Its morning and time to get out of dodge. We have been riding the bikes really hard since De Aar and the bikes really need a good service before we go. I realize that my back tyre will not last much longer so I decide to put a new tyre and while at it, a new tube. We enjoy our coffee, finish up with the bikes, pack up tent and ready to roll on and I have a flat wheel. The wheel I have just put a new Tyre and Tube. So unpack the tools and check the tube, I had pinched the tube. Can’t believe that I could do something like that. Fix the puncture, pump it to check and it goes down again. Check again, find another hole, and another, fix them and check again. Yes you guessed it, it went down again. Finally Tony has had enough, its 11am and we have been packing since 7am. We cannot find this last mysterious hole. This huge figure, that we met last night comes up to us and it turns out he is a friendly chap after all. He brings us a bucket of water and we find this elusive hole. Nice meeting you Arthur and Elaine, good luck with 2019 and we hope things work out for the two of you.
Time to hit the road and we are aiming for Williston 150 km away, another place I haven’t heard of but we are in the incredible Namaqualand now, somewhere I have always wanted to explore. We have been experiencing some strong head winds and it is making riding a little tough. Now we start approaching a fairly mountainous area and this wind is becoming a challenge. It is a hot and dry wind and the temperature is hovering around 40 Degrees Celsius. One of the things I have wanted to do since entering the Karoo is to swim in a resovoir. It just seems like an innocent, mischievous thing to do, but the main aim is to cool down. We have been doing really well and we are making good time. I come across this little pond that looks like the perfect place for this swim I was so looking forward to. It looks like an oasis, perfect in every respect. Tony however is not so convinced. Its about 500 meters from the road and we would have to leave our bikes, jump the fence and Tony is right, its just too far. So off we go again and Tony suddenly starts to swerve all over the road. Again my initial thought was what is this lunatic doing? What happened next was just insane. The bike snaps in three places on the frame. Fortunately Tony managed to control things to a point and he never went down with the bike. At this point I was not sure how we would get out of this one and things did not look good. While carrying the bike out of the road, I just told Tony to waive down the first vehicle, we desperately needed help. We were hardly out the road and a pickup was approaching very quickly and we managed to waive him down. It was a local farmer from the area and he offered to give us a lift to Williston 50 km away. I however felt that I needed to ride and said that I would meet him in Williston. It is Saturday the 29th of December in the Karoo. To find a welder on a Saturday was very unlikely. We were facing only getting away on Wednesday 2nd December if we were lucky and if this bike could even be put together again. Many things were going through my mind at this point, including the possibility of riding to Cape Town on my own. This is not what I wanted but it seemed like a distinct possibility. I still had 50km to go and I had to focus and think of options to get Tony to Cape Town on a bike. I was thinking that we could surely buy another bicycle and build him another bike to finish what we had started. Things were about to become even more challenging. The westerly wind really started to blow hard and straight into my face. The downhill felt like a massive climb and the uphills seemed like they would never end. I was stopping every 3 to 4 km just to catch my breath, have a drink of water and give the engine a little rest. I started to run out of water and was starting to question my decision to ride these 50 km to Williston. Just as I was nearing Williston, I got a call from Tony, he informed me that he had got some supplies and was on his way to Corrie’s farm, the gentleman that had given him a lift to town. This meant I had another 22 Km away. As I arrived in Williston I found beer and I drank a few before setting off again. I made Corrie’s farm as the sun was going down. I could not believe what I saw when I arrived, Tony’s bike was in one piece again. Tony showed what it means to be focused and determined to finish what you start. The was no way that this was going to stop him.
Tony has taught me so much on this trip and my respect went to another level here. I asked him later on if he had at any stage, with everything he had gone through, did he ever consider giving up or think he would not make it to Cape Town. His reply was instant and firm that it never even crossed his mind that he would give up. He was almost surprised at my question. At this point I realized that I realized that nothing was going to stop this man from conquering our quest to become the first to ride from Joburg to Cape Town on motorized bicycles. Tony, you inspired me to another level at this point and to all those kids out there fighting for their lives, never give up fighting. Tony continued to weld until 9pm that night until Corrie invited us for dinner. We were in for quite a treat that we really needed at this point. Karoo lamb, Wagyu beef, venison pie, potato salad and other good food. What a treat, thanks Corrie, you are another example of one of great people here that make South Africa great and makes me proud to be South African. Corrie is a 4th generation farmer and one of the premier stud farmers in South Africa.