Old Legs 2018 Tour.
Blog Entry 26 - Day 8
I had a busy head in our tent in the goat paddock last night. I lay awake listening to the night sounds of Africa- mostly trucks, dogs, Dave snoring and, in the middle of the night, a big bloody train. Our camp was just 50 meters from the train tracks. The first train that came through almost saved me a morning trip into the bush with Pooh shovel.
Because we’re so organized, breaking camp took us an hour. The insides of the car and trailer look like my sock drawer at home. If we don’t get our act together going forward, especially on the long 160 km plus days, we’ll finish stark naked and pump less in the dark.
I wasn’t on my bike five minutes before I fell off it. There was a kilometer of deep Kalahari sand between the camp and the main road. Riding in it on skinny tyres was near impossible so I decided to fall off. Luckily the ground broke my fall. Unluckily, I lost my little side mirror in the fall and never noticed. Alas. My mirror let me see what make of truck I was about to be run over by. I developed a monster crick in my neck in first 5 minutes of riding without the mirror, trying to swivel my neck like the girl in the Exocist.
Today was half a rest day. Our goat paddock was just 94 kms from our overnight destination, the Cresta Mahalapye. What a shiny hotel. And what a shiny welcome from General Manager Cornelius and his staff.
The short ride meant my bum was only duty for 5 hours but remained sullen throughout. I offered up the promise of a healing balm but it told me to piss off. I’m too scared to tell it that I’m taking it on a 160 km excursion two days running. And worse, we’re uncertain about the road surfaces we’ll be riding on. We turn off the busy highway tomorrow and onto roads less travelled. We’re headed for a spot 20 kms past another spot on the map called Sojwe where we will be camping rough. The camping rough is the Tour highlight for Ryan.
I am under huge pressure from a donor who has pledged £20 if I use thee word Carking in context in a blog. I have no idea what the word means. Because Botswana is to high speed internet what Bill Clinton was to marital fidelity, i’m going to have to ask every Botswanan I encounter what Carking means.
Hopefully it is’s a good move to get off the highway, and not a move that comes back to bite me on the backside. Can’t take anymore pain there. Or another Dick of the Day nomination. I don’t want winning to become a habit.
I’ve nailed Dick of the Day the last 3 days. My first award was for losing my pump. I picked up my second yesterday for finding my pump, in the back of the car, after asking Jenny and Ryan to drive 40 kms back to the spot on the side of the road where I fixed the puncture. And then I scooped my hat trick award today for riding out of camp this morning without backpack and pump.
Bruce stopped for a mopani worm today. He chewed it without gagging , leaving me feeling inadequate. Dave and Leachie are up tomorrow
My bottom aside, the bits of me that are most taking flack are my lips. They are dry, chapped and starting to blister. Riding in the full sun today was harsh. Bruce and I both rode with bandana things over our lower faces, protection from the harsh sun and Flatulent Dave in front.
Dave and Leachie spent a lot of time doing the hard yards out front, allowing Bruce and I the benefit of the slipstream. And I will need all the help I can get to do 160 km in harsh sumnñ twice in 2 days. What does’t kill, makes you stronger, apparently.
Until 20 kms past Sojwe, enjoy and pedal if you can. Especially you Gary de Jong. And you Adam Selby.
Eric the intrepidly nervous