I might have the intro to Days of our lives wrong, but I am in Alldays and I have a terrible sense of humour…
I am staying on a farm about 12km before Alldays called ‘Maak ‘n Plan’ – and it is exactly what get’s done here. If something is wrong, or needs doing – a plan is made and it is done. I like it, it is a no-nonsense approach to everyday life about not fretting about what is wrong, just focusing on getting things done. I had a great stay, and met great people. I must say, my impression of Limpopo is changing, I have had so many people stop and chat to me, or wave as I go by. One great thing is that I always knock on friendly doors. Every time I stop to ask for a place to camp for the night, I am met by great people. The province of Giants has redeemed itself.
Giants are common place here in the Northern parts of SA, I have driven past so many. They are becoming smaller and I do not see as many, but the Baobab trees are still such a majestic sight to see. And now, just to contradict that sentence, in Swartwater, I was shown the biggest one I have ever seen. There is a tree near Mooketsi that is the World’s largest Baobab. But this is rumoured to be the biggest single stump Baobab, as the Mooketsi tree is a twin stump tree. I do not know how credible the statement is, but I still think it is massive, and beautiful.
Before I get to Swartwater, I did get stuck in Alldays seeing some sights and checking out the hotel and a few places outside of town with animals and good food. I had such a good time, I forgot about actually getting anywhere… so officially the second shortest day of the trip – I did a total of 22km for the day. The shortest day is still to come… brace yourself.
I pulled into a farm to find a place to sleep after my long day. And the house I picked was abandoned. Luckily there are people that rent a smaller house on the farm a distance away and they allowed me access to the house. What an eerie and haunting experience. I felt I was breaking an entry. I had this giant five bedroom house with two living areas and a massive kitchen and scullery to myself. Ample cupboards and three bathrooms. Work room and laundry room included. There is also a carport at the back and… Sorry I worked in real estate for a while, old habits die hard.
Back to reality, I walked around the house and inspected all the rooms to find a place to crash for the night. I decided to be brave and close all the doors and leave the hallway lights on, and sleep in one of the lounges – the only room that did not have windows facing directly outside. I could see every door from here and had direct access to the back door. You know, not because the house made funny noises at night, or because of shadow monsters dancing on the walls. Not even because of the scary animal sounds coming from either outside or my imagination… I just like to know I can get outside in a hurry in case I need some fresh air.
On the way to Swartwater. This is the loneliest road I have ever travelled. At one stage I went two hours without another human sighting. If a zombie apocalypse happened here, I would hate to be a zombie – any zombie around here would probably starve to death… unless they found a crazy person on a bicycle…
Upon arriving – I did 116km today to make up for yesterday – I stumbled on the biggest dog I have ever had the pleasure of being terrified of. I generally approach any house or farm with caution and make a fair amount of noise to attract the attention of any potential dogs roaming around. So after an acceptable time of noise making and scanning, I approach the door to knock…
I parked the bike against a wall about ten meters from the door and walked up to knock on the door. Suddenly this giant Mastiff comes storming at the door – which is only a flimsy glass door. The door is bulging out of its frame as this heavy-weight, slobber-covered, flesh-eating hulk is fighting and growling to get at me. I applied the little math I can remember from high school to calculate mass, distance and speed to plot my escape. Do I try save my bike or just run for my life? Luckily the owner comes out and manages to barely control the dog to keep it inside.
I get told I can stay over for the night and he opens the door for me to come in… I mean seriously this dog just tried to eat me. But it turns out he is just a puppy and REALLY wanted to play with me. The rest of the evening we were best of pals. He loves to slobber people and sit on laps.
I woke up to my new friend lying waiting for me to open my eyes and play.
Next stop Lephalale. 130km away and mostly a chilled drive, I stopped at a co-op for some snacks and met some locals. Super nice people. At the Tom Burke crossing I pulled into a little rest stop for a cup of coffee, were I was invited for lunch and handed a bag of drywors and met some more amazing people. I wish I could have stayed for lunch, but I had to get back on the road. The remainder of the road went by quickly, and before I knew it I was ten kays outside of Lephalale.
I pulled up to a farm house and was invited in to spend the night, I also just realised that I do not have any clean clothes left. I have to start carrying a bio-hazard sign for days like this. I do not want to infect people with the smells of six days worth of cycling clothes all shoved into a bag… It gets rough.
And now, the moment we have all been waiting for… Can I please get a drum roll and someone release those white doves. It is time!
THE SHORTEST DAY OF THE TRIP!!!
I did 10km. I went from the farm to Lephalale and got picked up to spend the weekend at friends. I would do a victory lap to celebrate my shortest day record, but it would make my shortest day, well, longer…
Lephalale was awesome, I had a great guide for the few days I spent here. I ate the biggest sandwich I have ever seen. (It was bigger than the one in Hendrina) I got the bike serviced and had to replace my chain. I got to do laundry and get cleaned up and ready for the last few days heading back to Pretoria as I bring the first leg of my trip to an end.
With giant sandwiches, great friends and me finally winning at a round of Yahtzee, I can definitely say Lephalale has been a highlight of my trip. I never win at Yahtzee. One of the evenings we ate pap and ‘plankie steak’ which is fillet steak grilled and then cut into strips. On the table is an variety of spices and sauces to dip the steak in, and you eat the pap by hand. Rolling it into balls and dunking it into the spice and sauce. It is messy, but so much fun. You get to play with your food and get food up to your elbows. Best of all, no one is allowed to shout at you for making a mess. Ha
As a foot note to ponder…