Bush Camp 2 Tsootsha – Bush Camp 3 Lone Tree
Team Botswana did really well, they quickly learned how to increase speed and distance. Adjustments to bikes at rider change became more routine as we figured out (mostly Jay) how the riders needed to be accommodated.
Gofaone, Bonang & Boiki started.
From the 1030 stop, Mpho and Bonang rode till lunch.
We breaked for lunch at 1230. This spot had these thorns that stuck to everything and they were really hard to get out. We had to be careful as we walked around the lunch area.
For the last leg Gofaone & Thuso rode. Police advised that it’s not safe to stay in this area as there’s been lion sightings so she suggested we stay near Lone Tree where the Botswana army operates out of. Alfie went to check this site out but found it to be too bushy and difficult to camp. We found a stop a few 100m later next to the microwave tower. This was great as it meant we had some cellphone reception.
The enclosure of the tower was interesting as it hosted a watch dog and had chickens inside.
On completion we did a metric century, our first, on this ride. This was a proud moment.
We got to camp , set up our tents, whilst Epic Enabled got our food, fire and toilet sorted out. Thuso fixed his wheel chair tyre as it was flat from the thorns. Supper was spaghetti bolognaise. The fire was great, after supper we all chilled around it till bed time.
28 May 2023
Bush camp 2-ultra stop Kang
We set off 0815, today we passed the 1000km mark. People on the route were extremely friendly and celebrated as we passed by. The highlight of the celebrations was a tractor driver, he saw our convoy from a distance, he jumped off his moving tractor and ran towards the road, waving his arms wildly in salutation. After we passed he ran back to catch his moving machine
This day was our best day on road, we completed 113km, at an average of 20km an hour.
Team Botswana are also learning very fast. The sequence is now established. Mpho, Boiki, Gofaone start in the morning, at 10am Bonang takes over, at lunch Thuso and Gafoane take over till the end
We arrived at Kang with the Police, they escorted us to the Ultra stop camp site.
Camp sites spacious , once again sandy, this makes movement around the site difficult for the differently abled. We setup camp, had a hot shower, dinner and rest for the evening.
Ultra Stop Kang – rest day
Our rest days are chill. The site did our laundry. We got some supplies from the shop at the Ultra station.
Some went with Alfie to the shops to do some shopping to restock. Because we ride all day we don’t always get to shop, hence we buy supplies for a week and restock as needed.
In the afternooon we heard that the Chief of the Kang village is coming to visit us after work, she arrived at 5pm. It was a delight to have her join us, so positively spirited. She wished us well, thanked us for blessing Botswana. Her encourage was refreshing.
30 May 2023
Ultra stop camp (Kang)- Bushcamp 3
After breaking down the camp sites, we had breakfast and headed out at 0815.
Our Team Botswana, Mpho, Boiki, Gofaone started in the morning, at 10am Bonang took over, at lunch Thuso and Gafoane completed the day.
It was a lucky day, for a little rain, we were rewarded with multiple rainbows in the last 30km. It’s was a beautiful site and a great experience
As we enter Mabutsane, the police informed the Chief that we’re going through his area, he insisted on meeting us as we passed. Chief Kadimo of Mabutsane Village came through for a meet and greet, wish us well and off we went to finish our ride.
That was our longest day, we completed 125km at a fast pace of 20km an hour.
We arrived late at camp due to the long day, however were blessed once again with a beautiful rainbow. We setup camp quickly before sunset.
The rains made everything wet so it was hard to find firewood, this made it the coldest day out in camp. We sat closely to each other to generate some body heat.
After supper we all quickly retired to our tents.
31 May Bushcamp 3- Jwaneng
As we woke up, tents were icy cold. Frost and dew covered everything. We estimated that it was about -2*C. Some of us kept our morning change of cloths in our sleeping bags or under us so it was warm to wear in the morning. Some changed inside their sleeping bags.
We started riding. Team Botswana was Mpho, Boiki & Gafoane. Mpho along the route complained about chest pain, eventually he just couldn’t take
it anymore, stopped and collapsed on the road. Jay quickly came to the rescue. She brought out the oximeter to monitor he’s oxygen levels. Levels were too low, they both jumped into the bus, only once he stabilised did she come out of the bus to continue riding. Kudus to Jay for being such an all rounder.
Whilst Jay was sorting Mpho out, a vehicle stopped across the road and the staff donated 500 puhls to Bidii Yetu. This was a very generous gesture.
