Daily report by Leon Erasmus ( 24 June)
Whenever anyone embarks on a challenging journey, we plan every detail and every turn. But like any endeavour, we soon find out that no matter how well we planned, things do not necessarily work out like we planned. So let us work in reverse, almost like Brokeback Mountain…
In physical last place (yet most probably temporarily), we have Gavin Horton “Coach". He has made new friends on the route. A dog named "nothing" kept him warm on a very cold, abandoned farmhouse portage night. After showing a lot of promise, navigational prowess tripped him up. He sleeps in Malekgonyane tonight. Without Zamaleks.
Bruce Lin had a few small blunders on their way to Tinana. To me they are still a grey horse.
Peter Roux has been following the touring schedule and moved from Malek to Vuvu today. His conservative approach might still bear fruit later down the trail. Fighting a RASA season chest infection that like years gone yonder will dissipate.
Beth McLeod and Nigel Basel are the last two RTR folk on the trail and are joining Pete for Vuvu fried chicken.
Umdala Woolnough has crested Lehana's ridge at time of press and would most probably take a cat nap at the Rhodes hotel. With the Greylings out, tenacity might have a new surname.
Collapsed shock apart, Alex Harris has shown the Freedom world that taking the Mcambalala bypass might not be such a bad option. His time to Rhodes mirrors that of competitors taking the Tiger line up the Lehana's pass. Though the record seems out of reach, it is still early days for him to get rid of the *. Conditions are looking favourable for sir Harris to get rid of the monkey on his back. He will most probably lay his head on a Minki pillow.
Slaapkrans is "propvol". Michael Potgieter, Francis Bradford, John Barrow, Paul Arnott, Michael Patchitt and Christopher Mortimer will be treated by Andre and Joyce with some of the best Eastern Cape Cuisine this evening.
Andrew Setzkom, Jason Wesson and Gerald Holland will be resting at Moordenaars Poort this pm.
Gawie du Plessis, aka bell driven single speed Gawie, Graeme Green, Andreas and Nienke will be fighting for beds at Kranskop. They are joined by Gary (Wolraad Woltemade) Scoular and Janine (I won't go past the mall, even if it is Goedhoop) Oosthuizen. Gary and Janine spent last night very close together, yet they were apart, at the Bontehoek exit.
Brosterlea will host the newlyweds Brad and Nicky van der Westhuizen. They have shown their experience on the trail.
At time of press, the Payne “Boeties” are making their way to one of my many favourite support stations, Romansfontein, which already has the Denny's, Gerard De La Bat and Grant Cowen enjoying Will en Stephanie's hospitality.
Dave and Dawn Bell, Adriaan Giessing, Grant Hill, Marco Pulvirenti and the recovering Rebecca Sands, as well as Cindy & Quinton Rutherford, will be waiting for the pie shop to open tomorrow morning in Hofmeyr. The Bells received new brakes and a bike light, Marco is resting his knee and Becky had a fall and has split from Avidon's Angels girl band to pursue a personal career.
Omphile and Spider Woman, aka Ingrid Avidon, lead singer of Avidons Angels and Jeremy Steere will be visiting the Elandsberg Zoo after rescuing Paul Moxley from Doring Lodge. More on that later.
At the physical sphere of the Race Across South Africa (RASA), we have Mark Basel laying his head down at Fietskraal, not without some navigational challenges before Groenfontein, on his way to Fietskraal.
If pear shaped had a shape, Paul Moxley would represent it. He entered Elandsberg traverse yesterday and had the entire dotwatching community at the edge of their seats, willing them to send food, money, drones, satphones, Buffalo herders and most probably helicopters, to show the non-compass carrying competitor the way to the Elandsberg Zoo.
" Compass - an instrument containing a magnetised pointer that shows the direction of magnetic north and bearings from it."
So let us just unpack this. You arrive at the Sleeping Boa, well knowing you are embarking on a challenge that requires navigational skills. This, without the assistance of a new world, millennial GPS device. Yet, you decide to leave the comfort of a Pietermaritzburg BnB, without the most important tool required to navigate without technological assistance, also known as a compass. But he is not alone. We saw Gavin "Coach" Horton sleep out in the cold for a second night running, making one ask how this blanket wearer could get it so wrong... does he have a, and I quote " an instrument..."
So if you do plan such an endeavour please read the instructions carefully. Pack what they suggest and know how to use it…
We have a thrilling season about to unfold…