Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Middleburg to Aliwal North,

As I was coming into Middleburg a red 4x4 pulled up ahead of me a very presentable Italian looking fellow got out and came walking over to me and asked what I was up to .
I explained what I was busy with and he then told me that he was scouting some of the small towns in the karoo looking to buy a house to be converted into a women’s shelter for abuse women.
After chatting for a while he whipped some money out his wallet and suggested I have a good meal and with that he was gone.
Big thanks to my mystery Italian Giovanni Camaleri.

I headed into town and met with the local newspaper lady who is 82 years old, she made some tea and we had a good chat about nothing in particular, I suspect t that she is a lot sharper than people think. After that I headed down to the town hall to see the local art exhibition which proved to be quite interesting. Lynden Lund had some great paintings and Rob Southey had some spectacular photo scenes from the Karoo around middle berg .
There an artist who did some stunning Pewter work as I well.

I then went to the home of Kappie and Belinda Greef where i woul due staying that night . Belinda made a superb meal for both lunch and supper and I was thrilled to be there guest . Just before sunset I went on a tour of the town with Kappie . We visited the Grootfontien Agriculture College which was a British garrison during the Boer war . Judging by the grave stones you had more chance of surviving if you were off fighting some where rather than standing guard because the number of graves for guy’s killer don guard duty by lighting strikes is quite high .

I left early the next morning and headed for the place called Schoombie , , well actually my destination was just after Schoombie at a place called Teebus on the farm of Jannie and Alet Zwiegers . I was told there would be no signal on the road except at the tennis club in Schoombie . The run was pretty good and the 50km to Schoombie went very well and I arrive there at about 12pm . The plan was to call Jannie and he would come and get me but I decided that it would be better to push on the road by his farm and made an arrangement to meet them there at 1:30 pm . The 7 kms went quite well and it started raining as I got to the lucerendale road .

I was sitting in a rusty iron box waiting for Jannie when a Bakkie pulled up with two beer drinking smoke blowing characters . One lent out the window and asked " Are you the f..ing nut who's on his way to Kili ." and then he packed up laughing . They got out and introduced themselves , Andre and Van Eck . Van eck was Jannie's brother and Andre was his friend .

We headed back to the farm and on arrival had a black label .

Al little later Jannie arrived I could see he was not too thrilled with his brothers antics but let it go . We enjoyed a great lunch .
later I met Alet , Jannie's wife and I helped her and Jannie bottle feed the lambs .

We braai'd and Jannie’s father Morris , told some good stories about stock theft and banditry in the Karoo.

I left the next morning and enjoy a cool overcast run into Steynsberg and enjoyed the short day of 35 km .

I was met in Steynsberg by Rob Van kerkhof , his wife Sally and Mike Wink . Mike gave me a superb boerewors roll and a Rob sorted out a lovely cold coke from the local shop keeper .
I went with rob and Sally to their house . You have never seen a neater house in your life and Robs Pc's was super duper and lightning fast . my Garmin was full so I was able to download the Tcx files off my watch and save them on a flash drive .
Sally made enough food to feed and army of runners and I t was a welcome meal . The spare bearings for my pram had arrived but the old ones are still holding out so I just packed them as spares for the future .
Sally and Rob packed me a meal for the road that was fit for a king . .

I left before 5 am the following morning as I had 70 km to cover to Burgersdorp but I had seen a short cut that would hopefully take 10 or more km's off me route .
Well it turned out hat the route was shorter but it took 11hours to cover the 65 km for the day . some due to loose sand on the road but a lot due to me just be slow and lazy .

Just before I hit the short cut an emerald Uno pulled up and a gentle man introduced himself as Willie Coetsee and his wife gave me an enegrade . they were the parents of the people I would see in Aliwal north in a couple of days . I recalled seeing the Uno twice before , Once near Middle berg and once in steyns berg . They confirmed this as they had waved at me at the time .

After the short cut , I had about 20 km left to go and a white car stopped and asked how I was doing as Rob in Steynberg had told them to look out for me ,
I headed on and with about 12 km to go I was really tired and just wanted the day to end . the same white car showed up again and the lady , Joey , ask if I would mind writing for notes to each of Sally's grandchildren in New Zealand . I obliged although I think my note were rather short and my writing was more horrific than normal . Joey then said she was going to go back to Burgersdorp and fetch me a coke . I half heartedly argued about this but was really grateful when she sped off towards Burgersdorp.

