Tuesday, June 24, 2008

19 June 2008 - Masakala to Malekalone

First of all apologies for net sending posts through earlier. We didn't always have access to electricity or cell coverage at the stopovers, and on the 2nd last light my box was dropped with Aileen's laptop, which stopped functioning.

This was our 'rest day' with only 60km to travel. We started off at sunrise and headed out across the very we sodden lands. There is a large wetland to cross and you need to keep high to avoid it. I was in front of the batch that morning and noticed that the ground was getting soggy, but I continued never the less. They rest of the group could see it was getting too wet and turned around, but I was sure I could get through. Eventually the water got too deep to ride so I started walking getting deeper and deeper, throwing my bike to flatten the reeds so I could walk on them. When the water reached my groin, I had to turn around ant retrace my steps, this was a hard decision as the road was less than 50m away. On the long slog out of the swamp I heard someone else also stuck. We then headed back loosing about an hour and went around.

We had to turn off at a small village and head towards the mountains through a floodplain. We were stopped at this village by a local who said due to the rains we couldn't get through the floodplain, so we took the long option around on the road.

Eventually ve got to Queens Mercy and stopped
at a local shop for a Coke, where the SABC TV van was waiting and took some footage. We than headed off to Mariazell Mission, a beautifull Sandstone church built over 100 years ago.

We headed off
the the fantastic accomodation at Malekalone Nature Reserve and arrived at 13:15 after only 7 1/4 hours of cycling (and swimming).

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