Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Minxy on June 01, 2019, 07:51:45 pm

Title: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 01, 2019, 07:51:45 pm
Sooooo we haven't taken any real leave since we traveled through Namibia last year (which turned out to be a bit of an epic fail with my bike breaking...) and we thought this year we'd do something more easy going, just to get away. The plan is to ride down to Capetown from Pta, leave the bikes there, fly back to Pta, work for a week or two and then return to ride our bikes back up via a different route later on.

We were really busy with work which left us with extremely little time to prepare for the trip. I sold my Africa Twin a while ago when I considered getting a 790R. That didn't quite work out as intended and HSK said I could use his Super Enduro for our ADV trips. I love the 950SE which was a favourite of mine a few years ago (still regret selling it) and I was very excited to be riding one again.

(https://i.postimg.cc/NfqHSb1t/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-18-19.jpg)
HSK literally packing and preparing the bike last minute the evening before the trip.

(https://i.postimg.cc/jdH7bNX7/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-19-43.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/VvyJyL0g/60338593-10157316624271972-3090939228213739520-n.jpg)
When embarking on an extended adventure trip be sure to only pack the" essentials" :imaposer:

Day 1 - Pretoria to Red Sands Lodge

(https://i.postimg.cc/rwqtFmnY/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-19-57.jpg)
Ready to go!

(https://i.postimg.cc/mZF9mK1V/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-16-55-17.jpg)
And just 1km from the house where we stopped to fuel up, we realized the 990's fuel hose was not connected on the one tank. Luckily that was fixed quickly and we were finally on our way.

(https://i.postimg.cc/cCNL99P5/60319226-10157317790671972-9016308111576662016-n.jpg)
The first day was just over 500km tar all the way to the Red Sands Lodge near Kathu. We had limited time and thought we'd cover this boring stretch as quickly as possible. Not many photo's were taken.

(https://i.postimg.cc/T1qYZj62/60324610-10157317790496972-8943978362641055744-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/Nj0fzrPY/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-16-55-23.jpg)
The 950SE is just too sexy!!! 8)

(https://i.postimg.cc/TPFwmY0x/60349740-10157317790371972-4411962243797745664-n.jpg)
Beautiful Kalahari sunset.
Title: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Noneking on June 01, 2019, 07:59:00 pm
Sub
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: VaalBaas on June 01, 2019, 08:02:43 pm
Gooi :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Offshore on June 01, 2019, 08:31:49 pm
 :thumleft: :ricky:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 01, 2019, 08:53:52 pm
Day 2 - Red Sands to Kenhardt

The first 500km of tar on day 1 was no fun task and I was grateful to have packed my riding shorts and airhawk pillow :imaposer: Yes, I know, I know... Luckily from today on wards our trip would include as much dirt as possible.

(https://i.postimg.cc/9FsCJNTP/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-16-55-14.jpg)
We start early morning and hit a bit more tar, stopping for fuel at Oliefantshoek. The first stretch of dirt starts on the road heading to Witsand.

When planning our route through the Karoo I looked at plotting some interesting things for us to see on the way. Now, HSK and I have a habit of always throwing ourselves into the deep end with pretty much everything we do, so I just had to spice things up by including the only proper mountain pass this side of the Karoo;

From Mountain Passes SA
Bergenaarspad Pass:
"Roughly translated, the name of this pass means “road of the mountain people”. It is located in the middle of nowhere, about 56 km from Postmasburg and quite close to the famous Witsand Nature Reserve. The pass statistics are not particularly impressive, with the exception of the maximum gradient, which works out in excess of 1:3; there is a 400-meter-long section of this pass which is very, very steep! The road is in a relatively poor condition, and it should not be attempted in a normal car; at the very least, a high-clearance vehicle is required. It is very easy to get lost in this part of the world, even if you are using a GPS, as many of the “public” roads are blocked by locked gates."

We turn from the main Witsand road onto this much less traveled gravel track which becomes rougher and rougher as we approach the pass. We stop to deflate our tyres as the bikes are a bit bouncy over the rocks with all our luggage.

