Monday, 31 August 2020. Last night our friends at Compendium Insurance Brokers shared some gifts with the Phat team – Compendium riding gear! A perfect fit, as they were selected as our Sponsors of the Day. It was cold and raining, 5 – 6 degrees in the morning which dropped to 3 degrees later in the day. As it started snowing at Mount Park Guest Farm we had a tough decision to make. Will we ride? We had a great sleep and the guys were ready to rumble, but weather was extremely unpredictable.
[A tip for newbie MTB enthusiast… pack wet shoes with newspaper and put them by the fire. Works miracles.]
We were looking forward to riding in the snow as neither Gerhard nor I had done that before. We were a bit anxious as well, for the same reason. Warm clothing was a particularly important addition to our riding gear today.
As we became more and more grateful for creature comforts like warm water and warm beds, we reminded ourselves that the hardships we are going through on route, is nothing compared to what other people are going through. This personifies the reason for The Phat GM Rides initiative.
10KM’s into day 2, the mist cleared just enough for us to see the snow-capped mountains. Majestic! We made a quick Terbodore coffee stop at Nzinga and enjoyed a game of soccer with a group of the rural kids. A highlight of our day. Their joy and enthusiasm is contagious.
About 28km’s from Himeville in the Southern Drakensberg, between nothing and nowhere, we found Ntokozo’s Store which is also home to Benky Rides. Here, the knock-on effect of Covid-19 on tourism is tangible and can be seen affecting even the deepest of rural areas. Lost work, no money to send home, uncertain futures. Shop owner, Zamale, only had a few Cokes to serve, but was so willing to find fuel and drive to the nearest town to buy us some cold beers.
After a long day and one great downhill, we reached our destination after 5 hours 35min in the saddle and conquering a 1245m climb over 57.4km.
Tired and cold we were happy to be welcomed by Frank and Marge Dunford at Dunford’s Lofts self-catering units, offering warm showers, a drink, a braai and warm beds for the night. Best thing ever!
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR SPONSORS, ACCOMMODATION SPONSORS, AND FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL DONATION MADE.
Wish you were here!