South Africa Tour- Colenso

Missed a few days’ of writing. Too tired. Our bodies are becoming fatigued. But we’re stopping for a rest day here at a lovely, modern B and B run by a young couple in Notingham Road. The Loxley House must be named in honor of Robin Hood. Today we rode 6-lus hours from Colenso. It was 87 K but felt quite long. We started at about 5 am, we are quite disciplined and early morning riding is sweet. there are fewer cars and you can hear all the birds and sometimes crickets and frogs. We stopped at Estcourt, fatigued and cold from a heavy mist, to discover the town had no cafes, not even a hot cup of tea. My crankiness immediately flared. We could find nothing to eat except fried chicken. We made do with buns from the Spar supermarket and hot tead made on our burner in a park. The police stopped by but accepted my “story.” Then we snuggled under a sleeping bag and it was lights out for a couple hours.Colenso, which we reached Saturday, is apparently an old town and another stop on the route of old Angl-Boer war monuments. On the bridge into town we said hello to some people and were rewarded with the usual breathtaking smiles. But iside the Battlefields Hotel it was like war was still at large. A 10 year old boy named Ullrich ran it, under the auspices of an old aunt or grandmother who never showed herself. He was very sweet with his “achs” in the German way that is habitual with people in this part. He had two drunken teenage compatriots, Wesley and Bill, whose accents were so strong we missed most of what they said. The hotel was shabby, but Qeen Elizabeth had purportedly stayed there once. At the bar that evening (we were too scared to go out, not that there was anytwere to go). I was glad to get back to our room and even happier to leave that grim old hotel.Friday we rode from Vryheid to Dundee, about 102K. We camped at a caravan park and had a sumptous dinner at the local country club, again, a vestige of times gone by. We celebrated a little with a couple celbrating their 50th wedding anniversay. The man was quite charming. Rolf, his friend or son-in-law?? or something. Apparently, the affirmative action policies of the government were wreaking havoc on the SA rugby teams. On the way there, a rather pleasant ride, with lots of downhill. Robert stopped to ask directions from a giant on a tractor. The man towered above R by more than a foot. Robert says he was a Bryan Lamkin with about 50% more weight. A white farmer, can’t remember much else from that ride except that we breakfasted in a market in a settlement and the owner was very courteous. The woman at the Ladysmith tourist office, wehree we stopped, could not believe no one had assaulted us.