Day 3 from the Afterlife RASA2012: To Masakala

20130217-203300.jpgAn early start

Day three saw us departing from Ntsikeni and heading to Masakala via Banchory. Soup was served at Glen Edward.

20130217-203426.jpgAll wrapped up against the icy wind from the Maluti Mountains (Rob Flashman, Ansa Smit, Johann Baard)

Queen’s Mercy was one of the few places along the route where refreshments could be purchased at the local store. (After we were to leave the Maluti region, stores were few and far between). As we were in a village, asking if we could utilise the ablutions seemed polite, rather than comuning with the tree outside. The shopkeeper advised against it as there were ‘wild dogs’ present in the aforementioned outhouses. The tree suddenly seemed the appropriate venue.


(Queen’s Mercy is 50km from Matatiele, the closest town. )

Once again, we left before sunrise and arrived after dark. Third day in a row that we’ve spent more than 12hrs in the saddle It was a day of rattles. From front disc brakes rattling loose to map holder flopping around. The body was starting to settle into the routine, legs doing what they were being trained to do, generalised fatigue from spending so many hours peddling. It was the first day I stopped counting the hills. They are endless This was the the beginning of the aclimitasation towards the grueling hills. One was becoming accustomed to the understanding that the destination for the day was always beyond the furthest hill visible. This was a liberating discovery, as it allowed one to go beyond the anguished thoughts that maybe the destination was over the next hill. An assumption that was always wrong.

20130217-203846.jpgNot bad as scenic views go. Destination: way off in the distance.

20130217-204141.jpgA long way down


The destination, Masakala Guest House, was a thatched roofed rondavel painted with local designs. We arrived to find the Ride2Rhodes guys sitting around a bakkie, beers in hand, listening to the rugby. Beer and rugby were the last thing on my mind. I craved food and sleep. The next day, ending at Malekgalenyane (yes, I had to take a picture of the name in order to remember how to spell it) was a shorter day and we were determined to arrive at the support station and see in bathed in natural sunlight. Something we had failed to achieve yet on the Race.

20130217-202835.jpgMasakala Guest House


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