with motor vehicle accidents, stabbings, shootings, assaults etc.

Graham Beck has vineyards in a number of areas and produce some very good Methode Cap Classic sparkling wines. A real pity we had to ride on by.
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The last downhill into Robertson had us feeling a lot more positive.  Or was it Leigh's full bladder that had us rushing to our destination for the day ?  She rushed in to a farm stall a kilometer or two out of town but they wanted to charge her for using the loo.  That was just the thing to make her grit her teeth and hang in until we got to our digs.

Accommodation prices in the Western Cape are, in general, not for the faint hearted.  But here in Robertson we have secured an entire house for less than what we would pay for a simple room elsewhere (look up Arnheim if you are in the area).  It isn't five star luxury but it is clean and functional.  Importantly, it has the full bouquet of satellite channels which means I could watch South Africa wrapping up the test series against Sri Lanka (we won 2-0) and Leigh could stay up to date with the latest season of Master Chef Australia.

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Today's ride: 54 km (34 miles)
Total: 1,572 km (976 miles)

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