Saturday, September 25, 2010

The last day

We had thought that there may be a possibility of combining the last two days but at the end, it was a no go. It was a great ride but with plenty of climbing and always, lots of descending.

We left Queens Rose and had a detour past the Kupid Falls. We started with a 10km descent into the indigenous valley. Ben and Derek went farming and left some skin in the donga but it was minor.

Then we joned onto the Barberton Classic route for a long climb out the valley which was superb. When I did that race many years ago, it wasn't that nice. This time around, I really enjoyed it.

It wasn't the end of the climbing by any means and we totalled over 1600m of ascent in about 65km.  But what great passes and valleys. the mountains in this area are packed closely together and the valleys are extremely deep.

We eventually met up with our vehicles for lunch and Wim and Marie had gone ballistic. Two packs containing juice, bananas, apples, bar ones, sandwiches, meatballs and a boiled egg.  We needed to be riding 120km to deserve all of that.

The next 20km were on a new tar road to the border post at Josefsdal.  It was "undulating" but the different surface allowed us a good rhythm despite it being so hot.

All of a sudden, it was 1km to the border post and the tour was effectively over. A few formalities and we were descending the final 2km to Bulembu - an old mining town that is being converted into a self sustaining entity to support some of the 2000 orphans in Swaziland.

We were accommodated in one of the refurbished mining houses and ironically, we met the man who used to live in the house when the mine was in its heyday.  There was a group of ex residents who were having a reunion at the same time as our visit.

What a great ride and a fab group of riders.  We had fun all the way.

Posted via email from Go Cycling

No comments:

Post a Comment