This is it …


flowers

Flowers in Namaqualand

Tomorrow morning, according to my plans, I should start this trip.  Today, the irrational fear hit me as it usually does.  What do I think I’m doing?  Who do I think I am?  What kind of stupid idiot wouldn’t rather stay home where its safe and I don’t need to spend any money?  What if some shit happens?  What if?  The nerves and self doubt overpower my sense of reason at this point, but I know in my mind, I’ve thought it over and I know despite what it feels like now, for the last month or two, I’ve been burning like hell to do this.  So, tomorrow, If the weather is good, I will set off.  Its very windy today, and I don’t feel like starting on an unpleasant note.  The wind is not dangerous, but it does stress me out and make me tired.

Today was the day for tying up a few lose ends, one of these was to figure out the best way to fix my luggage to the bike.  Letting go of another couple of thousand at this point on proper panniers is simply not an option.  That can wait for later.  So, this morning, I found a good enough way, and that seems to be sorted, with some ski-rope.  It seems stable enough, but I’ll have to check it every now and then along the route to make sure that it actually is staying nicely secured to the bike.  It’ll be a bit of an inconvenience putting it on and taking it off, but oh well, win some, lose some.

The other important thing was determining the fuel consumption and if 10 liters of fuel (which is my fuel tank capacity) is enough to get me between petrol stations on the road.  It turns out I would get 156 km out of 8 liters (which puts me into the last 2 reserve liters of fuel).  This is good enough I think, but I’ll take an empty 5 liter bottle with me to keep extra fuel (on my back) Just to be on the safe side.  That should take me another 90+km.  You never know.  I’ll also just fill up wherever I come upon a little town.  Better safe than sorry.  I wish I could afford an over-sized tank, but once again, losing R3000+ for that is just not an option

The bike is not perfect, it still has slight issues with fuel struggling an eensy weensy bit to feed through the system, but after going for around 10 km, it seems fine.  I worry about whether it will overheat in the hot climate up north, but that would just mean all the riding should happen in the morning.  There’s the issue of the spokes too, but I think its not too big of a deal, unless I put the bike through too much rough terrain, so I’ll be a bit wary of this.  Just have to cowboy up and get on with it, because perfect never happens.

cederberg

The alien-like Cederberg region

The first leg of my trip is up to Namaqualand (see the rough route in this post).  Namaqualand is most famous for the blankets of beautiful flowers during spring time. Hopefully there’s still some of this left.  I’m going to take my time, and not rush to get to Springbok which is just under 560 km from Cape Town.  I will stay over in Clanwilliam which is 200 km north of Cape Town.  Clanwilliam lies on the western parts of the Cederberg region, and I would love to do some hiking there.  Pics of the alien-like Cederberg mountains have fascinated me for years and I just have to do some hiking and a bit of exploration of the town there.  After that I’ll stop in Bitterfontein which is a further 190 km north.  There there seems to be a freight railway that goes deep into the heart of South Africa.  I’m very very curious about it and would like to find out if its possible to hop on a freight train (which could make for a good adventure in the future). Bitterfontein also has a few granite stone quarries (I think, I may have read something somewhere along these lines) which are basically dormant now (I think).  So I’d like to see one or two If I can, and then, perhaps, if I need to stay over there I’ll do, or if there’s time, I’ll move on up to Springbok, and call it a day.  Nothing is set in stone, We’ll see how it goes

Thats all for now …

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