right, time i guess for another update on the epic adventure that is our madcap lives. As i write this w are in place called Jeffery's bay to the west of Port Elizabeth. according to goggle we are about 850km from the end of our journey. madness!
Ian Wrote our last blog when we were staying in Kyalami between Johannesburg and Pretoria. we were staying with a fantastic couple David and Nikki. we spent a few days there, fixing various problems on the bikes and enjoying the Dave's well stocked bar! as you can imagine we found it quite hard to leave when the time came. In fact we actually left twice! The first time we got about half a mile before something new broke on Ian's bike and we were "Forced" to return and try again another day. The following day was more successful and we actually managed to cycle right around the massive city of Johannesburg before heading south east for the coastal city of Durban.
it took us 6 days to reach Durban and on the way we once again had a little run in with the South African traffic police. this time instead of offering us an escort they wanted to tell us off for cycling illegally on one of South Africa's more Major motorways. (Its not as crazy as it sounds, the motorways have a massive hard shoulder making them actually slightly safer than the narrow roads, there are also more direct) We dealt with the police quite well, falling back onto our extensive PR and blagging skills. in fact we not only talked them our of giving us a fine but actually got them to allow us to continue riding on the motorway! Anything is possible in South Africa.
In Durban itself we stayed with a colleague of Johannesburg Dave, Durban Dave. Durban Dave is a keen cyclist and wives in a house where the bike is king, there seemed to be bikes everywhere! we met him and his cycling partner Yusuf outside Durban and cycled into town together. Yusuf, who works in a bike shop called Cycle Lab offered to give our bikes a free service and even to replace the Ian's bottom bracket with one that will actually last more than 1000 km. he is currently on his 6Th one since arriving in east Africa.
we left Durban with the bikes in a better state than they have been since Europe and to begin what became 12 days of hard cycling. our route took us over many long hill climbs into frustrating headwinds. at times it also got very cold thanks to the altitude and the fact that South Africa is approaching winter. it was however the less hilly route, or so we are told. each day may have been hard work but it was a truly amazing place to cycle. the landscape of massive gorges and flat topped mountain, not to mention spectacular views of Lesotho. in fact i don't think its to much to say it was some of the most amazing landscape we have passed though.
Despite the spectacular landscape there isn't much to say about the riding as we were both normally to knackered to do anything other than snooze at lunch and sleep like a baby at night. One of the more notable moments for me was a rather spectacular crash. While slip streaming Ian i got 2 close and my front tire hit his rear. after a slightly confused chain of events my 60kg bike cartwheeled though the air, ended up landing upside down and pointing in the direction that i had just come from. Its a testament to the strength of the bike that during the crash my front wheel took the force of 130kg of man and machine travelling at 15mph side on without the slightest buckle or broken spoke. in fact the only damage to the bike was the complete mangling of the bottle holder that Nikki gave me in Kyalami 3 weeks ago. sorry Nikki. there was however another issue. our Video camera now has a totally smashed screen. it still works but you just have no idea what you are filming!
As i said before we are now staying in the surfers paradise of Jeffery's bay near Port Elizabeth. we had thought of taking a lesson or two but have ended up just vegging out all day, snoozing on the sofas or wandering down the superb beaches. we are planning on leaving tomorrow morning to begin the final straight. we will arrive in Capetown in the 13Th after a quick detour down to the most southern tip of Africa at Cape Aguilhas. almost there! almost there!
anyway time for me to go. next stop Cape Town!