Waking to the unmistakable whine of the wind, we would be forced to delay our push into the Eastern Cape yet another day. Howling like a banshee, the gale swept round the house and shook the palm trees out front to within an inch of their lives. Sweeping up leaves and litter, the rushing air left a mess of plastic bags in its wake.
We were not about to be numbered among the detritus, so erring on the side of caution, we made the frustrating decision to wait the gale out. We’d discover the reason for having to wait later in the day when the promised Bibles were delivered from the South African Bible Society. If there’d been no wind, we’d have left and missed taking delivery … and since we now had them, we could squeeze in over 30 Bibles to take along. It would’ve turned out … no wind, no delay, no-one home, no Bibles … but instead … wind, delay, team home, Bibles … God works it all out in the end.
The next morning saw us leaving home one cable short. What am I talking about? Well, somehow we managed to misplace (loose) the charger cable for my GoPro. We’d searched high and low, and even went as far as getting our stage one driver, Garth, to search among his stuff as well. Suffice it to say, we must’ve lost it in the commotion of the previous week’s wet mishap. We’d just have to try and find one in Port Elizabeth. Mishap … but not a disaster. Not much unlike the case of mistaken identity involving the brown sugar the previous evening. Having identical storage jars is not always such a good idea … not when you mistake the couscous for brown sugar and try to sweeten your sweet potato with it. Anyway, that accounted for much hilarity and no sweet potato, of course.
We drove out to the Tsitsikamma toll plaza where we’d left off the last time. From there it would be cranking it again. Suzann cycled first and I was the backup vehicle driver. Cruising along behind her at about 40km/h in third gear made me realize why the previous drivers didn’t one complain of boredom. This was just about game drive speed. Good thing I was driving though, since game drive speed has an alarmingly soporific effect on me as passenger.
Swopping over at the Storm’s River Petro Port, I took on the next 30 odd kilometres through the farmlands. Amazing what cow dung can do for you … the overwhelming odour of fresh bovine excrement in the morning really flushes your lungs.
According to the weather forecast, another gale was on its way, about to make landfall in the Tsitsikamma at 11am. So when all was still calm after 11, we decided to push on while we had favourable conditions. Suzann took us another 25km or so before a lunch break next to a wind farm. I would take on the majority of the climbing for the day in the 28km stretch after lunch, calling it a day at the Humansdorp off-ramp.
We’d actually progressed about 111km in one day … Amazed at the distance we’d come, it seemed to take forever to drive back to our overnight booking at the Storm’s River Rest Camp in the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park.
After clunking into reception with our cycling shoes and stunning helmet hair, we got to drink in the views as we slowly drove down the twisting road to the foot of the cliff and our little log cabin tucked under the trees below. We decided to forego the tent and opt for more formal accommodation since the weather forecast had predicted another storm front to roll in overnight. And when Storms gets stormy …
Hot shower and a cup of coffee later, we were spoiled to an amazing view of the rugged coastline. The ocean seemed upset and the white spray shot up meters into the setting sun as the waves dashed themselves to pieces on the rocks below. Such power in nature is always addictive to the eye … kinda like watching the flames of a fire …