Quest has taken some getting used to, but from day 4 the strict regime has started to become the norm. The last 3 days have left more of a mark on some than others. Very few, if any, can still claim a clean score sheet regarding trips to Mother Earth. Fortunately, the Africa Twin is made of sterner stuff as only two hand guards are a little worse for wear.

Another terrific unseasonal storm blew into the overnight camp, just outside Springbok, leaving many with precious little sleep. This caused uneasiness for Hardy and his Specialised Adventures team as the safety of the contestants and crew has always been their primary concern.

The route started east down Spektakel Pass whilst thunder clouds and lightning threatened. Hardy had threaded together a tricky but scenic route through many private properties that the local farmers had graciously opened their gates for. Fortunately, the stormy cloudy weather was a blessing as just the week before, the recce team had experienced 45 degrees in the same stretch.

It was apparent that the contestants were well and truly bonded with their steeds as there was little trouble now to be had from tricky off-camber rock climbs or deep sand tracks.

Just past Tweerivier the group entered the little known Kheis trail. A stunning path that winds its way through the mountains between Kamieskroon and Varies. The whole route prompted one very experienced adventure riding contestant to quip once making it to the camp that night, “That’s the best day of Adventure Riding I have ever done!”

With another long satisfying day in the saddle and two evenings of sleep deprivation from stormy weather, the teams were given the night off from the planned presentations and tests.

Tomorrow marks only the midway point of the contest. There’s still a long way to go and much to see!