The pace and intensity of Quest takes its toll on both Competitors and Support Crew. The Rest Day is both a tradition and a very much needed break in the relentless pace of the competition.
“Rest Day” is a little misleading as there are still chores to be done; most importantly, as all the bikes were brand new at the start, the critical 1000km service has to be performed. All the contestants, whilst on Bootcamp, were given training by a Honda master mechanic to complete the task.
Besides the servicing and washing, an afternoon ride was planned for a very technical climb to the top of a local lookout point was abandoned due to the extreme heat – in the high 40’s! Even catching a late afternoon snooze instead was a tough ask – there wasn’t much escaping the oppressive heat.
Later, the contestants were asked to present their nominations for a worthy Humanitarian Project. The money they pledged was matched tenfold by Hardy de Kock from Specialised Adventures.
Mojaki Rammoneng from Team 2 was the deserved winner for a worthy project that provides Sanitary Pads for school girls who don’t have access to them. The problem forces many girls to miss school over an embarrassment.
Day 8 was sold as a quick paced liaison to the Cederberg via the Tankwa. The reality was far more fun and spectacular. From the guest farm, a quick technical trail saw some having to pick their bikes up from a quick tumble.
From there, the back roads to Merweville and onto Rammelkop pass to Sutherland kept us busy.
We had been experiencing quite a few punctures through no fault of our own – the tubes clearly had a small defect. The net result was a competition between the instructors and competitors where whomever had the most punctures by the end of the trip would be buying the beer. It wasn’t looking good for the instructors; 5 of the first 6 belonged to them.
Once off the mountains behind Sutherland and onto the Tankwa Karoo proper, it was a quick enjoyable ride to the Tankwa Patstal, an Iconic little stop with a great history that is very welcoming of Adventure Riders. (Their ginger beer is highly recommended!)
Riding into the setting sun, we at last entered the Oasis called Die Mond. A quiet, picturesque small spring fed lake that our tired and dirty bodies were immediately dumped into. It was a proper Quest day that delivered far more than expected.
It was mostly an early evening for all as the next day was to be the sting in the tail!