Rouxville - The tenth step ... SISA Episode II - CycleBlaze

March 26, 2021

Rouxville

We were surprised to find out that Aliwal North is the center of a Catholic Diocese and that the cathedral was in the block next to our digs.  So we detoured to have a look at it before we left town this morning.  The doors were locked and there was no-one around to let us is.  It's rather stark and unattractive and I was saddened to see that the stained glass windows had meshing covering them.

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Aliwal North lies on the Orange River which is the border between the Eastern Cape and the Free State provinces.  The Orange River is South Africa's largest by some margin.  It rises in the Drakensberg mountains in Lesotho, flowing westwards through South Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. Interestingly, even though it is largest water contributor to South Africa's domestic, agricultural and industrial sectors, it does not pass through any major cities.  The only two towns of any size situated on its banks are Aliwal North and Upington.

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After crossing the Orange we slowly worked our way upwards, with very few descents, until just outside of Rouxville.  The road is the major route between East London and Bloemfontein (and from there on to Johannesburg) so it carries quite a bit of traffic.  It has a two meter wide shoulder so the traffic was of no real consequence.  Still, it wasn't a very interesting ride and we were quite happy to freewheel down the last two kilometers into Rouxville.

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Bill ShaneyfeltSome kind of primrose?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oenothera_biennis
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2 weeks ago
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Bill ShaneyfeltChicory
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicory
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2 weeks ago
Jean-Marc StrydomBill, my botanical knowledge is limited to sections of Asphodeloideae so I can only accept your ID.
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2 weeks ago

Rouxville is pretty small with a population of less than a thousand people.  It was established in the second half of the nineteenth century because the distance between Aliwal North and Smithfield, the next town northwards towards Bloemfontein, was too far for the postal service riders to cover by horse in a single day.  Our digs here are quite nice with every thing that we need but the local supermarket is a reminder of how spoiled for choice we have become in larger towns and cities, catering for the simplest of tastes.  Tomorrow we head north-eastwards towards Zastron which is a bit closer to the Maluti mountains so we can expect the views to improve.

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Today's ride: 40 km (25 miles)
Total: 712 km (442 miles)

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