Getting up out of a warm and comfy bed into yet another cold and misty Port Nolloth morning was not easy but it had to be done. With teeth chattering we headed inland towards Steinkopf. That is where we would join the N7 south to Springbok. But we still had about 90km to go to Steinkopf.
As we crested the first of many rises, the sun began to break through and burn the mist away. Soon we began to miss the cool mist. It got hot very quickly and we knew that a pass was coming up somewhere near Steinkopf. Swapping out every 20km and soon Lynsey would be staring a 6km uphill slog in the face. The slower she went, the hotter she got. It was just sweat dripping from fingers and nose, and by the time she got to a picnic spot about halfway up, you could tap water out of her helmet.
But we couldn’t stay on this rocky outcrop too long. The sun was standing still. It was the midday hour. The heat was made worse by the rocky walls surrounding us. These rocks not only concentrated the heat but reflected it back … right onto the sorry sod on the bike out front. Near the top Lynsey called it and Suzann had to step in. Not too far though and the road began to tilt that heavenly angle … down (yes, down … for a cyclist, that is).
Soon we’d be swapping again at Steinkopf where the water reservoir said it all, ‘Jesus is coming, ready or not.’
Then on the much busier N7, we headed south. The wind had come up and was giving us uphill. That is, more uphill than the N7 threw at us. South does not mean down, and the N7 is the hilliest road … ‘It’s undulating’ someone said. No, it’s uphill and a little downhill (that doesn’t feel like downhill because of the wind).
At 106km we called an end to the day. The wind had become too strong. With 30 odd kilometers to go, we loaded the bikes and drove into Springbok where the friendly people of the Springbok Caravan Park awaited our arrival.
Tent up, us showered, and there the wind died as well to provide us with an absolutely amazing evening. And it would be an amazing pasta evening in camp Cross Africa.