Pandamatenga to Nata Bird Sanctuary
Distance: 95 kms riding
Altitude gain: 210 metres
Altitude loss: 205 metres
Difficulty: Another tough ride because of a strong headwind and the heat … as in HEAT
Temp: 38 Celcius as measured by the car
Max heart rate: 141
Average ride speed: 17.9 kph
The riders got away just after 6 and what a difference leaving early made. It was cool and no wind … to start the day off. Paul and I were out front and within a few kilometres of leaving the village we saw a magnificent eland – those guys just walk with regality. Then we saw a jackal and whilst watching him we noticed this shape dashing along the farm road half a km away. At first, I thought it was a motor cyclist, but then we realised it was a cheetah. My, but those animals can move it.
This section had more trees than previously and was pleasant to ride through. A troup of baboons were scuffling close to the main road, and two were perched high up a tall mopane tree, casually gazing down at us riders. It was just too tempting … I changed down a gear or two and took off as fast as I could, across the verge and then into the open bush, heading directly for the tree. The two baboons lost their casual demeanour and climbed down that tree at an impressive rate, hitting ground level when I was just a few metres away. They ran for about half a minute then stopped, turned and looked at me. The bigger one had that look that was obviously “You big jerk” … and I am ashamed to say, he was 100% right. But it did take away from the boringness of the ride.
Paul and I were in front when we came across a waterhole with about a dozen zebra, at least twenty eland and some impala. Patrick was not too far behind and said he was going to take a photo. For whatever reason (perhaps being an old man of 74), Paul chose to ignore Patrick’s statement, and just rode up closer to the waterhole. Obviously, the animals all scattered, and Patrick made a few derogatory comments. Anyway, he took a photo … it’s the one with the waterhole and a few egrets … perhaps you can put some imaginery zebra, eland and impala into the photo.
The Nata Bird Sanctuary has an adequate camp site – cleanish, hot showers make a huge difference.Unfortunately no time available to go into the sanctuary and see the flamingos, pelicans etc.
As you know, reading Old Legs blogs, we have been raising money to alleviate the plight of pensioners and a few other deserving people in Zimbabwe. For this ride, the African Divide, we are asking that you help us construct a Wall of Donations. We are hoping to see 1,000 bricks of $20 each. Please use the donor sites below to buy a brick or more if you can. But our real challenge to you, is to bring a few more people into the Old Legs fold. Please do whatever you can to get half a dozen friends or colleagues to buy a brick or two. When making the donation please ensure that the Reference on the donation is OLT Brick followed by your name. If you would prefer your donation to be anonymous, then put a short code (maybe your birth date) instead. Thus, as we publish the state of the wall, you will be able to see your name (or code) on the wall. Please send a copy of your donation to one of the email addresses below: