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A cold morning

Stage 85 (67): Dwarskersbos to Yzerfontein

Not a great sleep - that wind off the Atlantic blew all night, and it was COLD. I think officially it was 9° when getting up, but once  out on the road, it felt closer to 0°. The first hour was grim; just wanted that sun to come up and warm us through. How fickle we humans are; only a few days ago, whining because it was too hot.

The morning uneventful - definitely better than yesterday of course (tarmac all the way) with a couple of bakeries being visited.

Mid-morning,  we’re riding through some built-up areas; coastal retirement or holiday villages and then through Saldanha Bay, terminus of the previously mentioned railway line. On one side are the port facilities for the iron ore export, and on the other is a steel plant, Saldanha Steel (which didn’t appear to be operational, actually), and which is or possibly was one of the few steel making plants which do not use blast furnaces and coke.

So there you go.

We get to the lunch break, admittedly not ravenous perhaps due to the various pies and pastries already consumed, but do our best regardless (don’t want to hurt Cryface’ feelings, after all). Yes, his name is Cryface (Zimbabwe crew member who always does the lunches).

The best part of the day was the 17 kilometres right after lunch cycling through the West Coast National Park - a dead quiet road through rolling hills. It’s the wrong time of year for the wildflowers, and I understand that birding is the principle highlight here, but the park also home to a wide collection of plant species (classified as West Coast Strandveld and Langebaan Fynbos). It was in any event a nice respite from traffic.

Then a short hop to destination for the day; Yzerfontein; appears to be another retirement or holiday-focused community on the Atlantic coast. Unlike last night, our camp is somewhat sheltered from the ocean winds, so hopefully won’t be so cold.

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