Friday, 13 July 2012

Day 6 - the mud wrestling continues

Day got off to an interesting start. After arriving at 01:35am we got to bed at about 2:30am. I asked Trevor what time he was setting his alarm for and he replied that he wasn't setting it and was sure the other guys (who arrived at a civilised time some 7 hours or more before us) would wake us up when they came into the house for breakfast. I set my alarm for 05:00, left the door wide open and fell asleep instantly. What seemed like seconds later I was rudely awakened by my alarm. First thing I noticed was that the door was closed. A kind consideration by the other guys who tiptoed passed our room. I got up and joined them for a hearty breakfast. Trevor in the mean time was still flashing out zzzzzzz's.
As we were leaving the table the farmers wife asked where Trevor was. She was alarmed at my indifference. Trevor is a big boy and if he has a bad plan he can live with the consequences. He was woken and ran around in a mild panic with the farmers wife doing everything she could to get him ready. All rather amusing.
I went back to the verandah and started putting on the grubby wet clothes I had abandoned there a few hours earlier. When trying to put my shoes on they just wouldn't fit! I ended up digging out about half a cups worth of mud from the toe end of each shoe. All the walking the day before had trashed my shoes. The sole plate had separated from the rest of the shoe allowing mud to squeeze passed. That explained the sore and bruised toe nails!
Also noticed my right shin was badly inflamed and the left calf muscle and Achilles tendon were tender. The mud wrestling from the day before had taken its toll.
We set off right into a rainstorm. Before long we were sopping wet and the fun barometer was sinking fast. We arrived at Kranskop at lunch time and called it quits for the day. 2 days of mud and rain had drained us. We had only managed a half stage for the second time in 3 days and the weather outlook for the following day looked just as bleak.
The short day gave us time to attend to our bikes and get our gear washed and dried. My bike had come out of the mud ordeal in good shape. The same could not be said of the others. Lots of worn out brake pads, faulty shifting derailleurs and at least one bike with a worn out bottom bracket.
Martin arrived a few hours after sunset followed an hour later by Alex. We had been caught by the race leaders a lot earlier than planned. They arrived wet and grubby after riding through the same conditions as us but you wouldn't have guessed that from their mental state. Both very professional, polite and efficient. We went to bed a little apprehensive about facing another day of appalling conditions.

No comments: