Rest day in Iringa
Welcome to Iringa! – the gateway to Reuha National Park, our rest day and a fond farewell to our Sectional Riders from Canada and Germany, Richard, Ruth, Donna and Trina. Yesterday we crossed over the 6000km mark which makes it official …we are over halfway (in distance) to Cape Town. Today was the last of the dirt roads until Namibia (sometime in April/May) and while the keen mountain bikers had lumps in their throats and tears in their eyes, the guys on cyclecross bikes were saying “thank god and welcome to the asphalt.” A day of rolling hills (or “undulating ups and downs”) that started with a 27km climb up through a scenic valley and some breathtaking early morning views for all riders to enjoy and a fairly smooth road that made Thor and Wimpie happy about getting the trucks through. After lunch, the road (recently graded) made for some very quick riding broken up by a couple of coke stops and then (!) – the asphalt. As Pierre Bataini would say “the sight of asphalt is beautiful!” Tomorrow is a rest day for all – well needed after 7 continuous days of tough riding and a chance to eat yummy chips and eggs omelettes, rest, clean up, allow the body to recover, sort out gear, repair bikes, get infections sorted and sleep. (sounds all too familiar but really most of the riders will spend time in the internet cafes). Today also marks the end of the Snows of Kilimanjaro section which has been won by Adrie and Eva and although we didn’t really get to see the “Snow on Kilimanjaro” this will be a section most riders won’t forget.