Radio silence. No news from the riders as they pedal further through to Vuvu Village without cellphone reception.
In less than 24 hours, they will reach support station 6, finishing the first part of the race. The Ride-to-Rhodes is about 500km with a climb of 10.65km over 6 days. These figures put it in the league of the prestigious Cape Epic. The 2011 Epic consisted of 707km with 14.5km cumulative climb over 8 stages (7 + prologue).
However, the Epic is fully supported. There are massage therapists, medical personnel, and a range of support services that Freedom Challengers do not have access to. You don't even have to carry your clothes, bicycle spares, maps or an emergency food supply. If that’s not enough, it is about 15 degrees Celsius warmer than the current freezing conditions.
To make sure I am not exaggerating the next section, I am quoting the Freedom Challenge Official Site: "From Vuvu it's then a major climb up to the top of the Drakensberg escarpment in the Naudes Nek area from where the trail descends on the dirt road into the small town of Rhodes." - Sounds like fun.