Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Masakala - time to regroup.

According to Gawie, Tim was having a nap in an outside room. Andrew was still behind us but arrived 40 minutes later. In the interim I took up position in front a a bowl of vetkoek and made an Olympian effort in tucking as many as I could into my belly. By the time I threw in the vetkoek towel I had at the very least put myself in line for podium consideration. It then occurred to me that perhaps some of the other riders might have wanted some. Oops, too late - no point crying over gobbled dough!

While sitting there feeling exhausted and vetkoek bloated it did occur to me that 38 hours into the race, in spite of my obvious sloppy physical condition due to a lack of quality training I was still in the company of the two strongest riders in the race. The irony of it made me smile for the first time that day. 

I had a shower then sat down for dinner and listened to the latest Tim vs Andrew episode. Andrew turned to Tim and asked him straight out what his plans were. I nearly choked on a chicken bone. There is no way that Tim was going to let his nearest rival into his plans. Tim was predictably vague and offered a few umm's and ahh's with the odd word which effectively said nothing. Unperturbed, Andrew announced that he would be getting up at 5 am to leave at 6 am. Tim mumbled something incoherent in reply. 

A few minutes later Andrew drifted off to bed. As soon as he closed the door behind him Tim got to business and started preparing to leave. Janine made some comment about it and Tim silenced her by putting his index finger to his lips. It was very amusing. Even if Andrew knew Tim was about to leave it would have made no difference to his plans. He planned to sleep until 5 am and that was exactly what he did. He must have known Tim was leaving as the main hut of Masakala in probably the least soundproof dwelling in the world. You couldn't pick your nose without the people in the adjoining room hearing it. Tim finished his preparations and slunk off into the night. 

This lack of sound proofing was going to be a problem for a few of the late arrivals. I had developed a bad cough and hacked all night. I heard later that the other riders weren't that amused. I have no idea who they were because I was tucked up in bed by the time they arrived and was long gone in the morning when they got up. I set my alarm for 03:30 and settled down for a cough interrupted night. 

By 4 am Janine and I were up and eating a freshly prepared breakfast while the rest of the riders were still snuggled up in bed. The hosts really do go to the ends of the world to meet the demands of riders who arrive and depart at all hours of the day and night. It's humbling. 

Wiping the crumbs from our mouths and replenishing our water bottles we walked out into a cold but windless  night. Things were looking up! 

No comments: