Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Drusky on September 05, 2012, 08:40:53 pm

Title: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Drusky on September 05, 2012, 08:40:53 pm
Previous RR. (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=58459.0)

Region: Eastern Cape
Start: Port Elizabeth
In Between: Kareedouw, Willowmore, Steytlerville
End: Port Elizabeth
Time: Two days
Type: A lot of dirt with some technical bits
Difficulty: I dunno, I've only had a DS for a bit more than 10 000km

This is how we roll:
When riding, my buddy Scumdog and I take turns at eating dust. On faster dirt your stint lasts for 10km. 10km down the road from the point that you took the lead you slow down and let the guy behind you catch up and pass for his 10km turn. On slower trails like the 4x4 route your turn lasts for 5km. The idea behind this isn't just about taking turns at eating dust. It is also a good way of keeping an eye on one another. If, 1km beyond the end of your turn, your Buddy has not yet caught up to you then you need to go back and look for him.

Who was rolling:
Scumdog is mostly bald. He knows things about animals and is currently living in the UK trying to convince the English that this is true. He may have touched your dog or your cat.
Drusky has lots of hair. He knows things about microorganisms and molecules and lives in the PE. He disciplines staff and fixes machinery and gets milk to vrot in all sorts of clever ways that make other people happy. He may have touched your food.

PE to Kareedouw, 4x4 entry to Baviaans exit Baviaans to Willowmore 20100123

7:30am I rendezvous with Scumdog on the N2 off-ramp to Humansdorp. We're not going to Humansdorp but the off-ramp is a convenient meeting point. We're planning to ride to the next off-ramp where the sign invites you to visit Kareedouw or Oyster Bay. Neither destination is of particular interest to us. We are hoping to ride the rocky 4x4 trail that links Kareedouw to the farm gate of Rus en Vrede in the Baviaanskloof. The last time we followed this trail we experienced it from the opposite direction. Back then we didn't muck about either. Not being sure how long the route was or how lost we might be reduced the time spent taking in the scenery to almost nilch. This time would be different and knowing we had a day of relaxed exploring to look forward to made us grin happily.

8:15am we reach Kareedouw. The vending machine at the filling station there looks cool but doesn't dispense coffee. So what. We don't need coffee. We're packing fizzy caffeine in 500ml units for later. Phosphoric acid for stabilizing rust and carbonic acid for removing steak from between your teeth, the bucket load of sugar that goes with it is an added bonus.

Getting to the 4x4 trail from the Kareedouw side is tricksy-tricksy. On our last trip the farm gate at Rus en Vrede simply swallowed us up and the trail sent us rolling out like good little Koedoedrols on the Kareedouw side. See previous RR at top of page. Going the other way offers far more options. I forgot to take a picture of the turn off to the dirt road that will carry you to the Kareedouw farm side of the trail so I will try to describe it using lingowords. Picture Kareedouw as a long wors of a town. Imagine that it lies parallel to the N2, it probably doesn't. The wors will then have a Cape Town end with a reasonably well run municipality and a PE end with... Yes, you are interested in the PE end. Somewhere on your left after leaving the PE end is a dirt road that will take you back  towards Kareedouw while climbing up a ridge. That road will end up turning away from Kareedouw giving you this view of the hills on the N2 side of the wors. 8:41am.
This is what you see when you look the other way. It's a pseudofork. Looks like a fork but it isn't. Actually I think I know what might have happened here. What you see is a piece of lonely veld that used to be on one side of the road. Apparently it has decided it wants to visit the pretty flowers on the other side. I'll check on it next time I go past there. Idon't expect to see much change. Veld isn't very fast. In my experience it moves so slowly that most of the time it looks like it's standing still.

I am navigating with the help of Thumb-Thumb and I have Thislooksrite and Trustme applications installed. Scumdog reckons Trustme is useless but I think it works pretty well most of the time. I must point out that Scumdog has two degrees which is one more than me so I only take him seriously half the time, after all, there can't be much space left in his noggin for a useful evaluation of the applications running in mine.

