So we survived the night at the Mimosa municipal camping ground. Time for a quick coffee and pack up and then to find a bicycle shop to repair Tony’s wobbly wheel, service his bike and buy some spare tyres. Finally around 1pm we hit the road towards Kroonstad roughly 100 km away. The way our trip was going with the endless breakdowns, this seemed like a long way away. I remember thinking to myself that if there was going to be a breakdown, I hope it would be me rater than Tony once again. As they say, be careful what you wish for. We were making great progress and the bikes were going really well. Then, suddenly out of nowhere my bike engine just cut. I knew it could not be petrol because we had only just filled up a few km back, this was something else. As I stopped I told Tony that I think that there is no spark. Fortunately we had spare spark plugs, put a new one in and the bike fired right up. We packed away all the tools and we were off again, or maybe not. My bike was not engaging the motor, be careful what you wish for! The driveshaft key to drive the sprocket had snapped. This was my fault for sure. Two days before leaving, I was servicing my bike and the driveshaft key fell out and I couldn’t find it. The following day I made two new ones but I never hardened the steel. Things got worse, I had lost the spare that I had made. We were 30 km from Kroonstad and in a bit of a pickle. It was 5pm and we were on the side of the road once again. For some reason, in his crazy wisdom, Tony decided to bring some fencing wire along on this trip, who takes fencing wire on a motorized bicycle tour? Anyway I asked Tony for the wire, checked the width and it was a perfect fit. In the meantime, we were sitting just outside a farmer’s gate, Hannes van der Merwe, who asked if we were ok, which at that time we thought we were. Tony being Tony however said no we are not. We might run short of fuel and if he could maybe assist with a liter or two. Hannes immediately jumped in his van and came back with some fuel for us. In the meantime Tony cut the wire to length, shaped it, and in it went, what a pleasure. So problem solved, not!!!! Working on the side of the road and in the grass, I dropped an important little bolt that holds a butterfly nut in place straight into this long grass, brilliant. Next Hannes’s father Flip van der Merwe arrives and asks us if we are ok. Well we needed help again and asked if he by any chance would have a bolt that I needed. He jumped in his van and a few moments later he was back with a box of nuts and bolts. Finally I found the correct size but it was too long. No problem for Flip van der Merwe, jumped in his van again, cut the bolt to length and was back in a flash. Problem solved and my bike up and running again.
Now we were faced with the possibility of having to ride at night on a road with almost no shoulder with high volumes of trucks and cars, not ideal at all. I decided to ask Flip if we could pitch our tents on his property and immediately his said yes. We were experiencing real kindness of a South African Nation from all walks of life.
As we were setting up our tents, a young lady approached us, it was Hannes’s wife. Inanca was so intrigued by what we were doing, she invited us for dinner at their home. After the time that Tony and I had been having on the road, we agreed that having a home cooked meal by a farmers wife was just what we needed and we accepted the invitation. Inanca had spent a few years in Italy and cooked us a lovely gnocchi chicken and tomato dish. We were in heaven. After dinner this amazing couple offered a donation to Little Fighters Cancer Trust. Flip, Hannes and Inanca van der Merwe, we will remember you for the rest of our lives, you are very special people and once again it is people like this that make our country great!!!!!! We retired to our tents and with a full belly, I slept right through until the sunrise.