Dorp op-die-Berg to Malmesbury (123km) - South Africa

South Africa
Day 120 – May 12 – Stage 86

Woke up to a very cold morning, I decided to cycle the complete day. After all, it was going to be our second last day!

While tomorrow would be a short day (expected to be a bit of an anti-climax).  Judith cycled from the Lunch Truck, so I rode with Mike vd Berg and Philip for most of the way. When we left Camp the temperature was only 3 degrees, it was not going to be a pleasant morning jaunt, and oh how I missed the equatorial temperatures of a few months back!

The day’s route was a mixture of dirt and tar, we started with dirt and finished on tar, with us riding down three mountain passes and only up and over one (Mitchell's Pass) situated between Riebeek-kasteel and Malmesbury, from where we glimpsed our first view of Table Mountain, our ultimate goal.  Although it wasn’t anything spectacular yet, as it was so far away, it was great to see it in the far distance.

We arrived at the Town of Ceres, and went off to the Wimpy for a leisurely breakfast, followed later in the day by milkshakes and cake at a Coffee Shop in Riebeek-kasteel (Judith had also stopped at the same Coffee Shop with Anne & Peter). Today we did so much eating and drinking, you would think we were on a culinary expedition and not a cycle tour!

Our final day of camping was situated at the Malmesbury Caravan Park, where we pitched our tent for the last time. Had the riders’ briefing, followed by a formal prize giving, where the TDA Staff presented each rider with a Certificate and their official 2017 TDA Cycling Jersey, which the majority of us would wear on our ride into Cape Town tomorrow.

Judith received a Certificate for "The most pedal strokes", while I received one for " The most creative/disturbing use of Vegemite” - which related to my antics as the Royal Baby during the Equator Crossing escapade!
It was a day of many "lasts". It was our last Riders’ Briefing, our last supper, the last time we would be camping and sleeping in our tents; and the last time everyone would be making use of public toilets and public showers again.

Later in the evening - in celebration - Murray, Michael vd Berg and myself, took ourselves off to sample the vibrant Friday night life of Malmesbury, where we circulated and mixed with the locals... Tomorrow would be our last day of the Tour. However that didn’t stop one of us (his name will remain anonymous and yet will be sketched in infamy forever) from liberating some toilet paper at one of the drinking holes we frequented, just in case he needed it on tomorrow’s ride.

Getting back to normality after the Tour finishes tomorrow, is definitely going to take some doing for some of us riders!

Mike T

Mike vd Berg leaving Dorp op die Berg on his way to Malmesbury

Looking down the Pass towards Ceres

Philip on his way to Wimpy for breakfast

Collecting my bike after our Wimpy breakfast

Lunch Truck position

Mike vd Berg quite unaware of the snake above him at the Coffee Shop

Time for celebrating - Alex and Andje sampling the fruits of the vine in Riebeek-Kasteel

Judith enjoying herself at the Coffee Shop in Malmesbury

Rick, Peter-4 and Ann with Judith in Malmesbury

Tallis explaining tomorrows arrangements and emphasizes that we are not allowed to do our ablutions on the Beach

The Last Briefing - Malmesbury to Cape Town

Final arrangements for tomorrows arrival at the Finish

Charles the Winner of the Last Section - Rainbow Nation

Andje receives her Certificate and Finishers Jersey

Philip collecting his Certificate & Jersey

Marie the proud owner of a broken elbow collects her Certificate & Jersey

Mike vd Berg collects his Certificate for "The Columbus Award"

Andje with Murray the proud holder of the "Softest Spoken Rider" Award

Michael & Judith receiving their Awards

A very subdued Last Supper ...