8:53 Thislooksrite kicks in nicely when I see a river below us. I know I must follow the road to the right on the other side of the kloof. At least I think that's the way sitting here looking at the photie. I would have to be there for Trustme to kick in.

8:57 We stop briefly to listen to the bubbling brook and I look longingly past Scumdog at the charming bungalow that lives there. I would very much like to visit that bungalow. Does anyone know if it is possible to rent it?

8:58 Up on the other side of the kloof Scumdog stops to adjust his junk. He has a small can of fuel on there called Jerry. Jerry loves Scumdog more than anything and likes to creep up close and rub affectionately against the small of his back.
While Scumdog makes Jerry and his junk comfortable I take the obligatory photie of a road doer in the distance. The fynbos stretches away as far as the eye can see, down the kloof and over the mountain. No Port Jackson, Blue Gum or Wattle anywhere. I often wonder what PE would look like without the exotic Aussie weed trees that cover the landscape. Perhaps it would look like this.

We are not on the actual 4x4 trail yet. If you read my previous ride report you will have seen a photo that shows a plethora of signs at a T junction. If you have come up from the river you need to turn left at that T so that you leave the signs and the top line of the T behind you. That road will take you over some sandy stuff like this photie taken at 9:40
While I am parked there I take a photo towards Kareedouw.

There's a lot of detail missing between the T junction I have just mentioned and this next pic. Things like a a farm gate on the road with a sign that mentions the 4x4 trail with a side dish of pain and suffering for trespassers. Then some kilometres later a farm gate next to the road which is the start of the 4x4 trail. This gate is marked in my Thislooksrite application as being on the right of the road with a sharp left bend immediately ahead and a single power line running parallel to the road after that left bend. Once through the gate you climb away from the road and eventually find the green sign in the photie on your left. 10:10am Behold! It is a not very scale map! You can't see the kloof that the green sign mentions while standing in front of it but ride a little further and you will see one off to your left.

It's my turn to ride in front, we are swapping position every 5km because the trail is very slow. I can't help feeling a little guilty when I get to a herd of Wildebeest. They're in a broad valley and when I get to the bottom of the hill I am on I turn off my GS and watch the herd as it turns away from me. Riding in front means you will see the wildlife first and enjoy the experience longer. By the time your buddy gets there the animals will have moved on or dived into the bush. I watch the herd moving off and try to zoom my point and shoot in for a heavily pixelated “close up”. All this fiddling takes a while and by the time I'm done I realize Scumdog should have arrived. I remove my helmet and listen for the Funduro's engine. I am now a bit worried and decide to head back up the rocky path to look for him.

By the time I get to the top and look across the plateau I know something has happened. I turn off the GS again and take my lid off to listen. TBC.
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: landieman on September 05, 2012, 11:58:11 pm
nice RR.hope to do it in december :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: n0b0dy on September 06, 2012, 05:17:51 am
Sub :happy1:

Like the way you think . Like the way you write. Like the way you roll. Like to do it on my gs. My plastic loved that trail.
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: HANS BOORMAN on September 06, 2012, 07:26:48 am
Nice,keep em coming!! :thumleft:
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Dirt Junkie on September 06, 2012, 07:42:33 am
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Swart Baard on September 06, 2012, 12:16:09 pm
Lekker  :thumleft:

You have quite a nack with building tension for the next episode  :sip:  :drif:
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Tiger8 on September 06, 2012, 06:48:57 pm
Nice, :thumleft:  now waiting for the rest, you must write while you wait for the milk to "vrot" and not waste valuable RR writing time. :ricky:
These two okes look suspiciously like illegal St Albans Immigrants  :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Drusky on September 06, 2012, 09:29:31 pm
Thanks for the kind words chaps. Tiger8 that's sauve, good looking St Albans escapees to you my chinah (http://i403.photobucket.com/albums/pp115/Drusky1979/smilies/psycho.gif)