(https://i.postimg.cc/c1bSL5Dq/bergenaars.png)

(https://i.postimg.cc/t4hQDR9y/bergenaars1.png)

(https://i.postimg.cc/9FwjRtSD/bergenaars2.png)

(https://i.postimg.cc/JzwCbHVP/bergenaars3.png)

(https://i.postimg.cc/t4fZd5R8/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-16-55-21.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/FsrLhznC/60721522-10157319944901972-3420479029315108864-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/66LZsnzG/60666213-10157319945191972-2616153434277019648-n.jpg)
Just after the rocky bits a concrete section. This just gets weirder and weirder. I love finding gems like this in the middle of nowhere.

(https://i.postimg.cc/W1tqJKVM/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-16-55-08.jpg)     (https://i.postimg.cc/c4F8CWpx/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-16-55-08-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 01, 2019, 09:24:10 pm
We get to the end of the pass and back onto the sandy dirt highways. A lot of our trip through the Karoo would consist of just riding hundreds of kilometers on these type of roads. There's a certain beauty about this place, the nothingness. I cannot even remember encountering traffic along the way.

(https://i.postimg.cc/sxQ7CN2P/60610583-10157319949821972-6854949872374644736-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/tTmWfj9C/60362052-10157319945586972-4004906318887387136-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/0NnpYS3S/60551760-10157319945656972-8862524256332808192-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/y6t0ysfL/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-16-55-25.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/nzLq0zbP/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-21-10-43-1.jpg)
Nature is weird. Plenty of these birds nests on the old telephone poles along the way.

(https://i.postimg.cc/7Yz0Bddw/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-21-10-43.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/kG08JvV0/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-16-55-25-1.jpg)
Some of the more sandy tracks we encountered on the way. The SE being a total badass beast of a bike, didn't let up one bit and chowed them all for breakfast.

(https://i.postimg.cc/zf8CH7d5/60597136-10157319947981972-2400067689675489280-n.jpg)
Beautiful red Kalahari dunes.

We briefly stop at Groblershoop to top up on fuel. We wanted to get a bite to eat but didn't see any obvious places and decided to push on.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 01, 2019, 09:55:13 pm
(https://i.postimg.cc/0jSGwywK/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-20-19.jpg)
Crossing the great Orange River near Groblershoop.

We eventually make our way towards Putsonderwater, the renowned ghost town, stopping at this old abandoned house on the way. Such rich history in this area!

(https://i.postimg.cc/90YwGRJS/60336796-10157319945761972-7029072274665766912-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/JhHypdpj/60408730-10157319946961972-5437777210641481728-n.jpg)

This place is spooky, but we just have to stop and explore a bit. Most of the places look like they've been abandoned for a long long time, but there seems to be some revival happening and some of the places look like they might be getting fixed up and made livable again.

(https://i.postimg.cc/RVvHvd0z/60334245-10157319945891972-2844137848901206016-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/GhzstDBT/60361839-10157319948296972-8401548908261539840-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/DwZ4Xzsj/60537444-10157319948481972-7082711519930089472-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/W3RdC6yC/60557766-10157319946701972-3024314432797802496-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/G2k4CTw2/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-16-55-07.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/6qty56th/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-16-55-12.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/6qcT7sQx/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-16-55-22.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/66rZsgt0/60342405-10157319949301972-4878892598384656384-n.jpg)
And just outside the town, an old church with its doors shut tight.

(https://i.postimg.cc/MpFMb8mW/60705369-10157319948956972-2608977308429582336-n.jpg)

I was curious as to the history of this ghost town and found this info online:

"The early history of the small settlement is not entirely clear but it appears that in the 1880s a man – possibly David Ockhuis – set himself up in the area then known as Klippan. When other thirsty trekboers arrived in the area with their stock, David would exclaim that he had dug a well but it had no water.

When the area was eventually split into two, one part was named Putsonderwater and the other Middelkla.

When John Connan took over the farm, his two daughters ran the farm shop and when they married, one’s husband farmed sheep and the other became the station master.

Now John Connan’s great grandson, Michael Loubser, is the official owner of Putsonderwater, and as his forefathers did, he still farms sheep.

Michael Loubser and his son, now a fifth-generation inhabitant of the area, hope they can restore the village and attract more visitors.

An attractive interdenominational church built outside the village in 1957, as well as a huge kraal, point to a time when the trains stopped to pick up cattle.

The village’s decline began when drought after drought brought t he cattle trade to an end and the passenger trains also stopped.

Then the police station and post office closed, followed by the hotel and general dealer, as people left the village, many going to Marydale.

Finally, the freight trains had no need to stop at the station.