We lost a lot of time during our emergency. At lunch we decided Jay and the abled bodied cyclists would eat quickly and ride, in order to cover a bit more distance. We need to be in Jwaneng by 16:00 as there was a group joining us there. Whilst the rest of the crew enjoyed their lunch Jay, Matt, Marcy & Baveesha headed out. In an hour and a bit they covered 30km. It felt good to bike at maximum speed and get a good workout. The group was reunited and peddled on … about 10km from Jwaneng we noticed the cyclists in blue & yellow heading in the opposite direction. This was the Jwaneng Cycling Club. They were about 20 cyclists. What a great feeling to see fellow cyclists that are here to support us, our hearts were full. A few km in there was another group that waited on the left side of the Road. Here one of the guys on the wheel chair jumped onto the handcycle to cycle 5km to the Jwaneng Mine accomodation.
We were hosted by the mine, dinner, breakfast & an overnight stay were all sorted by the mine. Thanks a mil to the Jwaneng Mine for kindness.
This was a great break away from the camping. The hot showers and bed were most welcome.
1 June 2021
Jwaneng Mine -Wena camp
We had a lovely dinner and breakfast sponsored By Jwaneng Mine
Eddie the last member of Team Botswana joined us that morning.
Riders advised that Kang is where they do their hill training, we met these hills 20km from Kang. Botswana has been extremely flat throughout.
As we rode we were stopped by a lady who greeted us and gave us a donation. She heard about us passing through Botswana.
At lunch we met Fenli, the first female paracyclist, she started riding 5km outside of Kanye.
2 cyclists, Thapelo Maboane and Dimpho Lovy , who heard about our adventure from Kanye also left work early and met us 20km outside of Kanye to escort us in.
As we entered Kanye we were met by the District Council chair, Hon Mpho Dithole & Assistant District Commission
Mrs Amantle Mosweu. They greeted the entire team and wished us well and sent us on our way with the Kanye Police. This helped as Kanye was extremely busy.
As we passed through the town, on a downhill, we heard a loud bang, it was Fenli’s front tyre. She could not continue any longer as fixing it in the middle of town was not going to be possible. We got her into the vehicle, and headed to our destination. We got to Wena camp at 1645 after 92km.
The camp Site had a lovely fire pit, we sat and chilled there for most of the evening
Mahikeng Rest Day
Dawn brought lots of bird song. Cookes Lake resort provided breakfast and then we focused on laundry and catching up. Epic Enabled, on rest days, cleans out the vehicles and gets shopping done for the next few days. At 4 we went for a game drive in the nearby reserve. We saw Zebra, buffalo , springbok, wildebeest , ostrich, Impala, warthogs, and kudu plus a beautiful sunset.
Cooke’s Lake Mahikeng to Lichtenburg
Since our day was short 69-70km., we started the day a little later.
Roads were quiet as it was Sunday so we road peacefully from Mahikeng to Lichtenburg. Pace was easy and the route overall flat.
We observed how the countries were so different.
SA is much busier and lots of industrial agriculture (corn, sorghum and sunflowers)
Botswana was very rural, lots of cows and donkeys and a few small villages along the way.
Namibia was very quiet. The roadsides were fenced through out.
Lichtenburg was quiet with little pockets of small parties throughout the town and residential area made perfect sense as it was Sunday.
Litchenburg to Ventersdorp
We left the pretty guesthouse on the lake around 0830. The morning was very windy and cold, the team pushed through with great determination. We stopped for lunch at 12:30. We had 40km left after lunch. The route was rolling hills Marcy , Matt and Baveesha took turns to pole/push Olaf. About 5km from the finish, as Marcy grabbed onto the orange pole, it snapped and she crashed on the ground. She took a few seconds to gather herself and assess the damage and decided she was fine – just a few scrapes and torn pants tore in the process. She did however, los her bike into the van for the last few kilometers. Bike was fine too. Now we need to rethink the pole material in Johannesburg.
Ventersdorp to Potschefstroom
It was a late start as our distance was only 40 km. after the accident yesterday, we didn’t push Olaf much. He did all the hills on he’s own. Roads have been good with some traffic. As we entered Potchefstroom Town we passed a Spur sign which read Alberque Spur. This was a cool moment as Olaf is from Alberquerque. We stopped at Romans for a pizza Lunch. completed 40km. Tomorrow we will drive into Joberg as the roads are too busy to cycle safely. For the next 3 days we stay in Joburg. These are our rest & media days.