Joey returned when I had 8 km to go and she had brought company . her Daughter Antoinette and her friend Adele , jumped out the car and announced that they would accompany for the last bit into town . My mood lifted instantly . here I was strolling along in the middle of nowhere with two beautiful young ladies as my companions . The y told me everything and anything that there was to know about Burgersdorp and mad e the last 8 km so entertaining that before I knew it we were in town .

they took me right up to the door of the people where I was staying and that ended my 11 hour 65 km day . Thanks Joey , Thanks Antoinette and Adele.

Christine and Nico we great hosts they had been expecting me a lot earlier and had already finished having a bray when I arrived . NIco is an n ex Para bat and enjoys all things that involve physical effort . I was exhausted so did not chat long and headed for and early night . I left the next morning at 5 am with 56km to get to Aliwal North . After about 10km ,nico came whizzing past me on his racing bike as he is training for a cycle event . Flip sake he can go fast . I had left my jacket at his house and he called Christine and she brought it too me .

I arrive in Aliwal at just after 12 midday .

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I set off at 4:20 am to try and beat the heat as it is 56km from Aberdeen to Graafreinet . The running was great , easy flat run for most of the way , I hit the the 42km mark in 5:02 but lets take a step back to the 30km mark for a second. David from Aberdeen had alerted me to keep an eye out for a Bed at the 30km mark . A bed ? yes a real 100year old bed . Made of brass too . So there it was just near the 30 km mark . Shining in the sun light . And the story ? you may well ask . it goes like this .
About 100years or more ago the was a boer farmer who's wife got really really sick so in an effort to get her well he needed to take her to the doctor in the nearest town . She was so sick that she could not travel so he took her and her entire bed and loaded them onto his ox wagon and made a desperate dash to get to the doctor . Sadly she died and in his grief he buried her and placed the bed over her grave as a memorial to her . and that's how the story goes .

Eventually i arrived in Graaf reinet , Yippee a rest day . I was walking down the main street heading into town my mind was focused on one thing only and that was to get to the Super save store i could see and buy a coke for myself . As i approached i became aware of a karoo farmer looking type watching me carefully from just outside the door of the shop , I glanced at him a couple of times and my mind just could not place him as i was still focused on my Coke . Ahha , it was Johan , I was relived to see him as i was finished and I was going ot be staying with Johan and Aleta Theron from the next wo nights . Aletta , my sister inlaw Gwen's sister appeared out of the shop and handed me an ice cold coke . We headed back to there place and straight into an ice cold pool . How wonderful that was ! Followed by a Snoek on the braai .

Later that day I accompanied Johan and Alleta to Prayer meeting with the Gideons society of Graaf Reninet , it was very enlightening and amusing as well because never in my life have a heard a sheep Bleating in the middle of a prayer session , I won't say who the guilty party was for leaving their cell phne on but i heard a rumour that his wife did the same thing in the women's prayer meeting . Soues van Zyl made a donation to my cause and I was presented with a Gideons bible to accompany me on my trip . Aletta organized my places to stay in a lot of the towns after Graaf reinet and I was thrilled that she was able to do this .

I spent the next day loafing around the house and relaxing and eating everything i could find in the house .I got a parcel with some transact and letters from my family which was a wonderful surprise . I really enjoy the letters
. Thanks Johan and Aletta for wonderful stay in your house

Graffreniet to Middleberg .

The Glen ,
I headed out of Graaf Reinet at about 4:30 am , I was heading for a farm called " The Glen " .

I was fairly down and depressed when I start today and could not really put my finger on why , everything was just hard and i think i was a bit homesick but it was Richard's 16th birthday today . I called as soon as i knew he was up and was very happy to chat to him . He did admit the 16 felt the same as 15 but he was happy with his gift and had had a great festive party on the weekend . Once i had chatted to Richard my mood changed for the better and i started to enjoy the day .

I made fairly quick work of getting to " the Glen " and Marion de la Harpe was suprised to see me so early . i must say they have a magnificent farm home . Marion took me straight inside and produced so me tea and we had a good chat about my venture . She told me about a german couple on bicycles who had passed through a while back .

