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Knowing that we had a seven kilometre Rooiberg Pass and the prior evenings festivities to negotiate with on the day we had anticipated a gentle start. But the high levels of gees and boyish enthusiasm within the first group resulted in a flurry of mock attacks which suitably awoke the legs and lungs, all in the name of a bit of foolish fun.

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A short section of tar delivered us onto the now familiar gravel as we approached the slopes of the Rooiberg Pass. The road begins to rise gently for six kilometers before it kicks up in ernest where the true climb starts over the next seven kilometres. The summit of the pass at 797m above sea level saw a number of firsts for the day: our first stop, the first glass of wine and first braai, all before noon.

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After a mountain top gourmet chicken burger and a glass or two of chilled De Krans Moscato we made our way down the somewhat sketchy descent on the other side of the pass. On semi slicks the few sharp and loose corners made for some exciting slippery moments as I watched those with any form of tread more confidently tackle the turns (Note to my future self: give more thought to tyres).

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A few testy rolling hills over the next eleven kilometers took us to our next overnight stop at an oasis tucked away in the middle of nowhere - the Rooiberg Lodge. A dip in the pool, grapefruit gin and tonics, mind blowing chocolate cake and an early afternoon massage… there’s not much more you could ask for.