Bucklands - Tiny step 2: A week in the Karoo - CycleBlaze

January 11, 2022

Bucklands

Once again, seven vehicles were encountered on the road today.  Let's hope it stays that way.

It was much cooler this morning and we set off from the campsite wearing our light wind jackets.  The first four and a half kilometers had us backtracking along the final stretches of yesterday's ride.  In contrast to yesterday's ride today's had less climbing and our net descent was almost three hundred meters.  Consequently, we reached our destination in far better shape than we did yesterday.

The first twenty five kilometers was on pretty rough road and we couldn't really take advantage of the downhills.  Then we had a great section for about ten kilometers before turning southwards to Bucklands.  Here the road deteriorated again and the sun, which had been hidden for much of the ride, burnt away the clouds and the temperature started to rise.  The wind did it best to beat the temperature and by the time we reached Bucklands it was blowing strongly.

Leaving Echoes of the Baviaans.
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The water tank where we filled up with water yesterday.
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Rusting signage pointing to Grootrivierspoort.
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Undulations.
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Dorper sheep, originally a cross between Black-headed Persians and Dormers.
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As we approached the Groot River we started passing streams that still held water. Some were even flowing. Rains here usually fall as isolated thunder showers so one area might receive a downpour while a few kilometers away no rain falls at all.
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Signs of the flash flooding that can occur after a thunder storm.
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The turnoff to Bucklands.
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Evey now and then we had parts of the road that had washed away.
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The line of thorn trees marks the course of the Groot River.
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Crossing the Groot River. It was actually flowing at this point.
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The campsite at Bucklands looked very neat and comfortable but the wind and the plague of mosquitoes quickly convinced us to take occupancy of the little farm cottage on offer.  We had arranged in advance for supper to be provided and what we got was meat for a braaivlies (BBQ) along with various vegetables and some traditional roosterkoek (griddle bread).

One of the farm dogs, an enormous Ridgeback, quickly adopted us.
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Mike AylingI bet he was waiting for a bit of wors!
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1 year ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Mike AylingI'm afraid to say his wait was in vain.
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1 year ago
Ons gaan nou braai!
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Too much meat for the two of us so we froze some to have for supper tomorrow night.
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The sun setting on the hill across the Groot River opposite our digs for the night. Bales of hay in the foreground - the only way the farmer can keep his sheep alive because the veld had been destroyed by years of drought..
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The cottage had a number of geckos. Good for keeping the mosquito numbers down. We didn't have any problems with mosquitos at all and with the wind howling for most of the night the decision not to camp was vindicated.
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Bill ShaneyfeltNice photo!
Matches fairly well with thick-toe gecko.
https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/southern-africa/view/observation/728581/large-gecko
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1 year ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Bill ShaneyfeltThanks Bill!
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1 year ago

Before we left this morning I had a long chat to the owner of Echoes of the Baviaans.  He said that when he was a child they usually received more than five hundred millimeters of rain a year but now they are lucky to get a hundred and fifty.  The owner of Bucklands says he used expect about two hundred and fifty millimeters but that has dropped to less than fifty.  Over the past eight years he has only received more than a hundred millimeters once and that was all in a single downpour.  Some years he received less than twenty millimeters the whole year - that's less than an inch of rain!  Climate change is making farming a hazardous business here and many of the farms in the district have stopped commercial farming completely.  Recent good rains have brought some relief but it will take many years of good rain to allow the veld to recover.  

Today's ride: 47 km (29 miles)
Total: 93 km (58 miles)

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