I seem to hear a scoot but I can't be sure. I am about to pop my lid back on and continue searching when I catch a glimpse of the red Funduro in the distance. It's quite a relief to know he's mobile. I am still wondering why he was delayed. Did he stop to take in the view, photies, a snack? When Scumdog finally pulls up next to me he tells me that has taken a bad fall. My initial reaction is disbelief. He's riding, the bike is running. For a moment I think he's pulling my leg but reading his face changes my mind. I inspect his bike more closely for damage and initially don't notice the missing rear view mirror and stuffed up hand guard. Bugger! Scumdog is a bit peeved.
“Why didn't you stop? Didn't you hear me shout”
Again I look at his face to see if he is serious.
“I'm so sorry boet, I had no idea you had come off. I definitely didn't hear you shout. Not through your helmet and mine”
By now I realize the guy is in quite a bit of pain. I cringe as he explains what happened.  He managed to stall while trying to negotiate a particularly deep rut in the road. It wasn't a fast spill at all but the bike tipped towards the rut. Instinctively he put a leg out to stop the fall but never had a chance as the rut was way too deep. He ended up snagged under the bike foot facing forward body facing backwards. Point of rotation, his right knee. Eina bliksem! He lay there trapped for a good couple of minutes with an unnerving dribble of petrol coming out the bike's tank. I can't remember exactly how he managed to get out from under there. I think in the end he simply dragged himself clear, must have hurt like hell. Before this trip he had payed his entrance fee to do the Two Oceans in Cape Town. Months later his knee was still giving him hassles. Needless to say his marathon didn't happen. We carry on down the hill and stop in the shade of the only tree we've seen for quite a while. At that point I haven't realized quite how seriously Scumdog has hurt his knee. He isn't much of a moangat, I don't think he was fully aware of the damage either, probably had an inkling though. Looking at the photos now I can see that he really was quite the moer in about getting hurt so early on in the trip. It's now 10:35am and we've got cheese,  rolls and rust converter to wash it down. The food hits the spot and by the time we're done Scumdog has cheered up a bit and is confident that he can carry on. Not that we would have a choice really. Going back would be the same as going forward. There is still some challenging riding up ahead.

By 11 we're rolling again and really start to feel the heat inside our protective shells. I think a nice set of enduro racing gear would be perfect for this kind of riding. All the impact padding but with the option of wearing a breathable shirt. The views from this trail are truly incredible. A charming combination of inhospitable conditions and seclusion from the world you are accustomed to heightens their effect. 11:35 I stop and take a photo of our back trail and the path ahead. We really are in the middle of nowhere. I love it!

There are a lot of gates and we dutifully leave them as we found them.

The hills are covered in loose rock, you can see it cleatly here because a fire has at some point razed the fynbos.

I think overall the route is not too bad. There are a few stretches that make you pay close attention but for the most part it's fairly easy riding.

12:04pm If you are using using Thumb-Thumb you should declare this gate to be the middle point. I did and Trustme didn't even kick in when I told Scumdog so he probably agreed. It also stands out in my memory because I love my slope soaring. The first time I saw this ridge I was coming the other way and I was suitably impressed by the stiff breeze wafting up the hill. It would be awesome to fly from. Today there is no breeze the air is still and heavy if I was up in Jozi I would be checking the horizon for a thunder storm. Perhaps I should be doing that anyway.

My piggy is handling the trail well. I know that some guys with big bikes experience difficulties with the technical bits out here. I have never taken a tumble on this route or dropped the big GS. I don't consider myself to be very experienced either. I have noticed that the low down grunt on the boxer pulls me through all kinds of funny stuff without stalling. That's a big plus factor. Not having to charge steep sections makes life a lot easier. I manage to keep a steady momentum without too much difficulty. Having long legs does help though. I stand 6 foot in my sock feet. Another plus is good balance. Here and there I had to ride along the narrow ridge between deep ruts. I think guys wanting to do this trail should practice riding around in first and second gear, up and down pavements nice and slowly, using throttle and balance to keep themselves steady. The boxer's low center of gravity and torque should do most of the work, if you wander into a rut you can usually let the bike pull you out with a gentle squeeze throttle.

We mosey onwards through the rough, beautiful hills. The heat seems to be reflecting off the light coloured rocky trail. I have unzipped my jacket and opened all the vents it has. I am pacing myself now. Not a problem at all, I am enjoying the whole experience and going slowly gives me more time to look around.