However, the primary school kept going up until 2004, thanks to the efforts of Ena Hough, but it also closed.

She went on pension and because there was no electricity, no water and no housing, and no one was prepared to travel from Marydale, the village finally died.

As a final act of hope, she had the school painted and put signs in the windows asking people not to break the glass, but by that time, vandals had stripped the buildings, broken all the windows and the floors had all been removed."


(https://i.postimg.cc/bJWHrtsj/60454005-10157319946331972-2996280481177141248-n.jpg)
We leave Putsonderwater and continue towards the town of Kenhardt where we'll spend the night.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on June 01, 2019, 10:26:12 pm
Lekke!!! :thumleft: :drif:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 01, 2019, 11:26:28 pm
At Kenhardt we book ourselves into a guesthouse which used to be the towns local school hostel. Of course, as KTM riders we get the orange room by default.

(https://i.postimg.cc/Tw4QbsNF/60334950-10157319950101972-2941742505416196096-n.jpg)

The guesthouse only serves breakfast the following day and we are starving, having skipped lunch at Groblershoop. We snack on our last tankbag munchies until the Kenhardt Hotel opens for dinner. I hop on the back of the 990 and we pop into town. All is quiet except for a couple of rowdy locals walking from the shebeen. We pull into the hotel and order some Karoo lamb chops. The food is absolutely delicious! I neglected to take photos, but there's many names on the wall and we spot Doctor KLR from the KLR Clan's riding shirt. It seems many a Wilddog has come past here! :D

(https://i.postimg.cc/QCKmJqRt/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-21-03.jpg)
Anyway, time to get some sleep. Verneukpan awaits!
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: katana on June 02, 2019, 06:03:45 pm
I am along for the ride.  Lekker.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Lem on June 02, 2019, 08:05:29 pm
Hierdie lyk belowend . Gooi  :deal:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: 2StrokeDan on June 02, 2019, 09:40:47 pm
Lekker!!

Shout if you need a room for a night or 3 in Stellenbosch.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: ETS on June 03, 2019, 09:09:32 am
Sorry you 2 missed us on this one. However, the invitation remain open :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Firecoast on June 03, 2019, 09:29:43 am
Ek loer graag!
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on June 03, 2019, 09:48:53 am
Awesome!
that pass looks brilliant - I will be heading that way at some point....

AND I know about a 950SE coming up for sale if there is an interest.......  8)
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Black_Hawk on June 03, 2019, 10:59:25 am
I'm also keeping an hawk's eye on this report

Thanks for sharing  :thumleft:

Subscribed  :sip: 
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: m0lt3n on June 03, 2019, 11:49:33 am
Groblershoop KLK has absolutely brilliant dagwoods with great milkshakes! My mond water sommer nou weer. Good on you for finding that pass, I only found it on our last trip after about 7 trips in the area
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 03, 2019, 01:05:23 pm
Lekker!!

Shout if you need a room for a night or 3 in Stellenbosch.

Maybe on our return trip. Dates are not set in stone yet. Our bikes are being serviced in the Cape as we speak. We actually slept at another friends place in Stellenbosch, Sandrot on the forum. Would be nice! Let's keep in touch :thumleft:

Sorry you 2 missed us on this one. However, the invitation remain open :thumleft:

Yes, we also just missed you! Hope your leg is healing well? Can't believe those pesky kudu's!!! We had a springbokkie run in front of us just after Verneukpan and I couldn't help but think of you :O
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Thunderlinde on June 03, 2019, 02:17:14 pm
Nice report so far!
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: 0012 on June 03, 2019, 02:20:11 pm
lekker lekker   :ricky:

gooi, ons ry saam
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 03, 2019, 08:03:45 pm
Day 3 - Kenhardt via Verneukpan to Loeriesfontein

We are up early and have breakfast at our hostel/guesthouse , real 'koshuis kos' too haha! The plan was to hehttp://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/Smileys/default/lamer.gifad to Verneukpan and then sleep over in Calvinia. A spanner was thrown into the works though when Hinksding insisted we visit and stay over in Loeriesfontein.

We met Hinksding "Christoffel" at the Wilddogs National Bash at Molopo in 2014. Good times were had! He also accompanied us on the Honda Quest Trip, as an "instructor", making sure all the contestants got through the Koakoland and over VZP unscathed. Anyway, we had a lot of catching up to do and agreed to see him in Loeriesfontein.

