Thursday, 18 October 2012

Scouting. DONE.

This was my third and last day out scouting and it was a most beautiful day. I woke up sans alarm at 06h15 - what is wrong with me! I rectified this by listening to my audio book for a bit, dozing for a dash and getting up at a more appropriate time an hour later.

This was the view from my balcony - some time before 7am.
I was out and about and on foot for a couple of hours today to find more wonderful sites (and sights).

This is a wetland area and with the recent downpours the wetlands are... wet. In a few places you can see a little channel running through the grasses, like here. It was a bit flooded but you can still see the channel clearly. To my eye it didn't look quite wide enough for even a small tube... but I could see myself plonking down in the channel on a hot day!
A little further along in the same area... Jeep track. Wetland. Jeep track. Wetland. Splish-splosh!
Now this was interesting... I'm trotting through this section of really tall pines - seemingly taller than usual. I could hear a sound of... wood clashing, like sword fighting with wooden swords. It was pretty windy today and looking up I noticed the tops of the trees swaying and here and there they would connect with each other making the clashing sound. Quite lovely actually.
Yes, yes, yes! I found just what I'd been looking for. A lovely fragrantly-scented, pine needle-covered ride. This area has me jumping for joy - I'm sure you will too.
With three big 'puzzle pieces' from my scouting outings in hand, I spent the afternoon route planning. After a couple of permutations I think that I have designed a route that I'd love to run.

If one word can be used to describe the route - and the area - it would be LOVELY. Everything thing about it from the terrain to gradients to scenery is just... LOVELY.

It isn't a mountain race so there are no massive climbs or knee-jarring descents. It isn't a highveld race either so there are no rocks to trip you up. In fact, the terrain is totally un-technical and very much runnable. The grassy sections will work your feet and ankles but you're very unlikely to trip over anything.

And that's maybe where the catch is - if you could call it a catch. The course is so lovely and friendly and nice that there are very few free rides. You can't freewheel on any steep downhills, because there are not really any (a few short ones maybe, but nothing significant). Sure, there are descents but they're generally as gentle as the rest of the course. You'll mostly have to work for every kilometre. But while you're working you'll enjoy looking - all around you.

Being a total softie, I've looked for lots of shade but also a variety in the scenery so that is isn't just tree trunk after tree trunk.

I didn't get in the route distance that I was aiming for but the course is still very much an ultra. It's probably because the area is so lovely that it guided me to a more lovely distance?

I'm hoping to get an OK over the next week on the date I have in mind and then next month I'll be back here to give the route a run.

I am sooooooo excited I could... I could... Jump! Oh yes, I did that earlier.

1 comment:

Lobby said...

Sounds fantastic L, looks like you had a "lovely" time scouting:)