Sting in the tail!
Today we started straight into the Postal Route from the Tankwa side. A challenging route especially for big bikes, it has everything on offer – thick sand, steep rocky climbs, loose rocks, river crossings and magnificent vistas.
The pace and intensity of Quest takes its toll on both Competitors and Support Crew. The static day on day 7 is both a tradition and a very much needed break in the relentless pace of the competition and the space to take a deep breath before the final push.
We needed to join up the Richtersveld that we’d just come from, with Tankwa Karoo and Cederberg. Between these two areas was nearly 450km of all manner of gravel roads; from the wide smooth fast “magic carpets”, to the small shale badly maintained corrugation invested jeep tracks.
The Richtersveld’s finest tracks and roads are now behind us, the best of the iconic Bushmanland, Tankwa Karoo and Cederberge lie ahead. Despite these adventuring delights, the days are starting to take their toll; there are some very tired bodies here in Kamieskroon tonight.
Much had been made of the day in the briefing; as opposed to yesterday where sand was the main dish and rocks the snacks, today it was very much rocks and climbs and more rocks and climbs with just a sprinkling of deep sand river beds for a little added variety.
The contest was designed with a day of settling in and finding their feet so to speak. But, today the easy bits were over and they were to be thrown straight into arguably the toughest day of the competition. It is the 136km of incredibly beautiful but seriously testing Namaqua Eco Trail.
The previous evening had served up much food for thought; The competitors now knew who their team mate was, for better or for worse. Then to add to the tension, the evening was unseasonably cold for camping out under the stars. Not many could boast a fitful night’s sleep.