The journey to the end – Day 13 (Part 2) #TransAfrika
Sunset in Wellington. Four hours to reach the final destination In a race that has taken us across the entire county. Early morning starts and cycling late into the night. Those last four hours were spent trying to remember all the highlights and hardships from the preceding two weeks. The good memories and those deep dark moments. Preparing oneself for the moment when our entire existence would be shattered. The solitude and peace of the wheels gliding along the baking asphalt. The wind in ones face. All to be replaced with excitement, congratulations, questions on the race. Expectations that one could summarise the abuse we had put our minds and bodies through in one sentence. Text messages. All demanding a small piece of our attention.
It didn’t pan out that way. Instead serenity was ended even before the finish in Camps Bay. As we headed west into the setting sun, rather than the night sky being lit up with the Milky Way. The glow of Cape Town’s city lights grew. Taxis hurtling down Voortrekker Road. Inebriated revelers falling into the street. Loud music emanating from street side clubs. Sensory input was rocketed into overdrive.
There was one last task. One last climb up Kloof Nek road before the downhill into Camps Bay. One cannot do TransAfrika and finish by cycling along the beachfront.
The day had started in Barrydale Karoo Hotel. Probably the most expensive accommodation of the entire race. For the first time our trusty steeds did not spend the night in our rooms. They were relegated to the dining room:
As the stars faded for the last time of the race, the Cape Fold mountains were visible as we headed to Montague for breakfast.
Sunrise over the vineyards.
The lush vineyards were a stark contrast to the dry vistas we had become accustomed to over the preceding days.
A warm day for cycling.
This is what we should have acquired for the race: a two stroke engine custom fitted to the bike.
After Worcester, we were heading for more mountains.
A warning sign: Bains Kloof pass. 25km. Height and weight restrictions = not an easy ride.
The drop over the edge into the gorge was daunting. The gusting winds were moving my bike 1.5m sidewards at a time.
Somewhere over those mountains is Stetteynskloof. A stark reminder of Freedom Challenge / RASA in 2012 where we portaged our bikes for eight hours. The character building was on a comparable level.
Wellington. A welcome view once over Baines Kloof Pass. The end is palpable.
Leaving the mountains behind.
Appropriately riding into the sunset for the final stretch.
Last climb of the race.
TransAfrika. 13days 16hours 10minutes.
What a journey.
Find your line. Go beyond it.