Scumdog is feeling the heat too and suggests we stop at the next available bit of shade for a water break. We don't see any shade for quite a while. There does, however, seem to be water if you need it.

12:47pm When we do find shade it turns out to be a bush. No problem. We fight our way out of our jackets and crawl into the shrubbery. It's quite strange to see a caravan on the otherside of the bush. A caravan on a koppie in the middle of a wilderness. While the shade is a welcome relief it is still very very hot. Even the goggas and birds are quiet. We aren't surprised to hear a sleepy murmur of voices coming from the caravan. The shepherds are home. They're also hiding from the heat.

We decide that we're not going to get any cooler sitting in the bush like two speed cops. Wrong uniform, no shades. We discover our bike seats have heated dramatically during our short absence. Phoooaaarh! Hot! The blood vessels just under the surface of my skin expand to get some heat exchange going. I'm sweating nicely and as I get moving the effect of evaporation does its bit to help prevent overheating.

Moseying along I see a dark shadow in the distance. There are no clouds directly above us. Definitely nothing that big. It takes a few moments of squinting to realize I am looking at some seriously broken terrain. It's 1:02pm so the sun is still nice and high. That's a steep kloof. I can't help wondering what it looks like up close.

Three minutes later and I can see the emerald green irrigated lands of Rus en Vrede. My old IXUS850is doesn't show the contrast very well. Not long to go now.

At Rus en Vrede we search the farm house and pay our way before hitting the Baviaans road to Willowmore. I can't remember what the cost is but it is in my opinion worth every cent.

By 2pm we have reached the Zaaimanshoek sign on the Baviaans road. I am stopping frequently to check peer up the odd Kloof. There's a story about these parts that I've been keen to explore. I don't know it at the time but I am very far from Prinsloo's kloof. Read more about The Curse of Prinsloos's Kloof  here (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=43400.0).

Babes se Winkel is now “on the beaten track”. When I first visited the shop on my very first DS trip through the Baviaans, Babes se winkel was up the beaten path and round the corner from the kloof bus stop.

The system inside is still the same as before. You ask the nice Oom or Tannie for the things you would like to buy and he or she fetches it for you. I love it. It's like stepping back in time. It's lovely and cool inside the shop so we sit down on the steel 70's garden furniture in the shop to kuier for a while. I can't help asking the Oom if they don't have any ice lollies or popsicles. He scratches his head and peers into two of his chest freezers before consulting his wife.
“Nee, ek is jammer seun. Ons het nie so iets hier in die winkel nie.” he smiles gently  at me.
“Maar wag net 'n bietjie, ek het dalk 'n bietjie roomys in die huis.”
I am touched by his kindness. A short while later and five bucks poorer I am gratefully enjoying an ice cold bowl of Vanilla ice cream. What a treat! There is a book with stories about the kloof that one can buy at Tolbos coffee shop in Patensie. It has a picture of this Oom on page 30. Gustav Nortjé is his name. I am very sorry I didn't ask him to let me take a photo of him.

In the book of Baviaans stories he tells the story of “The timid Strydoms”. I've typed it out as it appears there for your enjoyment, good for a laugh:

This is a story about Oom Henkie and Oom Dial Strydom when they still lived at home. They were about 18, 19 years old at the time and unmarried.

They slept in an outside room next to the stoep. Both were very scared of ghosts, resulting in many pranks played on one another. One evening Oom Henkie decided to hide on top of the wardrobe in their room to scare Oom Dial. The old fashioned wardrobes had space on top for suitcases and such.

Oom Henkie quickly ran to their room before bed-time and hid on top of the wardrobe. His hair always used to stand on end and he had a permanent cow-lick. Oom Dial walked into the room to lie down on one of those iron bedsteads. They also had one of those ridgeback dogs that slept in their room because they were so scared. It was their guardian angel and they had to have the dog with them.

Now Oom Dial, sitting on his bed petting the dog, realised he hadn't searched under the beds for ghosts yet. It was a routine the two of them had to make sure they were safe before going to sleep. Still sitting with the dog on the bed, he started to look around. As soon as he looked up at the wardrobe, he saw hair sticking out the top. He jumped up, swearing, and said: “Look at the hair!” and ran out of the room.

