I woke up at 7:10 AM and took a quick shower. Breakfast was served at 8 AM in the main room of our guesthouse and consisted of a buffet style breakfast with fruit, bread, yogurt, granola, muffins and hot food (such as scrambled eggs, french toast, and bacon) available from the kitchen if you just request it (at no additional charge). Then we conducted a quick packing job before attaching the trailer to our van and hitting the road.
We drove for about two hours to the east. The scenery along the way was beautiful, but I was tired and I have to admit that I fell asleep for a little bit while listening to music in the backseat of the van. We stopped for gas at one point and I bought two ice creams. Then we drove a bit further before arriving at Honeywood Lodges – a remote property featuring a number of small rustic guesthouses scattered across the property.
I shared a small house with Michi. The house had three small bedrooms, a kitchen, two bathrooms and a living room area. Steve and Kim shared the small house next to us and the rest of the group was placed in a much larger, more modern building on the other side of the property.
Michi did not seem too happy with where he had been placed. I think he wanted to be in the nicer guesthouse with everyone else, but I was perfectly happy with where I was. The place was kind of run down, but it had a nice rustic appeal to it. If it weren’t for the fact that there was no Internet and that the water coming out of the pipes (in the sinks, toilets and showers) was dark, dark brown (the color of Coca-Cola), the place would have been really quite nice.
30 minutes after arriving at Honeywood we met at the main house for subway-style sandwiches, salad, humus, sausages, and orange juice (none of which was very good). The owners of the property appeared dirty and unkempt – not the kind of high-class people we had been around for the past several days.
After lunch we jumped in the van and were driven a short distance up the road to a small park area where we unloaded the bikes and then took off on our long bike ride for the day.
Harry and Kirsten took off in front of the rest of us and we did not see them again until the end of the ride.
The rest of us cycled along the edge of a gradual mountainside, passing through rocky and sandy beach-style landscapes. The ride had a number of short, small climbs, but nothing like we experienced on the first couple days of the tour (which I was happy about). At several points along the way we crossed through shallow streams and had to walk our bikes over a few obstacles.
At the end of the trail we were met by Kim and the waiting van. We now had a choice. We could get back in the van and be driven back to the guesthouse where we were staying, or we could stay on our bikes and cycle through the rain some 20+ kilometers back to Honeywood Lodges.
Erwin and Sandra got in the van and rode back to Honeywood in the car, while the rest of us rode our bicycles along the main dirt road back to the guesthouse property. It was raining the entire time and when I arrived back at our small house I was dripping, wet, freezing cold and covered in dirt (especially on my back and butt).
I didn’t care about the dirty brown water coming out of the pipes at this point. I was grateful just to be able to take a shower and have warm water. The shower felt great! I then washed all my dirty, wet clothes in the sink and hung them up to dry before preparing myself for dinner.
Dinner was served in the main house by the husband and wife hosts and their kitchen staff of two. The couple had a lovely old kitchen filled with bizarre and beautiful rustic utensils, tools and appliances… but the place was dirty and a little bit frightening. I didn’t eat much that night (partially because there was little on offer for vegetarians life myself… and partially because the cleanliness of the entire place had me too afraid to eat), so I went to bed hungry, but slept well and woke up the next day prepared for several more hours of mountain biking goodness!