The End of the Tour

This is the final blog! Thank you for following me!!!

Stage 72: Felix Unite to Springbok, 135 km, 1607 hm

Today we are crossing the final border (Namibia -> South Africa). After 12 km, we reach the border where the controls are very straightforward, nothing compared to the border crossings further north in Central Africa. The journey is also very uneventful, with very good roads, but constant ups and downs.

My cough is still pretty bad. In Springbok, I can get another room, mainly not to disturb the others too much. It's more like a tent with solid walls and a mattress :-), but more comfortable than my yoga mat.

Stage 73: Springbok to Garies, 117 km, 1282 hm

Today's tour was beautiful, lots of ups and downs again, but very scenic. The day ends in Garies, a small town with quite a few guesthouses. The campground no longer exists, and TDA has organized rooms for us in the guesthouses.

I'm staying at Sophia's Guesthouse, the amenities are amazing (!!!), but it will be good for my cold. Our bikes will be stored in the church, where we'll also have dinner and breakfast the next morning.

Stage 74: Garies to Strandfontein, 160 km, 1603 hm

Today we have another mixed surface tour: Tarmac, gravel, tarmac!!! I changed my tires in Felix Unite hoping to get through with the narrower ones.

The gravel roads were terrible, and then the small store where we wanted to get some drinks was closed... May 1st is a holiday!

About 30 km before the camp, my front derailleur gives up, meaning I can't shift onto the big chainring anymore. Now I really have to say: thank goodness we had a strong headwind, otherwise I would have pedaled myself to death.

The camp is superbly located, right on the beach, beautiful! Unfortunately, Kenny and Jason, our bike mechanics, can't do anything; my Di2 shifting is gone. Quickly, we convert an old bike for me, which I'll be riding for the next few days.

Stage 75: Strandfontein to Dwarskerbos, 145 km, 747 hm

On today's route, there are two gravel sections that are terrible to ride on. Plus, I'm riding the worst bike I've ridden in decades.

Eventually, the gears fail here too, and I can only continue cycling in about 3 gears. I have to manually move the chain to the big or small chainring as needed.

I'm pretty much the last one before the sweep (also an interesting experience!), and I strike up a conversation with Lorna, who is part of our organization team and is riding as sweep (sweeper bike!). She sees my issues and offers me her bike for tomorrow, I'm relieved!

Stage 76: Dwarskerbos to Yzerfontein, 113 km, 697 hm

On Lorna's mountain bike, I'm definitely faster than yesterday, and I'm incredibly happy to have a functioning gear system. Today's tour takes us through the West Coast National Park, a superbly beautiful route!

Plus, we pass by a very nice café, always a welcome break. Yzerfontein is again located by the beach, and I'm looking forward to the last night in my tent.

Stage 77: Yzerfontein to Cape Town, 88 km, 310 hm

The last night doesn't end as beautifully as I had imagined. It starts raining at 4:30 a.m. Unfortunately, my African tent isn't designed for rain. Although I hurry to pack everything up as quickly as possible, my things still get quite wet :-(

Fortunately, it's the last night in the tent! The good news is: I can ride with Lorna's bike again today. Today's tour follows the N7 for about 70 km, a heavily traveled road that leads directly to Cape Town. It's Saturday, so the traffic isn't as heavy, and there's a wide shoulder.

We all meet about 15 km before Cape Town on the beach, grab a bite to eat, and ride into the city in three groups. Outside the hotel, we're greeted by many people. It's incredible, we've made it, we've arrived!!!

I'm one of the eight cyclists who rode the entire distance. Luckily, I never had to ride in the vehicle due to health or technical issues. I was really fortunate!!!

I'll stay in Cape Town for another 2 days, packing up the bike, giving away many things, including my African tent :-)

Together with a few fellow cyclists, I ride to the Cape of Good Hope for a day, then it's back.

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