Well, the princess had made it through the night on her ‘hemelbed’. It was just all the more incentive to get started early. That would be why we were on the road even before eight.
Cycling through the one street of Doringbaai we headed out on the gravel road in the direction of Lamberts Bay. We’d first stop for a photo where the road goes over the top of the Sishen-Saldanha train line.
It was a bright shiny day and the wind had not yet come up in earnest. The gravel road was also of quite a good quality which helped our progress immensely. We’d turn right at a t-junction onto another strip of gravel that had obviously been scraped recently. It was almost like tar … brilliant.
It was just the last sweeping downhill, and crazy steep uphill that nearly did Lynsey in. It was all a ‘huffing and puffing’ and ‘blow your house down’-ing. The men on the golf course nearby must’ve thought us crazy. But we made it to the tar road linking Clanwilliam with Lamberts Bay. We weren’t headed to Lamberts Bay though. We turned inland. It would just be a few kilometers before we had to turn right again and head for Leipoldtville. This ‘ompad’ was necessary since the gravel road directly linking Lamberts Bay and Elands Bay, along the train tracks, had been closed to the public. At least we could use the vehicle on the quiet road as wind block again, because, as is by now old news, the wind had blown up a gale again.
Google maps had once again got it horribly wrong and when we reached Leipoldtville we packed it in. We’d pedaled our requisite 75km for the day … but Vensterklip Camping hadn’t yet come into sight. It would turn out to be 11km down the road, and there we’d encounter our first roadworks.
But Vensterklip on the edge of the Verlorenvlei was paradise to us. A private campsite with our own ablutions and piping hot water awaited us, and the reed screen round the site did wonders to keep the wind that swept over the vlei at bay.
We’d lock the bikes in the bathroom and take a quick drive into Elands Bay to buy some bottled water at the only little ‘shoppy’. We’d also take the opportunity to go for a quick stroll (can you stroll quickly? … well, we did) on the blinding white sand of the beach. The sea was clear as glass and the late afternoon sun was shining sparkling shards off its choppy surface.
That evening the sun would drop behind the huge cliff on the edge of the little town and we’d watch from across the vlei as the sky turned orange.
The wind also dropped with the sun and we had a lovely peaceful evening … well, until the roaches started to fly around. We smacked three with a slip-slop (an excellent fly swatter, by the way … sure that’s where the Afrikaans ‘plakkie’ comes from) before diving into the bathroom for a final wee-walk before bed.