Anthony arrived home and we had lunch together and i was treated to a drink that was home made from a citrus fruit called a Pamplemous , it is not grapefruit and is far to bitter to eat , The drink was wonderful . Anthony took me to see the sheep being sheared after lunch an i was amazed to see how quick the guys are and how the throw the fleece for sorting .
Anthony showed me the clear difference between wool and mohair .

Marion and Anthony run a 3 star guest house on their farm and it i s well worth the a visit as I will show you what a 4th generation family farm looks and feels , like full of history and tradition .

theglenbb@telkomsa.net is the contact for them .


I left the Glen before the sun was up and head for first the Naudesberg pass 1450m and then the lootsberg pass 1750 m . The wind was howling straight into my face for most of teh day and i t took over 5 hours to manhandle my pram up the passes and down to the JAgpoort farmstall .

At the farmstall I met Alet Schoombee , and she pointed me in the direction of the house where I would find here husband Niel .

I went staright and had som elunch and then had a solid sleep as i was shattered from the passes andthe head winds .

I coul s say lots about what i saw and did at jagpoort but one thing stood out above all else but before i mention that i have to say the since leaving Agulhas , Jagpoort was the first working farmstall that i encountered tahtw as not in a town and the coke fridge was a welcoming sight .

Oh , yes back to the one thing that stood out , this is a love story not to be missed .
Alet and Niell wrote there first love letters to each other when they were in standard three . By standard 8 they were dating properly and with the obvious breaks for military duty and studies they have been together ever since . Alet told me that when she was in high school that her father had tried to convince her that the she meet other guys before getting too involved . he explained that there were many different sweets in the jar and that she had only tried toffee and should try other before deciding on her favorite . well , she told him that she liked toffee and that was that . They refer to each other as their true first loves .

Jagpoort to Middleberg .

today on the raod was really interesting . the runing was going well but the wind was picking up and i had to make 40 km to Middleberg .

I was running along thinking about my sore foot and what i could do to fix it . Cortisone came to mind , strapping came to mind , I even thought about praying for it but then i remembered that according to the bible you supposed to have a group of people together if you want you pray to come true .

I stopped took a good pic of a windmill and some flowers and then headed on my way

I saw a fancy looking sports car coming towards me and it went whizzing by like all the other cars and we shared a wave . The car disappeared over the hill behind me but i thought i heard the sound of the motor gear down .

A few minutes later the same fancy sports car crawled back passed me made a U turn and stopped in front of me , I went to the passenger window and greeted the young lady . The guy behind the wheel leaned across , asked where i was going , ask what i was smoking when i told him and promptly handed me an ice cold Energade . They asked how things were going and i said all was pretty well except my foot . Well with That Martin Joubert and his wife Adri were out the car in a flash and there we were in the middle of the Karoo praying for my foot . A sign , I don't know , you decide .

They gave me some sweets a fancy self defense stick and the promise of assistance if I need it .

Martin , Adri you made my day , and the foot feels a lot better .

Later i entered middleberg but will save that for another post .

Monday, October 18, 2010

Derust to Aberdeen

So i have come from De Rust to GraaffReinet since i kast updated . Internet is less avalable than expect in most of the smalltowns , unlees you want to pay overpriced connetion fees which i have decided against .

Derust - Barendes In derust I stayed in charming guest house called Oliviers rust which the ownders kindly sponsor my night in the guest house as well as providing me with great Burger and chips from there little shop next door . I made full use of the pool which was crystall clear and old . I left at 4:15 amthe nxt morning and headed for barandes . The road wa quiet and the running was good . My super PRO , mom . sent me an sms tellin gme that she had found a guesthouse called Rens Riech that would put me up for the night . I called Amour when i reach Barandes and she sid she would come and fetch me from my location at the 56 km raod marker with teh promise to retun me there the next morning .

I met Amour's husband , Borsie , great gyu but if you not a cheetahs supporter then rather keep quiet :-) .

Barandes - Willowmore . I ask Aour and Nico how far to Willowmore from there home and they told me it was about 12- 15km . what was lost in tranlastion was that i was talking about Willowmore the town and the were talking about the tar road to Willowmore . They dropped me back when they haad collected me and i ran 12 km back to the house , had breaksfast and set off at a nice fast pace on the "15 km" left to Willowmore . I hit the tar after 13 km and expected Willowmore to be over the first rise , i was greeted with a 21km to Willowmore sign . A lesson , don't waste your water unitl youare 100% sure of your destination .:-)

Just before reaching Willowmore a Marron 4x4 pulled over and would you believ it out hopped , Elain and Lorrie , The same couple i had seem a week earlier at the top of Tradoux's pass.

