Epilogue - The second step ... a booze cruise that is actually a dry run - CycleBlaze

March 6, 2017


This trip's main focus was to be a dry run for our long trip that should be starting in two months time. In that respect it was pretty successful. We've now got a better feel for getting organized in the tent and have a working routine for getting going in the mornings and setting up in the evenings. Leigh still needs to make a final call on what clothes to finally take with us to the Far East and we might slightly re-arrange what goes into various panniers.

In terms of a enjoying ourselves, it was a mixture of mostly positives with a few negatives.

The major negative was the traffic on the Western Cape roads. I'm not sure we were mentally prepared for neither the sheer volume of traffic on some of the roads nor the aggressive attitude of some of the drivers. We did choose some roads that, in retrospect, we should never have included in the route, the two worst being the road from Klapmuts to Simmondium and the road between Hermanus and Stanford (both had no shoulder and dangerous drivers).

The country roads north of the coast (once we had left Gansbaai) were really pleasurable until we reached Wellington where the last fourty or so kilometers was something we just wanted to get over and done with. The general public also seemed a lot friendlier and the merchants less rapacious in these platteland (country) areas.

An unexpected pleasant surprise was the attitude of the majority of the drivers of heavy vehicles who were courteuous, considerate and patient and almost always gave us a friendly hoot and a wave.

We had one great meal (at Roca) in amongst others that varied from good to mediocre, some fun tastings and some good looks at a few serious wines. Another objective of the trip achieved !

We were slightly under-cooked from a physical prepation point of view but were feeling stronger as the trip went on. We had a lot of wind to contend with, which wasn't always pleasant, but the hills, which I thought might get to us, were mostly dealt with easily. The climbs over the Franschoek and Bain's Kloof passes were two of the highlights of the trip.

Of course, we met some lovely people along the way, most of whose names I will never know. Two that I do know are Christa Smuts, who kindly put us up in one of her chalets near Stormsvlei, and Tania Bouwer who fed us apples and chatted to us on the way up the Franschoek Pass. Various other folk gave us gifts of cold water or stopped to talk - little things that go a long way to making life special.

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