One leg massage later and an all too short sleep, we left the friendly folk of PA behind.
Depending on how our bodies felt, we were hoping to do a double stage through Die Hel to Rouxpos.
We left later than hoped (6.20) and I struggled for the first 10k.
But the beauty of the sunrise over the Swartberg Pass soon cleared the malaise and I started to feel good.
Way back in January, I had done the exact same route under a full moon and now I was experiencing it all over again in the daylight.
It was all too familiar yet worlds apart.
We made great time into the Gamkaskloof getting to the lunch stop in 6 hours.
What a boost though when on one of the large hills into the valley, a bakkie pulled up next to us and out popped the legend and race winner, Tim James and his family. Michelle served us milo while Tim gave us encouragement. How awesome that they chased us into Die Hel to cheer us on. Thanks guys!
We reached the Ladder at 2.30 and proceeded to portage straight up the side of the mountain with bikes on backs. Got to be seen to be believed.
All the time I was using my Janaury experience to anticipate what was to come.
We made it off the jeep tracks to the main road by 5.30 and promptly sat down to eat properly before the final 50k to Rouxpos.
So here we are, fed, showered and in bed.
The hospitality of Gerhard and Ronel is as great as 6 months ago. But it's been great to be back on familiar territory and to be able to plan a little for the day to come.
Next, a double stage to Montagu via Anysberg Nature Rerserve (and also the next cell signal).
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