(https://i.postimg.cc/rm84DGwY/10410113-10152786396811972-4948751113323761272-n.jpg)
The Molopo Bash 2014. I think we rode like 400km of sand getting there, thanks Orangeswifty. What an experience! :imaposer:

(https://i.postimg.cc/DZBXLWWf/21586572-10155734239236972-5673657425699328936-o.jpg)
Christoffel and I in Windhoek, after we all successfully completed the Honda Quest in 2017.

Enough tripping down memory lane. Let's go to Verneukpan!

(https://i.postimg.cc/qRz3cJ28/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-03-at-19-03-09.jpg)

"Verneukpan is a widespread dry salt pan south of Kenhardt, between Swartkop and Diemansput in the Northern Cape, South Africa. Verneuk is Afrikaans for to trick, mislead, screw or swindle. The pan is used for aerotowing operations. During the rainy seasons many birds flock to the pans, when they contain water. The surface is completely flat, and is approximately 57 kilometres (35 mi) long and 11 kilometres (7 mi) wide.

In 1929 the pan was used by Sir Malcolm Campbell, who unsuccessfully attempted to break the land speed record in his Napier-Campbell Blue Bird.

This is also the place where Johan Jacobs – South African land speed record holder and former fighter pilot – died painfully on 27 June 2006. His jet car, Edge, went out of control and flipped while travelling at approximately 500 kilometres per hour (311 mph). This happened during a practice run for an attempt to break the 24-second world record for the standing mile over 1.67 kilometres."


(https://i.postimg.cc/4ycHMWLy/60313841-10157323422311972-3303758860640059392-n.jpg)
The road to Verneukpan is pretty much the same as most in the Karoo, straight. Except with quite a lot of gates... The scenery around us starts changing again.

(https://i.postimg.cc/nc8D7trD/60765200-10157323422511972-7174646793844555776-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/05KSbNkv/60405358-10157323423591972-7675381500283453440-n.jpg)

What a cool place! We bump into a nice coloured fellow at one of the many gates leading up to the pan. He just happens to be the new owner of the farm and the Verneukpan. He tells us they had 3mm rain just yesterday and the pan is wet. It is completely snotty with mud and won't be dry for 2-3 weeks. Basically if we go out there, we'll get stuck and have a bad time, BUMMER!

It doesn't stop us from having a bit of fun though and we play on the outskirt of the pan.

(https://i.postimg.cc/cJWhcnJf/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-03-at-20-09-30.jpg)
Beauty and the Beast? >:D

(https://i.postimg.cc/02pJ0HKH/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-22-02.jpg)
HSK with his beautiful 990.

(https://i.postimg.cc/hGGzgDyH/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-41-44.jpg)
Obligatory poser photos ::)

(https://i.postimg.cc/4xP7r756/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-41-26-1.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/htcQyb94/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-41-26.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/QxPncC5q/wheelie.png)
And of course, a visit to the pan is not complete without a wheelie :ricky: >:D
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Offshore on June 03, 2019, 08:14:10 pm
  :ricky: What a Girl! :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 03, 2019, 08:43:06 pm
We leave Verneukpan, it will be good to go back, maybe camp there under the full moon when we return again at a later stage.
Anyway, it's time to push on to Brandvlei where we'll stop for lunch. This trip has been quite the 'gastronomical' tour so far :imaposer:

(https://i.postimg.cc/Wb31hW6k/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-03-at-19-03-08.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/wxFBx8Jz/60482871-10157323423371972-8024657642477584384-n.jpg)
Another change of scenery. The area has many small pans along the way to Brandvlei and we stop to explore one.

(https://i.postimg.cc/tJRCdDK8/60291144-10157323423126972-8951420415683592192-n.jpg)
At Brandvlei we get fuel and stop at the local pub for something to bite. It's a really nice place and they even made us waffles with ice cream! :D

(https://i.postimg.cc/BbhZmHsb/60354262-10157323423701972-2116284155158331392-n.jpg)
The endless dirt highways of the Karoo.

(https://i.postimg.cc/TwfRGC3h/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-23-31.jpg)
On our way to Loeriesfontein.

(https://i.postimg.cc/s2pVttyt/60626354-10157323422906972-6944030668074516480-n.jpg)
I literally had to turn around so I could pose in front of this sign. KATKOP!!!