Oom Henkie not realising whose hair Oom Dial was talking about, rushed after him. He thought Oom Dial had seen something that he didn't know about! Of course Oom Henkie made one hell of a noise when he jumped off the wardrobe and Oom Dial (who had ducked beneath one of those old school benches on the stoep) heard the thing on the wardrobe coming after him!

Oom Dial tried to get out from under the bench but he was stuck! What a commotion on that stoep. He thought death is after him! Oom Henkie had by now caught up with him and both were running to their parent's room. By now Oom Dial was wondering why oom Henkie was so afraid.

The front door wasn't locked in those days, but the screen door was closed. The screen door opened out towards Oom Dial, but in his panic he went straight through it! He had to get to the bedroom, to his parents! One after the other the two young men jumped straight onto the double bed between their mother and father!

After much explaining and calming down, they realised that they had been running away from each other.

TBC car wreck, storm cloud and a half road.
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Swart Baard on September 07, 2012, 11:05:38 am
Drusky . . . You really write a nice story  :thumleft:

Judging by your description of how the GS handles the technical section, I am sure to give the side entry a bash  :ricky:

I also had an oppurtunity to read some of the stories in that little Book with stories of the Baviaans. The stories and accounts of the Flood of 1916 still gives me goose bumps  :o

Keep it coming  :sip:
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Tiger8 on September 10, 2012, 01:22:45 pm
Nice Drusky, waiting in anticipation for the next installment.....
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Dorsland on September 10, 2012, 01:35:00 pm
Hel man that's a nice RR.  You write nicely with a good sense of flow and anticipation.  Looking forward to the next installment.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: J-dog on September 10, 2012, 01:50:30 pm
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Knucklhead on September 10, 2012, 02:44:49 pm
nice, if ive missed something pls tell me im a d....s....is this a report of a ride done in 2010..if yes i spose i cant judge the road conditions from these pics...

nice report anyhow
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: porra2 on September 10, 2012, 04:54:39 pm
What were the water crossings like in the baviaans? And how deep? Looks like a lekker trip :thumleft:
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Knucklhead on September 10, 2012, 05:58:53 pm

taken a few weekends ago..smitskraal
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: katana on September 10, 2012, 07:56:19 pm
Appreciated  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: spoedvark on September 10, 2012, 10:05:21 pm
Lekker read. Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: melvman on September 13, 2012, 04:44:41 pm
One of the nicest ride reports I've read in a while. You have a way with words, and pictures. This brought back memories of when we did this route the opposite way (Baviaans to Karreedouw), in the pouring rain. We were all on 650's and the terrain was quite hectic for me, slipping and sliding in the mud and riding through thick fog at times.  I was wondering whether I'd ever pluck up the courage to attempt this route on my 1150.
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Swart Baard on September 14, 2012, 01:25:02 pm
Drusky ons wag vir die res  :sip:    :lamer:   
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Tiger8 on September 17, 2012, 02:16:47 pm
 :sip: :sip: :sip:

We're waiting  ;)
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Drusky on September 20, 2012, 10:24:44 pm
Well as you chaps may have guessed I have been quite busy. I was making cheese and yoghurt and milky things like that. My turn to be at the factory running the plant at 4am.

Thanks again for the kind comments. This was a 2010 trip. I have enjoyed going through this ride in my mind and boy has it made me hungry to go on another!

The rest in the cool of Babes se Winkel seems to have done Scumdog a lot of good because he zips off briskly on the road towards Willowmore. It's about twenty minutes since we left the little shop and it's my turn to follow. I give him the usual minute or so head start before motoring off at a reasonably sedate pace behind him. No desire to catch up to his dust.

3:25pm We've already swapped position again with me in the lead and at the end of my 10km stint. I've started to slow down for my buddy to take the lead when I see a familiar sight; in fact this should be a familiar sight to any of you who have done the Baviaanskloof. I  have never paused to have a closer look. On a whim I lean on the brakes, check my mirrors and make a u-turn. I stop next to a pair of rusted out cars the Funduro pulls up in line with the GS. We are facing the way we have just come. They're Chevrolets I think, not sure, but they squat there on their bellies looking really cool in a ratty low-rider, suicide doors kind of way. We check for snakes before hopping into one of the cars. All I can say is that it is a good thing we are wearing protective gear.

