22 February 2014

Some new twists to an old route

West Meru Plateau has been ridden up and over a number to times, so the ride is nothing much to write home about.

Thomas is in training for Cape Epic 6 day race and wanted to do 5 hours and promised it to be a "slow" ride, although he  only went so far to say  it would be his slow and not mine. You can make out the plateaus above Thomas's head, it looks flat but it is  hard to find a stretch that is flat for long.

I need to remember the camera moment more and carry a camera more. I had gone ahead on a very steep section, shoulder  carrying our bikes , and then realised i should Kodak it, but got there too late. Trust me, we had to climb a few meters using both hands while balancing the bike on the shoulders with no hands. After that it was time for breakfast.

As we cruised up a big logging road the sun came out for the first time in a week .  The clouds were attempting to climb up the mountain but something was stopping it on the ridge below us.

Normally  this road is  6 inches in dust. Today it was perfect riding.


Great views today.

Second missed Kodak moment was after reaching the edge of the plateau and having another snack.  A ten year old boy asked to ride my bike 'around" , "naomba roundi".  I always refuse, and did, but as he walked away I thought "why not".  I already had asked where he lived.  Would of been a good picture, him sitting on the top bar and riding in his gum boots.

We rode 30+ minutes on the not flat plateau and Thomas noticed and nice looking trail and we took it.  Always assumed it was a dead end into some part of the forest.  It was  sometimes like this, sometimes single track through narrow space in bushes.  we rode for about 1 km and then lost the trail in an old clearing of potatoes.  Found another trail which lead to a road and ...... 

..and then we were in a moorland. open areas and swamp surrounded by heather bushes. We rode from one clearing to another on a faint vehicle track.  Sometimes the road was under the swamp.

We found a trail going down and it seemed to be heading to Sambasha Hill direction but feared it would be steep.  The google maps showed Sambasha not far off.  (Later I asked a man wandering around the moorland and he said it was a good trail, not too steep and got you quickly to the top forest roads. At home  I see it is 1 km and 350m of height loss. We took another track,  it became a trail going towards what looked to be a familiar hill near the  main plateau road. Came upon this elephant skull.

It was narrow path but ride able, even when the grass was waist deep.  It kept going uphill. 

Came to the road as hoped.  I was feeling knackered and was thinking we would return on the road but Thomas kept going away from home.  So we make the loop down to Oldonyo Sambu.

Made unwise decision and ended up going another 5km around mountain on rough logging roads. A recovery soda at the highway and cruised home. Thomas said it was about 80km. instead of 5 hours turned into 8 hours.