Saturday, 7 January 2012

Training Ride II - hard to Swallow

Yesterday was training ride 2 – but this time with survey equipment: binoculars, camera, rangefinder – (a device for measuring distances in meters from me to a bird), recording equipment and first aid kit. I set off around 17:00 after a ringing session and then hot late morning (over 30 degrees!) put me off a midday cycle. Still, it was warm and there was a wind gusting over 10km/h. So whether it was the extra weight of the equipment or the cycling conditions, I suffered a bit – only getting back after 8pm. Anja wasn't worried (just Alan late for dinner again), but our volunteers were!

Highlights of the cycle were reems of Barn Swallows sitting on the telephone lines – as though they were gathering to migrate back north already! I guess this is just a flock arriving into the area.

Barn Swallows - what a silly name - I mean, who really has a barn these days? They should be Telephone Wire Swallows.

A long and dusty road (is that a climate change metaphor?). At one stage I was overtaken by this tortoise.
Today instead of a cycle, family (Anja, Elena and I) and volunteers Tatiana and Bertrand (from France) went on a 8km hike which included a much needed swim in a rock pool. Then it was back to route planning for me – I've just finished draft one which tallies up to over 2300km. Its really scary to see how much needs to be done!!!

To help plan my trip I purchased the full range of touring maps compiled by Peter Slingsby (The Map Man – as they are more up to date than ordinance survey 1:50 000, contain accessible hiking trails, and also contact numbers for guest houses and lodges along the way. The shaded contouring is also very helpful towards creating a semi 3-D impression of the landscape. For general touring, there is also a wealth of other information including blown up town maps with local attractions. If you are planning a road trip or any kind of tourism to the Western Cape I give these maps two thumbs up. And for today’s modern laptop man, they are also available on CD.

Is it really that far from Uniondale to Cape Town!?

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