Making good progress across South Africa
Since our update earlier today, we have stayed on the fast, straight empty roads of South Africa, heading North East now towards Bloemfontein. For the past few hours, there has been almost no sign of life or civilisation away from the road, just the occasional small farm, beyond which empty scrubland stretches off to the horizon. Although not the most interesting landscape, it's great news for the challenge timings as it allows us to keep up consistent high speeds without putting too much stress on the Touareg or the team. These two-lane roads are well-surfaced with good visibility, and wide enough to allow safe overtaking when we catch the slower trucks.
As the sun sinks to our left and treats us to an amazing sunset at the end of our first day of the challenge, our first night will be busy. We are going to reach Johannesburg at around 23:00 tonight for our first refuelling stop, and a very quick bite to eat. With that done, we push on through the night, expecting to reach the Zimbabwean border around 03:00. They should be expecting us.
We have enjoyed our brief time in South Africa. As we leave it behind us tonight, we know that the road and driving conditions are only going to get progressively more challenging from here.
Next update tomorrow morning from Zimbabwe.