(https://i.postimg.cc/HLGYvpGw/60522872-10157323423021972-605184840744042496-n.jpg)
Hondsekierie? Wait what!? :imaposer:

We make it to Loeriesfontein. We were worried a little bit about punctures on these roads. Lots of people mentioned the fine shale and rocks could cut tyres and cause punctures, but our bikes held up fine.
We were welcomed by our friend, who invited us to join them at their local school braai. We had a fantastic evening, with loads of catching up.

(https://i.postimg.cc/ZqD1sHv1/60860247-10157323423801972-4712014710705225728-n.jpg)
Eeeek that helmet hair!  :laughing4:

That's it for Day 3. We get to bed earlier than we'd like, as we still have to cover the distance to Calvinia and then tackle the infamous Postal Route on our way to the Cederburg as well.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 04, 2019, 09:26:49 pm
Day 4 - Loeriesfontein to Cederberg Oasis via Old Postal Route and Esselbank / Wupperthal 4x4

We leave Loeriesfontein early and ride another Karoo dirt highway to Calvinia where we stop for a quick breakfast. We also full up with fuel (30L) on the Super Enduro and full tanks + 5L in desert fox baggie extra on the 990 (just in case). Today would be the most technical day of our trip with both the Old Postal Route as well as the Esselbank/Wupperthal trail. The Esselbank route we did a couple of years ago and I remember it being really scenic and fun, so wasn't too worried about that. We've never done the Old Postal Route and it is one of my personal bucket list items. It seems to have a bit more of a reputation with many people saying it's pretty damm tough, so we figured we'd take it easy as we were riding alone and the bikes had fairly heavy luggage. We leave Calvinia with no real idea of what lies ahead :P

(https://i.postimg.cc/jj9b1wx5/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-23-55.jpg)
"The R355 is the longest uninterrupted gravel road in South Africa and runs for 257kms, from Ceres in the Western Cape to Calvinia in the Northern Cape province." It would have been cool to ride the entire length of this road, maybe visit Tankwa as well. Next time! Today we'd be spicing things up again :ricky:

(https://i.postimg.cc/NfwgYH12/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-04-at-20-23-17.jpg)
I stop and double check my GPS. Is this it? A random tyre marks the spot. There's a gate, and pretty much nothing else in sight. We blindly trust my gps route (which I all literally put together painstakingly the night before our departure) and start the infamous Old Postal Route.

(https://i.postimg.cc/g0rp4qPQ/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-04-at-20-23-16.jpg)
The scenery starts changing almost immediately, the road also starts getting more and more rough.

(https://i.postimg.cc/Qd8hKZYX/60800048-10157325775736972-9057469806831206400-n.jpg)
We open and close quite a few gates, taking turns doing so.

(https://i.postimg.cc/Bnmsx7R2/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-04-at-20-23-20.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/L6Bms8TC/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-04-at-20-23-18.jpg)
The direction we are riding in takes us through the river crossings first. The route crosses two rivers, the Doring and the Tra-Tra. Lucky for us both of them were dry and we could get through with relative ease.

(https://i.postimg.cc/G2XTsjd2/60560144-10157325776646972-1564939804666232832-n.jpg)
Stopping in the dry riverbed.

(https://i.postimg.cc/zBzRBQm6/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-04-at-21-27-34.jpg)
This is where you actually cross the one river. If there is water and you don't know the place very well, go a bit off track... you are going to have a very bad time :imaposer:

(https://i.postimg.cc/W46ksvy0/60801410-10157325775291972-6255582345789702144-n.jpg)
View from my bike. A very rocky crossing. Thank the pope Hilton Hayward setup my suspension before we set out on this trip ;D
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Offshore on June 04, 2019, 09:33:33 pm
Great Report, thank you, notice the beautiful Karoo Sky, we are blessed. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 04, 2019, 10:18:28 pm
And immediately after the river crossing, we get thrown right into the deep end of this lovely soft sandy tweespoor track. Very interesting with loaded adventure bikes :imaposer:
We took it easy here, a high speed crash, even in soft sand would be a very bad idea in a remote location like this. If one of us was to get badly injured It would mean the other has to ride back through rough terrain just to get to civilization  to get help. Very risky... Anyway we really didn't want to think about things like that and just focused on getting through. Luckily there are no spills and we get through the worst of the sand without too much hassle.

