Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Race to Cradock - Brosterlea.

We scuttled inside the cottage at Brosterlea and my first order of business was to get the kettle on. Last year we had arrived in the middle of a thunderstorm and the power had been knocked out. It was very bleak. This time, the glare of the room light stung our eye's and it was welcome. Steam curled out the top of the bathroom door where Fjord luxuriated under the hot jets of the shower. It was an altogether different experience. The only similarity was the presence of Anthony. Last year he was snuggled up under a duvet. This time he was preparing himself for bed.

Fjord and Anthony's strategy was to get some shuteye before pressing on. Casper and I were intent on glugging, gobbling, and going. I tossed a plate of food in the microwave and reheated it for Casper who had flopped down against the wall next to the bathroom door. Tea was made and served. Casper only managed a few spoons of food before Fjord, now showered and looking fresh, polished off the balance.
Tea in hand I contemplated my food options. Breakfast Muesli got the nod even though it was only 2 or 3 am.

The room was tiny and any attempt to shift positions necessitated some clumsy choreographed movement. Fed and watered there was little incentive to hang around in the confined space. Once outside Casper became rather animated, not unlike a street performing mime artist. I had no idea what had tickled his fancy. Try imagine the scene. We were standing in near darkness, the only light from a low powered fluorescent lamp. I was busy getting my gloves and helmet on. Casper was bent over double, mouth and eyes wide open, and he was pointing, with much exaggeration, at a bicycle. Ummm... a bicycle I thought, what's so special about that. We all had one. My apparent disinterest only served to spur Casper on. His level of animation ratchet up, his already lanky arm seemed to stretch out an extra few inches and his mouth opened to the point of almost unhinging. Bulging eyes implored me to show some interest. I took a step forward and saw what had him all atwitter. Freedom Challenge race numbers include the riders name. Casper's outstretched arm, thinned to a long pointy finger (think ET without the glowing blobby thing at the end) came to rest a few inches from the name "Alex Harris". Alex, it seemed, had gone to ground. A single pedal stroke from the door of that cottage would have us the race leaders. We briefly speculated on why he would still be there. Mechanicals? Illness? Sleep monsters? We had no idea but found it amusing that we would now be out ahead of him. He told us later that he had been swamped with sleep monsters and had struggled all the way to Brosterlea. The soggy conditions resulting from the fog put paid to any thought of having a power nap. He arrived an hour ahead of us and decided that 2 hours in the sack would be the wise choice.

We didn't categorise our choice as wise or unwise. In fact, we didn't really think about it. All we knew is that we wanted to get to Romansfontein for breakfast. With that objective in mind we bid Anthony and Fjord goodnight and hopped on our bikes and pedalled off into the fog.

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