Apr 8, 2012

Time is fun when you're having flies

Survived hippo camp and was on the way again. The aim was to firstly make it to Iringa, stay over and the next day have a easy 50km ride to Old Farm house campsite which came highly recommended.

Riding started off pretty much the same, bad road, pull into village for Handaz (small bun cooked in oil) jipati and bananas. Bad road turning into worse road at roadworks and then hit the hill. Now i'm pretty comfortable/enjoy most climbs especially when i'm touring (maybe cause of the sense of achievement or whatever) but today was different. Maybe because the two previous days were hard or maybe toray was just one of those days. The two big drags of the day (they are not steep enough to be climbs, was with load in middle blade all the way) broke me. One physically, the first one after about 30km started dragging up for 13km with a bad road surface where for the first time on a bike my prostaat gevoel het soos net Marnitz dit kan beskryf en ek ni hier kan oorvertel nie.

So after only 46km i felt broken and wasn't even halfway to Iringa yet. The drag just goes on and on, kind of like swartberg pass you always think it is just one more corner, or around the next one i'll be finished.
Luckily at the top there was a village and i pulled in, after more than an hours climbing water was gone. Might also have been the humidity. In any case went to the two shops, no water. Eventually gave up my pet hate for coke and had a pepsi, nothing else available. Tried to push for lunch at Iringa which was bit of mistake. Riding along the way was a one sided affair, bike and road 1, me 0. Was really difficult to hit any sort of rythm or to sit down for that matter. Was even harder to enjoy the stunning scenery along the way, mostly i think i just stared ahead and tried to keep moving today. Even writing this is hard cause all i remember are the two forever drags and the random rasta. Finally only 20km to go and decide to stop for lunch. 7000 for the only dish available, nyama choma, meat. Was temted but told them no mzungu prize and that i'm tired and and. Didn't even get to use the student excuse. Ok 5000 and the guy starts chopping the meat hanging in front of him. Well if he hits a few of the flies hanging around its probably just more protein for me. Another long heated swahili discussion (which was needless to say very much one sided) left me on the wrong side of my sense of humour so decided to jus finish and find a nice place in Iringa. And so a bit dehydrated, very hungry tired and not loving my bike the i found the second drag. There is a runway next to the road, although its very much camo and hiding underneath grass. Up and up and up we go. At last 6km from Iringa that was it and i stopped for food at the first available place. Thats where the rasta found me. Also i tried ordering a soda in swahili (not saying which) and got a Grand Malt luckily non-alcoholic else i would have been sleepinv right there. So halfway through my meal the rasta came and has this intense discussion with me, although i'm only able to catch every 5th word or so. Too long to try and describe but very random and not always friendly, although he appeared very spaced out. A part was about me drinking which i may not, eventually convinced him its non-alcoholic. Long story for another day. In Iringa saw first other mzungus in 4days. Realised town is crazy because of easter. Had a ride till out of civ and found great campsite in mini reed/bamboo forest.

Still despite being a hard day on the bike after i had my tent up and the usual waterbottle shower realised that in fact the riding was not too bad and that the day actually went quite well. Definately still some very hard days ahead, maybe today the zen just didn't playbalong too well.

Idea is to have easy/rest day to the campsite tomorrow and shower until i'm tired of it.

Oh yes kermit the frog says...


  1. Another 25 min inside training my km no match cannot even mention. Still raining. Am i ever going to get fit? Will need to join you have changed my attitude to a hill.

  2. Hey there young man ....... super journey so far. Chin up Get the head in right space ........ you can and you know you can!

  3. Loooong ride to Freedom...always one day at a time...little chunks. BTW I fed Pofmuis :-D