NO COKE

Day 110, stage 84, 139km

Start, Sesriem, Camp

Finish, Caltex Camp, Betta

Today was the first day of another 5 consecutive off road days. Riding 139km off road takes as much energy or mare as riding 200km on road. It was hot. The roads were miserable. By km 50 I had run out of fluids. My energy levels and power dropped off a cliff. This was the first day on Tour where I actually felt that I might not make – not a question of not enough time, a question of not enough gas in the tank. At about km 55 I came across Thiys who had stopped at the side of the road. He had some water and very kindly gave me about 300ml. This was very generous and kept me going. I had slowed right down. I don’t think I was traveling at more than 12kmh. the lunch stop was not until km 74. Could I make it? And then at km 68 one of our vehicles passed and it had water. I quickly drank a litre and a half and filled my bottles. This made it possible to make it to lunch. But it had taken me almost 5 hours to do the 74km. I was beat up. And I was not the only one. Sandi S had run out of water at 40km. she reached lunch and then had no more gas left and got in the truck. John Faulkner ran out of water and became dehydrated. Volker passed out when he reached the truck and was put on a drip. It was brutal. The roads were bad, it was hot and the dry dessert wind sucked every ounce of fluid out of you.

At lunch I drank and I drank. I had 2 ORS sachets. I ate as much as I could. I began to revive. I set out after lunch with Alex B. and we kept each other going. We were promised a coke stop at about 96km. When we got there, there was a hand scrawled note on the signboard saying “NO COKE!”. NO! All we could do was keep pedaling. At about 112km we saw a sing to a Lodge about a ½ km off the road. We decided to cycle in. It appeared closed and empty but we saw some movement and made ourselves known. Before long we had cold cokes on ice cubes in Crystal glasses served by a little old lady with a parrot on her shoulder (I am not kidding and no this was not a mirage). None of the other riders took the chance to check the place out. So when we got to camp – in the yard behind the Caltex filling station in Betta – we were a little fresher than some of the others. But it had been a totally knackering day.

One response to “NO COKE

  1. Ouch!
    O/K maybe coke stops are more important than apple pie

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