(https://i.postimg.cc/cC5DTYM1/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-04-at-20-23-13.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/tghMysyD/60392420-10157325763631972-4317918149530877952-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/nz2SjNXD/60622837-10157325763981972-5182341306386481152-n.jpg)
I tried to ride out of the track thinking it would be better. It really wasn't. Best is to stay in the spoor where it is more compacted.

(https://i.postimg.cc/XqvHwx5D/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-04-at-20-23-13-1.jpg)     (https://i.postimg.cc/66H19JJs/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-04-at-20-23-14.jpg)
I am a terrible judge of distance, I guess the worst of the sand went on for just short of a kilometer. There's an old building on the other side where you pop out. Very interesting, unfortunately we didn't have time to explore and had to push on.

(https://i.postimg.cc/65M7jcvf/60642373-10157325774961972-8021058541487915008-n.jpg)

From here on the road started climbing. Lots of ups and downs, I remember some pretty rocky downhill, more two track type of terrain, and some smaller rocky crossings. Again, I wish I could have stopped and taken more pictures, but time was limited as we didn't quite know what to still expect.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: White Rhino on June 05, 2019, 12:40:48 am
Awesome guys - keeping the heart rate up. Another proper adventure for many - just another day in the life of Minxy & HSK  :lol8:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: ButtSlider on June 05, 2019, 08:57:46 am
Sub  :thumleft: :ricky: :sip:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: katana on June 05, 2019, 09:48:26 am
Can you share your GPS track for the Postal Route please?  I don't recognize your route.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Matewis on June 05, 2019, 10:02:01 am
Sub!!!
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on June 05, 2019, 10:25:22 am
Another great adventure ride.

 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 05, 2019, 10:32:49 am
Can you share your GPS track for the Postal Route please?  I don't recognize your route.

Please send me your email address and I'll forward it :)
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Operator on June 05, 2019, 11:09:47 am
 :sip:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Fransw on June 05, 2019, 11:10:55 am
Lekker RR! Ek is baie baie lief vir die Karoo. En dis eintlik op ons voorstoep, maklik bereikbaar!.. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 05, 2019, 11:15:32 am
After the sand, we do a bit more rock climbing. There was a fairly gnarly bit with lots of loose rocks that just climbed and climbed. It would be difficult to get going if you were to stop so we just climbed it out all the way. The views here were just spectacular.

(https://i.postimg.cc/8PT1nk7V/60926143-10157325774841972-1261098489408913408-n.jpg)
Here we have the beautiful Karoo sky again.

(https://i.postimg.cc/KvQZXXT3/60466466-10157325765561972-4538618419880132608-n.jpg)
This part is Karretjies Pass, I think? I wasn't quite eyeing the GPS as we really had to focus on the road. I'm pretty sure this route will be quite a bit easier in the other direction. It takes some confidence to ride up without stopping. All goes well though and we stop at the top for a photo or two :)

(https://i.postimg.cc/L53m6w07/60521340-10157325774611972-3819650304803078144-n.jpg)
Another one of them pesky gates ;D

(https://i.postimg.cc/1RGmHV5H/60867149-10157325774371972-6790806094882013184-n.jpg)
The photos don't really do the road justice. It is fairly rocky and steep in a few places.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Black_Hawk on June 05, 2019, 11:26:47 am
That pass is called "Karre'tjies Pas" and it is quite an interesting pass to ride.

We did in in 2012 if I recall correctly and it was a beautiful day and all of a sudden we were in a thunderstorm with heavy rain and some lightning on that plato which  made things very interesting. One guy in our group stalled his bike going up that pass end he could get traction to pull away again and it cost about 4-5 of us to push down on his rear wheel in order for his bike to get to get enough traction to pull away again. Needless to say we had to repeat this exercise with all the remaining bikes to get them to the top again.

Your report brings back fond memories.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 05, 2019, 11:27:26 am
The most technical parts of the pass were behind us and some twisty sandy roads followed. Lots of shale as well, making traction tricky in places.

(https://i.postimg.cc/C142Z0Sj/60450719-10157325771831972-6672170877599088640-n.jpg)
We did it, we conquered the Old Postal Route, it's good to tick off another bucket list item. I do have to mention, just one week prior we did the 23 Rivers ride near Tzaneen, which was another bucket list item of mine. Much more technical, but good practice! So ja, I have been on a bucket list high the last while!!! :P I'll do a ride report on that once I have more time as there is so much video footage to work through.

