After a really good nights rest, a fabulous braai and ice cold beers, many provided by our neighbours that came to chat to us about our tour and bikes we got a fairly early start and we were off to Philippolis. We were finally entering the Karoo, this is what we have been excited about since the beginning if this tour. We were challenged by Craig that if we reached Philippolis today, he would donate another R500.00 to Little Fighter’s Cancer Trust. This gave us the extra motivation we needed to push on. Unfortunately we were once again forced to hit the dirt roads once more, we had no choice. It was going to be 150 km of really tough riding and the bikes were going to take a beating once more.
About 20 km into the ride I got a puncture. We took this opportunity to enjoy breakfast an ice cold beer, the temperature was already soaring into the 30’s. After this we headed for our first town, Edenburg. Another one of those really strange establishments that when you get there, you are thrown back 40 years. The community however are so friendly and once again we needed help. I hit a piece of road at a reasonable speed that was so corrugated that my bike went bouncing all over the place. I carry the spare 5l fuel on my front rack and that went flying. The container full of fuel bounced off the dirt and puctured it. All our spare fuel gone.Fortunately when we arrived in Edenburg a very friendly chap offered us a new container. So we followed him to his home and as Tony arrived his rear panniers just fell of his bike. They had torn completely and once again the dirt roads had created havoc. While we were trying to get the panniers tied on to Tony’s bike, the locals brought beers. Its like we had a sign around our necks, “PLEASE BRING BEER” Soon we were on our way again, we really wanted that R500.00 for Little Fighter’s, so Philipposis here we come. It was so amazing to see everyone online cheering and willing us on to get to Philippolis and take Craigs money. Thanks Craig we really appreciated the incentive. Next stop was Trompsburg, where the first port of call was a tavern, we needed beer and we were working hard. Once again South Africans showed us that we have an amazing country and BIG Mama was too happy to buy us some beer. Tony and I could not figure out why they called her BIG Mama.
I found the shirts we were wearing in this picture at the shop next to the tavern and we were just so proud to be South African, we had to buy them. So after a few more beers in the scorching heat, we set off for the last leg to Philippolis.
The sun was going down and we could see the church tower in Philippolis sticking out and we knew that we had done it. What a great day, what a great feeling. With all the punishment on the dirt roads, the bikes were just superb. We immediately started looking for accommodation and found the Philippolis Old Jail. Harry, the owner has turned this entire place into accommodation. We chose to sleep in the jail cells, it was my first time in jail, I promise! We had the entire place to ourselves. Tony says he heard some screaming in the middle of the night and he had to sleep with one eye open. We asked Harry where we could get some supper and he immediately got on his phone and booked us a place at Bird’s Haven. Wow what a great meal, we both had Karoo Lamb, because we were now officially in the Upper Karoo. Thanks to the owners, they were more than happy to offer us our meal on the house once Harry had told them what we were doing. Cheers guys we will definitely be back for those chops and that incredible Lemon Meringue Pie.
What an awesome night we had in Philippolis. The next morning early we decided to work on our bikes because we had been pushing them really hard since Bloemfontein and the roads were not easy. Immediately I came across a problem on my bike. I had a crack in my crank case and this is probably why I felt my bike was losing power. Tony in his crazy wisdom, once again brought something on tour which I thought at the time was completely insane, Pratley’s steel putty. Well he mixed some up for me, filled up the crack and my bike was good to go once more.
We decided to take a look around Philippolis town before heading out because it looked really historic and cool, well it is just an incredible place with so much history. I wanted to spend more time there and that was about to happen. While entering the town, Tony stopped and he was checking something around the engine, my immediate thought was , here we go again. I went over to Tony and he said his bike was making a noise again. His clutch was not right again. We removed the clutch cover and once again the clutch bearing had failed. This was very strange to me and when I checked properly, the drive shaft was a little crooked and this obviously was the cause of both failures. We needed a new engine, this one was clearly not going to get Tony to Cape Town. While we were on the side of the road, a lady driving by came to see our bikes. Jaycee, what a wonderful human being. She grew up here and was visiting her parents for the holidays and was driving around town in search of a Christmas present for her mother. It was just meant to be as an extremely exciting time lay ahead of us. Tony and I needed to sit and figure out what do we do next. Jaycee directed us to a little place down the road called the “Rooi Ooi” where we could get a good breakfast and cold beer. Its like she immediately knew who we were and what we wanted. She said we could not miss the place because there is a Rooi Ooi hanging in the tree outside, very interesting. Day 10 To be continued……………….