Monday, November 1, 2010

Aliwal to Lady Brand

Aliwal to Vanstadenrus

On Arrival in Aliwal north I met a chap walking into town, Simon. Simon walked the last 2 km into town with me and showed me his Comrades badge from 2009, he runs for the correction services club. We started talking about times etc and when he mentioned 4 hours for Oceans I decided that I should just say nothing about my times and listened contently to his stories.

Aliwal was arrest day for me and I met up with Roelf Coetzee at his shop. I was promptly handed a coke and we headed up to Roelf’s home. I met Roelf's wife Louise and his daughter Lucinda. I dedicated my rest day to trying to resolve some PC problems that Roelf was having. Managed to sort out the one machine but the other machine had less success but it was a great break from the running. Louise packed me sandwiches and Powerade and I set of the next morning fairly early.

My day was mainly occupied by chasing my elusive pair of new Brooks Running Shoes. I eventually managed to track them to Bloem and having already passed Rouxville arranged to collect them from the Shoprite store in Lady Brand in few days time. Thanks Martin, Thanks Marc.

Shortly after this an old smoking car pulled off the road and a middle aged lady hoped out and inquired about my journey. She rushed back to her car, came back, thrust R100 buck into my hand, said good luck and headed of in her smoke mobile. Thanks Mrs Pokony .

The wind howled straight into my face for the last 18km, ok ok, maybe it was not howling but it was blowing hard so I took well over 2 hours to complete the 18 kms.

I arrived at my 4 Star B&B destination. Eugene and Alta welcomed me. I was expecting to be staying in a back room somewhere but I was shown to a luxury cottage with 4 bedrooms , sitting room , shower , bath room , full of interesting antiques and memorabilia of a time gone by . I had a swim, a great bobootie lunch.
I spotted some type of strange fluffy chickens in the garden.

The little cottage I stayed in was called the “Ou Huise “ . I had a good sleep until about 2 am when I was woken by the sound of some calling my name ,, “Ricky , Ricky” . I sat bolt upright and answered, “ yes “ .. …. Nothing . I quickly got up, turned on the light and did a quick check for ghosts,,,,, phew ,,,, none of those around .and went back to sleep.

Headed out the next morning towards Zaston aiming for Van Stadensrus . At the second stop / go road works disaster struck. I step off the high level of the new road to the low level of the old road and the pain that shot through my shin was incredible.
I could not run at all without pain but walking seemed ok. I walked the remaining 30 km to vanstadenrus and was relived to get there.

A lady stopped in a blue 4x4 and asked what I doing so I explained, she asked what time I leave in the mornings so I said about 6 and she went on her way. I stayed in the home of a policewomen Cor-marie Nel . She actually stays in the original house that Martinus van Staden lived in.

Vanstaden Rus to lady brand

I left at about 6 am the next morning and started on my +\- 30 km walk to Wepener as I could stillnot run .
As I came over a hill at about the 18km mark I could see a two vehicles and some people at the entrance to one of the farms .

Well my oh my , what a surprise . the lady from yesterday had set up a lovely “ water table “ on top of a quad bike and her and her two boys , Pieter –Schlak and Micauw were waiting to welcome me . I had rusks and coffee , Pieter and Micauw had drawn some pictures for me which I have in my journal . So I seems that Rolaine Grobberlaar was my angel of the day as I was thrilled by what she had done . While I was talking to her something was bothering me , then I realised what it was . How come were there two vechiles at the farm entrance , her 4x4 and a big blue quad bike . Her boys wereonly 5 and 6 , so I asked her how it got here . She just laughed and told me that farm boys are different from city boys and that Micauw had driven it down .

A while later her husband Schalk arrived in his 4x4 and we had a long talk about my trip . .

I headed on and and just before Wepener Rolaine reappeared with a coke and instructions that I should see the local doc in Wepener as she had organised it already . I did this and ended up with a voltaren injection and instructions to keep walking without running for foreseeable future ,which I have pegged as Clarens

I found my place to stay and headed to the local pub . Between Wynand , alex and James I had enough beers bought for me that I would not have to carbo load for quiet some time .

I stayed in the Lord Frazer guest house which Mrs Swanpoel the owner had donated a nights accommodation to me as well as some of there famous ox tail stew . I staggered out of Wepener at 5 am the next morning as it was going to be a long 37 km walk to Hobhouse . The news paper lady from Vanstadens rus passed me during the course of my walk and gave me her sons coke which was really tasty …heheheh….sorry dude .

I arrived in Hobhouse at lunch time and coming down the road hand in had were Cedric and his wife betty , they were on there way to meet me .
Cedric runs a coffeshop / Art gallery / leather works . they are both retired already .

I noticed that at every opportunity Betty mumbles instructions to Cedric under her breath whichhe appears not to hear and he at every opportunity Cedric shows little tender moments towards Betty , touching her hand , putting his arm around her , kissing hand after grace . I was very sweet to watch .

Betty is 64 and was born in Hobhouse , went to school there and knows most of what goes on in the town . She took me on a guided tour passed almost every house o intown and told me who lives there etc . Hers eyes slight up when she remembers the past , she shows me the house where a friend she went to school with still lives and then mentions that her friends husband shot himself 4 months ago .
The same thing happens when I stop to take a picture of an old blue stone house . She explains that the house belongs to the crazy women in town and will never be sold because that is the house where the crazy woman’s brother killed himself .
Sadly Hobhouse is a town in decline as everything is run down and decaying or old …well not every thing . I visited Annie Slabbert , whose house Is brightly painted , neat pretty garden , She has a semi precious stone collection of note ..

Left the follwing day at 4 am as it is a 57 km walk to Lady brand and the news said 30 degrees was in order for tomorrow .

Since Oudsthoorn , I have been passed by high powered motor cyles flying along on Fridays and then the opposite directions on Sundays . They must be heading to biker rallies around the country .

Well last Friday a big blue Yamaha and a Silver Bmw went flying past and gave the customary wave as they normally do . and then today the came flying back the in the opposite direction and gave the same wave ,
A few minutes later , the blue Yamaha returned and I met Anton Roets from Queens town , Just as I had been wondering where they were going he had been wondering where I was going . They were on there way back from the Rhino rally in Harrysmith . We we joined a short while later by his friend Stuart and the three of us chatted along side the road for some time and swapped details with promises to contact again in the future .

Then on to Lady brand . 11:30 minutes later , I was there

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