Great African Divide Ride Day 6: Saturday 1st October

Khama Rhino Sanctuary to Molepolole

Distance: 355kms, but zero on the bike
Altitude gain: zero
Altitude loss: zero
Difficulty: A rest day supposedly, but actually a very long day’s drive
Temp: 38
Max heart rate: Not measured
Average ride speed: zero
On Friday, we had a ride to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Saturday was supposed to be a rest day, and we did take the first few hours off with a game drive around the Rhino Sanctuary. We saw zebra, giraffe, warthog, squirrels, jackals, impala, wildebeest, and kudu … but the only evidence of real rhinos were some old middens, the heaps of rhino pooh that they spray to mark their territory and the way home from the pub.
This was supposed to be a rest day at the sanctuary. Rest days are planned so one can do laundry, fix bikes, wash the pots properly, write emails and blogs, call family and friends … and a bunch of similar jobs that just don’t get done on a normal riding day.
Maybe I should explain a “normal” day. The alarms go off at 5am, intending to be on a saddle and ride by 6:30am. However, it’s quite hard to achieve this. Why? Things just don’t go as planned. Well, let me explain with an example – Paul could move the sugar from where it is always kept to some arbitrary place, his reason being that he thought he’d picked up the muesli box and was going to have a plate sitting next to his tent. But then he realizes it is the sugar, not the museli, so he just puts it down. Not in the usual place, and goes off in search of the real museli. Al is trying to make and serve coffee but can’t find the sugar, so instead of just 10 minutes to make the coffee, it takes 20 minutes. And in searching for the sugar, he will have picked up the car keys from where they should be and then put them down where he found the sugar … I hope you get the picture. When you have three individuals born in 1949 or earlier, it is impossible to get things running smoothly and according to plan.
A very long way of explaining that on this Saturday, our rest day, it took ages to get things going. We looked at our progress and what we still had to do and decided to use the rest day to make up some distance by uplifting the bikes and driving toward our next day’s destination. But that also turned out to be a disaster. When we got to Lephephe, the campsite we had found on Google was 30kms out of town, on a seriously sandy road. There was a sign saying, “4×4 Only, no trailers or caravans”. So, we drove. The next campsite Google told us about was completely non-existent. And so, in the end, we landed at a place 20kms outside Molepolole at Mmanoko. We had called the guy; Inkosi was his name. He told us there was space and that he had water and electricity but no wifi. Aaahhh, he added, there was a function, but we would be in the next field.
When we got to Inkosi’s place, he was very welcoming, and we were happy to stop. The “function” was a full-on Independence weekend – live music, a jumping castle for the kids, a hundred motor cars, and three hundred people having a SERIOUS party. Mostly it was OK … the music stopped at midnight, so we got 4 hours of sleep! And the water … well, if we wanted water, we had to find Inkosi amongst the revelers, and he would turn on the borehole pump. But, hey, it worked as a campsite.
Watching all the young and some not-so-young people dancing and having a whale of time made me think of Susan, an OLT beneficiary confined to a wheelchair. Jaime has just messaged today saying that OLT has made the payments for her surgery, and she will be going in next week; what a relief. Thank you for your donations; thanks to you, Susan will be dancing again soon!
Please donate to OLT and our medical fund through the link below.

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