It's been a long day but we dig out some enthusiasm, slap on some happy smiles and before you know it we're laughing like maniacs... We look oddly maniacal too considering the setting; it's probably a good thing that no one comes past while we are sitting there cackling. Examining the wasted shell of someone elses pride and joy is very interesting. Of course we do the usual stuff, wonder about the history of the car and where it has been before discussing what the remaining knobs and gismogads used to do. There's a lot of bright work that has not tarnished and like a pair of baboons we examine them all closely.

It's 3:37pm and we have only been stopped for ten minutes. I remember I have suckers stashed in my bag. Fizz pops, probably apple flavour. Looking at the photos now we look moeg but we are just very relaxed, enjoying the scenery. This is the first time that Scumdog turns to me and says that he thinks his knee is poked. He is a tough, hardy guy so I know it is serious. We both shrug. There's nothing that can be done about it. It will come in to play the next day when we decide which route to take home.

The ride out to Willowmore from the rusty cars is mostly uneventful. It's a very different landscape from that which I am used to and I find it fascinating. Scumdog spots a tortoise and naturally stops to weigh it. This happens at least once on every trip. Sometimes I weigh the tortoise and other times he does. I have argued that it might be better if one person does the weighing (not me). I have suggested that my arms are calibrated differently to his but he argues that these minor details are all relative. Relative to what I wonder. Probably the risk of getting peed on. Scumdog studied Zoology to third year on his first degree and I only took that subject for one year so he overules me on this point. I still think we should be writing our findings down. He looks at me thoughtfully before announcing. “It's definitely lighter than the last one.”

When we do finally reach Willowmore we roll straight up to the Royal Hotel with a thirst and head straight for the bar, not that Scumdog or I are big drinkers, but the Savannah dry tastes fantastic after the hot dusty haul through the hills. It's 4:54pm and there are a few guys enjoying a game of pool in the bar while the out door shebeen behind the white car to the left of my foot are pumping out a lively mixture of base and fancy guitar work to a kwaito beat. I gather that the shebeen crowd don't mix with the bar crowd but I suspect they are having more fun. The still hot air has followed us out of the kloof, or perhaps it beat us to the little Karoo town. You don't need to be a meteorologist to read the meaning of that big fluffy cloud formation next to my big toe. We have almost finished discussing an ancient Readers Digest article about some Skydivers that were sucked into a big cloud when an ominous rumble prompts us to get moving towards our B&B. We are in for quite a treat thanks to that weather.

We're staying at Finchley farm it's conveniently close to Willowmore which is nice because we want to have dinner at the The Willow Historical Guest House. By the time we have showered and emerged from our cottage ready to ride into town it's already 7:30pm. We are going to be late for   dinner because the light that we are presented with is amazing and commands our attention. To the East of us, in the distance, the Karoo storm has now broken after the days still, heavy heat. The sunset beams off the storm clouds, lighting up the plain stretching away into the distance with a weird yellow glow. The photo Eastwards doesn't do it justice. I've never experienced this combination of blue-grays and golden hues before, the desolate landscape enhances the effect. As if this is not enough the sky to the west is vividly painted with salmon, red and purple hues with a blaze of gold above the horizon. It is all too enchanting for words. I'll try anyway. The golden light reflected off the storm clouds in the East lights up the landscape to the West which would ordinarliy have lain in the shadow of the setting sun. The veld with its hardy blooms are as a result lit up below the magnificent sky, while they are very pretty on their own they seem to enhance the splendour of the scene above. Like jewels on a beautiful woman. I can only imagine there are skilled photographers out there who would love to work a scene like this. They are probably grinding their teeth in anguish at the poor quality of my snap shots. Being ordinary guys, not artists, hunger pangs start to gnaw and we leave the incredible views to fade behind us.