(https://i.postimg.cc/SRTtrGXR/60492319-10157325763326972-5456526911847006208-n.jpg)
I don't know what this pass is called. This is after the Old Postal route. Beautiful windy road down the mountain with spectacular views. It also pops out at a gate which connects to one of the more main dirt highways.

(https://i.postimg.cc/RCX84vPm/60640776-10157325777091972-2778781030910263296-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/fyTrmPR1/61088798-10157325770641972-3646490804114948096-n.jpg)
Some sandy tracks heading towards Esselbank.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 05, 2019, 11:42:47 am
Thanks for all the comments etc so far. It is nice to read about other people's experiences as well :)
At the moment I'm trying to finish this part of the ride report quick (between work, packing, other preperations) before we set off this Saturday to do the return part of our trip. It has been nice telling the story with everyone following so far :D
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 05, 2019, 12:02:20 pm
(https://i.postimg.cc/RhKjLYrR/60856002-10157325771361972-4725223401587736576-n.jpg)    (https://i.postimg.cc/76Gvf6mj/60420457-10157325769061972-5294395456950894592-n.jpg)
With Esselbank having burnt down not long ago (soooo sad!) we just rode on past and continued to the Esselbank/Wupphurthal 4x4 route heading towards Cederberg Oasis, our stop for the night.

(https://i.postimg.cc/4drDtg0y/60512570-10157325776971972-4434918156800098304-n.jpg)
We stop a couple more times for photos. It has been a long day and we are craving those famous ribs at the Oasis so we don't hang around too long :P

(https://i.postimg.cc/FsQtHhcn/60593166-10157325766611972-8516599975335952384-n.jpg)
The route looks different. There's less sand that's for sure (awwww), it's also more corrugated. There seems to be more concrete on the switchbacks just after Esselbank as well?
Honest it was not that pleasant to ride, not with the road just being in an overall shitty condition. Not shitty as in technical, shitty as in terrible corrugations, shitty road surface, just not nice. I did this on my old SE back in 2013 and remembered it being more challenging, more fun as well. Not sure if anyone thinks the same?

(https://i.postimg.cc/dV4g6dfz/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-24-21.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/zGJ9TpxC/60586843-10157325776781972-2049292784283680768-n.jpg)
It's good to pull into the Cederberg Oasis after a long days ride! Love this place.

(https://i.postimg.cc/dtRb7gjQ/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-25-04.jpg)
Look at me trying to be romantic. J n B... Or B+J?!  :lol8:

(https://i.postimg.cc/wxN8z1tm/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-25-04-1.jpg)

Day 5 - IT'S RAINING!!! Guess we'll take a rest day.
We did want to include a rest day eventually. This would be it thanks to the cold rainy weather. The day was spent chilling, just having a real lazy holiday day in front of a cozy fire. The following day we'd be leaving for the Cape.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: katana on June 05, 2019, 02:54:00 pm
You are correct about the section around Eselbank being in a bad state. 
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Lars on June 05, 2019, 02:56:41 pm
Great R&R! I have been in the Cederberg in April and did the Oasis to Clanwilliam route via Eselsbank and Wupperthal. There was a big fire in Wupperthal just before New Years. Eselsbank was not burned down. I hope they did not had a bad fire as well. Such a nice and remote place.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 05, 2019, 03:17:01 pm
Great R&R! I have been in the Cederberg in April and did the Oasis to Clanwilliam route via Eselsbank and Wupperthal. There was a big fire in Wupperthal just before New Years. Eselsbank was not burned down. I hope they did not had a bad fire as well. Such a nice and remote place.

Sorry, you are right, I got my names turned around. I am not very familiar with the area. All I remember from when we were there in 2013 is they had a nice little restaurant where we sat down to have something to bite. That was all gone now though.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: wilfwalk on June 05, 2019, 04:09:20 pm
Super reading your report, thanks for the time and effort, much appreciated.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: weskus on June 05, 2019, 04:12:36 pm
Ai lekr to read, was my backyard not to long ago and I have not done the postal in 3 years time. It is definately on my to-do list in the not so far future, thanks for reminding..groete vir HSK
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 05, 2019, 04:52:04 pm
Day 6 - Cederberg Oasis to Stellenbosch

This would be our last day on the bikes :'(

(https://i.postimg.cc/MpKNQbwf/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-26-17.jpg)

We ride from Cederberg Oasis past Ceres and all along Bainskloof Pass. A tar road pass, but so beautiful I'd ride this any day on any bike.

