Thinking about this it struck me that a second night here would hardly be an imposition and would take the pressure off finding a room for he night as well as allow me to ride without the baggage. A deal was done and and I was off within minutes without panniers.
Todays' route, devised over breakfast, is to head back to Ceres, through the Gydo pass and on to the Cederburg wilderness area. What was not clear from the map is that the tar seal would run out a good distance into the first part of the trip. Assuming this was some form of road works I carried on into the Middelburg Pass. This has never been sealed and is quite scary in parts. Tony would have been very pleased there was no luggage on the bike because of the vibration of the very poor road service. I know I was pleased not to have it.
The scenery is however well worth the pain, huge mountains, vast open plains, huge citrus plantations, and hardly a soul in the place. The first town, Citrusdal, takes over 3 hours to get to and is hardly worth it. Again it's full of almost exclusively black people wandering about the main street (actually there appears to be only one street). I can only assume that Friday night and Saturday morning are shopping times?
A cafe is hard to find but there is one, not particularly prepossessing but I needed to sit down in the shade, I was hot and tired and in need of a break. It was just as well as it took another 30km of bone rattling dirt road to get out of the wilderness area, the people who named it knew what they were doing.
Finally escaping on to the N7 main road I briefly contemplated heading out to the coast but the heat and dust made reason prevail. I've seen quite a few Charlie and Ewen, Long Way Down types and frankly mile after mile of dirt is not on my list. It's just no fun after the first hour or two. A decent shower, meal and bed at the end of the day are pretty attractive too.
Afternoon tea at Porterville and so back to Tulbagh. Somewhat tired and sticky. I have gne out and bought a paper and a pencil sharpner (I've lost my ear plug holder and this was the best I could come up with, Tulbagh is pretty small.
All the people in the street last night and this morning have disappeared except for a drunk or two. Odd