Eventually I reached Willowmore and was the guest of Ian and Jane Zaayman .

What good people they were , I arrived and it was Janes birthday . We had a great evenig and I met both Ian's mom and the Pastor . Got my injections sorted out .
Ian told me tha it had not rained since 10 march and at 3am that morning the thunder crashed and the rain came down .

Willwomore to Aberdeen - I set off at 6:30 am in the rain . i went only 34km to Beer vlei farm where i met Ansie and Andies , who happen to breed Parrots , amazing beautiful birds .

the next dat was 46 km to Stopies farm and after that i headed to Aberdeen .

In Aberdeen I satyed with david millar and his wife marlyn . We had agreat but late supper , a quick tour of teh town and a photo shot with the local newspapr . The people of teh tourism and publicity board had put together a small donation and this was truly apreciated .

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Long roads , great runs and wondeful People

So far things have gone pretty well . All the people along the way uptodate have been wonderful , except the idiot in the silver Dihatsu that thinks he owns the road , othe rwise , all is great .

I must say that Valerie Botha of Ladismith and her family have really left a lasting impression on . She went so far out of her way to make my time in Ladismith imortant and enjoyable and she stays in touch everyday since i left , They were amazing people.

The zamani resturant and pub in carlitz dorp is run by Doen and Isabel and there hospitality was awesome , great burgers . I fyou ever on a bus trip from capetown to george insist the drier stops thatere as you willlove it .

The sunshine cottage was adoreable , thanks Sandy . it was a greta to place to rest .

ANita Beutek is a physio in Oudtshoorn who Rob organised for me to see . She was spectacular as well as being a runner she unde4rstood my aches and pains .

Tonight I am with Annie French and her family and we going to braai .

Tonight i braai

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Swellendam to Barrydale to Wolverfontien

What a stuning day . The km flew by , . Biffelsjag Riveir was a coke stop . I enjoyed teh strole through Suurbraak , stuuning little town . andteh climb over Tradouxs pass was spectacular . Don't miss the drinking points if you ever visit . I stayed at Mary Whititngdale in Barry dale and she was a wealth of ionformation ..

i set off early teh next day . 25 kms to ronnies sex shop was a breeze . Rnnie was expecting me when i arrive and had an ic ecold coke availble . .

A sthe day got hotter i got slower . I eventually reached teh Plathius turn off where i was met by Ashliegh Brownlee of the Wolverfontien B&B .

OuPlaas - Swellen Dam

great start . 10 km down the road and i realise i have left my arm bands next to me bed ... Panic ... Lucky Johannes from Koppiehuisie B&B brought them to me . I had a sore scalf and a sore achilles but eventuall arrived in Swellendam after 43 + km . I was met by Reinhardt van der Merwe from the round table . he offerd to have mein hiis hous for the night

Rules of ther road

Phew , thank goodness phillip taught me th erule of the rod before i left . Triangle boards mean walk , got that one, chevons mean walk ,, got that one , round signs ...mmmm,,, coul dnot rememebr so i thin k th ey mean ...walk .

Cambers on a hill ,,yes that was a walk too .. . i neeed to get the full list .
On a more serious note my calf is stuffed ..lol..
If you ever in the western cape near bredasdorp in th esettlement of Ouplaas be sure to pop in and stay at the guest house of Pat and Johannes Uys , Koppies huis , it is a stunning guest house run by ammazing people .

Go Go Go

Got to the Southern most point at 6:30 am . Couple of photos , Said go by to friends and family and away we go . I had Rob Korb and my brotehr Steve headed out with me . Rob set a blister pace as normal and had to be reined in . Kathleen took over from Rob at 12 km and pushed on to 21 where we parted way ..Thanks guys for great time and the support . The day went smoothly and quickly , Steve and I got to bredadorp after about 5H:30 m. .

Arrived in Agulhas after an extremely stressful day , full o f mis-communications and unseen hurdles.but here i am . Went down to see the Southern most point . I am ready but also not ready , Worried about what i have let myself in for . Miss my home comforts already ...heheheh..have not even left yet .. So tomorrow morning 7 am is the time to go .

thanks to all those who supported . thanks to my club mates for there help . thanks to my family for there support .
Who knows what tomorrow brings :-)