Dinner at the The Willow is as charming as ever. All the crockery and cutlery looks like it has been there as long as the old Rectory itself. The place has some seriously high ceiling, Scumdog reckons you could launch a cat, they add to the old world feel. I think I had lamb shank that night although I can't tell by looking at the plate. There's no bone there, I couldn't have been that hungry. Scratch lamb shank, it was lamb something. I never miss an opportunity to devour Karoo lamb, they look delicious to me even in their wooly packaging.

That night I sleep very well despite Scumdog snoring and grunting in the next bed. He smells foul too, although I may have been too near my own riding boots. We take it slow getting going the next morning and are having breakfast on the farm house stoep by 8:30am. Al I have is a single photo of the curiously curved sinkplaat dakkie over the stoep. I have a silly reluctance to photograph other people or their homes and I was too shy to ask permission or I forgot; can't remember which. The farmer's wife runs Finchley farm B&B and she makes a lovely breakfast, the cottage we used was clean and tidy with the usual tea, fridge, milk, telly setup. We have a nice long chat to Mrs Finchley Farm about boerbok meat prices and the way it is marketed as Karoo Red and tasted just like mutton. We also discuss with her the route to Steytlerville. We had considered taking a detour through some interesting offroad paths on our way out of Willowmore but Scumdog's knee has vetoed that notion. He is very distressed about this and keeps apologising for being a useless snoring punk. Usually I would tease the guy a bit before telling him what I really think. His sincere anger with himself makes me cut to the chase. I'm just as pleased to mosey through the Karoo on smooth tarred road as on wild rocky trails. Mrs Finchley points us in the direction of “the concrete road”.

The concrete road is quite an interesting surprise. It is a concrete road. Rather it is half a concrete road. I know what a whole concrete road looks like, we have one in PE. It appears from my crafty examination of the “spoor” next to the road that whilst vehicles travel most of the way centered on the narrow strip they do appear to “move over” in the face of oncoming traffic. I can't help wondering what this will be like for us on bikes. We never find out as the road is very quiet and the one time we did see a vehicle we were stopped next to the road gawking at the veld. We naturally take a few “The Stig” photies before motoring off to Steytlerville.

At Steytlerville you should always stop at The Verandah Coffee Shop. The sign says they serve the best coffee in the world. This may be true but I am not calibrated to evaluate coffee I am more of an olive snob. It's a really nice place to kick up your feet. The owner who is also the waitress and custodian of the motor museum out back is very friendly. You don't even have to say nice things about her many pedigree Shitzus living there to get a guided tour of the museum. That's her Mini in that pic. Her hubby is a bit of a car nut.

The road betweem Steytlerville and PE is hot and windy. We only stop once because the coffee wants to come out. Circle of life. No... we stop twice. Once again at the Cheetah breeding Farm between Jansenville and Uitenhage. We aren't interested in the Cheetahs. We want some rust converter, caffeine, sugar mix. While I am drinking my meat tenderizer I see Scumdog getting friendly with a plant which is strange considering he is a vet. Upon closer inspection it turns out he is actually tickling a cat that lives in the plant. Much more vet like. I wonder how it climbed into that pot.

And that's the trip. Once in PE we split off to our respective homes. I expect Scumdog did what I did. Hauled out his pressure cleaner, gave his bike a good clean before putting it to sleep in it's stable. Definitely a memorable trip. If I did it again I would want to come home from Steytlerville through the mountains over the Elandsrivier road.
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: RD on May 14, 2013, 06:05:25 am
Nice report Drusky. We did the side entry last weekend and it was a jol - not for the inexperienced though.
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: Hitman on May 14, 2013, 03:27:58 pm
Beautiful RR - well written and documented with great pictures!
A pleasure to read, thank you!!
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: XT JOE on May 20, 2013, 05:21:03 pm
Nice :thumleft:
Title: Re: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: dirtyXT on May 20, 2013, 09:09:50 pm
great RR. well documented.
Title: Re: Eastern Cape: Baviaans Side Entry PE, Kareedouw, Willowmore
Post by: eikeboom on May 20, 2013, 10:15:29 pm
Very very nice thanks! In spite of the heat in the kloof this was a fresh breeze in ride report writing and I look forward to some more.