Got up at 7:15 and went and had breakfeast bacon and eggs the usual plus a bowl of cereal with orange juice. Had taken all my panniers etc off the bike ready to ride the Sani Pass with as little weight as possible so went back to the room kitted up and hit the road at 8:30. Rode to the border check point and got my passport stamped. The guys at the border office told me the Pass was closed, i asked them can I give it a go and they just said you might be able to get up there on the bike. I said im going there and back if im not back here in a few hours you know im stuck.
The views are amazing, the road pretty crap actually, the drop offs arent to bad at the beginning but you go from 1500 metres to 3000 metres in a few k's so its pretty steep but nothing serios till you near the top. Unfortunatly I couldnt get to the top my Gps was showing 2734 metres so just over 150 metres from reaching the summit and Lesotho. It was just some of the last steep section iced over I had no chance of doing, I got to one of the hairpins at the steep section and it was just deep ice. I did really well not to drop it but struggled for traction so I realised I wasnt going anywhere further. Got off and the bike was basically standing there by itself stuck in the ice.
Now the trick was to turn the bike around and it wasn't going to be easy. The back wheel was bogged down nearly to the rear sprocket in ice so I could just get off the bike and it stayed upright so that made things a little easier, ok now how the hell am I going to do this i thought. Well I just grabbed the bash plate frame and dragged it around, sweet done all without dropping the thing. Not easy dragging a 200 kilo bike around in the ice im sure ill pay for that tomorrow with my back. Got it heading back downhill and jumped back on and away I went not an easy task that but it worked out ok.
Got back down the border post everyone was there asking how did I go all the 4x4 guys were there asking about the grader that was heading up and if he had started on the top section. When I past him he was sitting on the side of the road getting stuck into his lunch still a long way from the top, I dont hold much hope he'll have it done anytime soon. Stopped off a bit further back down to take some pics, more 4x4's stopped to ask how it is Io guess they could see I had attempted it as my bike was covered in mud. Eventually arrived back at the lodge and dropped my jacket off as it was warming up and off I headed to the Atm in Underberg to get some money out of the bank.
Ok its a 40 zone up the road here but not anywhere in South Africa have seen anyone taking any notice of the road rules, ok some sort of notice but not much. So here I am overtaking 3 cars and a truck in a 40 zone flying off down the highway at 130 odd k's an hour and yep you guessed it coppers flying up behind me sirens blaring..
He ask me for my license and ID, oh sorry I got none its back at the lodge, im just going to the Atm in Underberg. He says you know that was a 40 zone and no overtaking area, no mate I didnt know I just saw everyone going slow and hooked it past them. He got around to asking me why I was speeding and I just said "mate two weeks ago my wife ran off with a copper and when I heard the siren I sped up because I thought you were bringing the bitch back". He pissed himself laughing and just said next time carry your license with you, yeah ok no probs. Had a bit more of a chat he gets back in his car and off I go, still yet to meet anyone from South Africa that hasnt been anything but totally friendly.
Get back to the lodge in time to stream the second half of my favourite rugby team back in OZ playing, the Tigers were down 8-0 but from when I started listening it was all tigers pretty nuch go you good things, nice win.
Went down the road to take a few pictures of the snow covered mountains and came across two little sisters 5 and 7 selling cordial, so cute in the middle of nowhere on a dead end road. There was hardly anyone around so they were out for fun more than to make money. I stopped and talked to them for awhile, sweet kids, really love the place they live which is nice to hear, telling me all about where they walk and play, then they tell me that their father is the local police officer, no it couldnt be ahahaha
Told them I had no money but they gave me a drink anyway I said ill go grab some money and come back as I want more. They were selling the drinks for to 2 rand a about 10 cents. I gave them like 20 rand in change and then said id like another one please so they gave another and i pulled a hundred Rand note. Should of seen there little eyes light up rideforsmiles.com. its not much like 15 bucks or something but they thought all their christmas's had come at once. As I left I gave them a card and said give that to daddy when he gets home from work, I'm sure he would of thought, oh I got the bastard anyway.
Got a call from Helen and JJ this afternoon telling to be careful and if theres anything at all I need just to call them and that they are my backstop if i have any problems at all. Seriously I fell in with a great crew of people in Durban I was very fortunate to meet such nice people. Thanks for everything guys.
So in the washup had a great day rode most of the Sani Pass got let off by the cops and the Tigers team back home got up in a come from behind win you could call the day the 3 great escapes I guess with my Sani Pass adventure my run in with the copper and my team winning.
Electricity is off at the moment so when the battery dies on this thing im stuffed but atleast I got my blogging done. Tomorrow I head south again thought about staying on and doing the Sani Pass tomorrow but with the weather coming in it might only get worse not better over the next few days.
Don't know where i'll end up that will work itself out as usual.
The Sani Pass
A bit further up the road i got stuck in the ice.