(https://i.postimg.cc/MGHCh0rJ/61328235-10157340860786972-8097598608209084416-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/5NmDyKhM/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-26-16.jpg)
Another beautiful tar road pass.

(https://i.postimg.cc/kG3L60M7/60607048-10156291273068027-5071897291816697856-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/T3t87N0c/61364270-10157340861076972-626888719240003584-n.jpg)
Breakfast at one of the most amazing restaurants in Stellenbosch, Th Green Goose. Their food is OUT OF THIS WORLD!

(https://i.postimg.cc/ZKm1TzDc/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-01-at-18-26-15.jpg)
Our bikes get booked in to get a few basic things done, fresh oil change etc for our return trip.

(https://i.postimg.cc/sxYqpT17/61627736-10157340860966972-3605275207020838912-n.jpg)
And of course while we are here we do some of the touristy things, visit the family etc :)

(https://i.postimg.cc/X7hdfnSK/60924446-10157340860136972-6876780963506946048-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/pLF8k3Rw/61420927-10157340860186972-592526914992734208-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/zGzZkYCB/61118722-10157340861131972-2012985020548907008-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/c1wpyLTC/61564546-10157343136596972-2768980761649348608-o.jpg)
Our trip down to the Cape comes to an end. We return back to Gauteng to get some work done.

TO BE CONTINUED!!!

We are flying back to the Cape this coming Saturday to start with our return trip.

The route is not set in stone, but the plan is to go along the coast, stop for a pretty picture at L'Agullus. Make our way through the Baviaanskloof and the Antoniesberg/Grootrivier Poort. From there we'd like to pop in at Hogsback and then go towards the east coast.

If anyone can recommend something nice to do or see, any interesting roads to ride while we are in those areas, that would be awesome. I know there is some nice riding to be done around Hogsback, but we are not too familiar with the rest of the east coast. After Durban we'll probably head up to Memel before going back to Gauteng, doing Normandiens pass and some of the other dirtroads in that area as well.

But yes, open to suggestions :) The ride must go on :ricky:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Hondsekierie on June 06, 2019, 06:01:59 pm
I must admit that I regularly get drawn into little 'bucket list items' like the Old Postal Route, quite unsuspecting, and then have to dig a bit deeper.... Thanks for putting in so much effort with the ride reports, I really appreciate it  :love4:

The specific route was quite testing (for me at least, not the crazy Pole  :biggrin:) with a fully loaded bike as the front end felt super skittish in the conditions.  I was running a Motoz Tractionator Adventure front and that thing had almost no grip.  Only read afterwards that lots of people don't like them for exactly the same reason.  I have the Motoz Rallz at the back and I'm quite chuffed with it's durability.  I guess when you're looking for longevity you always sacrifice in grip/handling department.

We cannot wait to continue our journey and will in future always try and split our trip in two parts - from past experience the trip was always over when you reached the turning point with a big rush to get home - I just love this arrangement and you also get to have your bikes serviced at the guru, Jules from Superbike Solutions - fantastic to deal with him.


Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: 2StrokeDan on June 06, 2019, 08:39:18 pm
Thanks for the visit!

 :xxbah:

Nice photos. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: VaalBaas on June 07, 2019, 04:45:39 am
A few weeks ago me and Vaaknoi went over the Old Postal ....with the car.... Several time I told her to thank me we were not on HMS The Enterprise :biggrin: :lol8:   Althought we came from the other side that piece down Karretjie pass  and the rough rocky sections down to Trra tra rivier would be a gesukkel of ( eerder "off" dalk :peepwall: :ricky:) note with 2 up. I went over a few time with the HP and just remembered the sandy stretches on top. This was the roughest I have seen it yet. Always wanted to go and show  Marloes the canyon view dowm Karretjie pass. That is one of the few pretty beautiful views of the Tankwa :thumleft:

Looking forward to the return trip
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Hondsekierie on June 07, 2019, 08:56:21 am
Thanks for the visit!

 :xxbah:

Nice photos. :thumleft:

 Ons begin eers Maandag, sal jou lui gee - sal lekker wees om jou weer te kan sien  :thumleft: :biggrin:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: DirtRebell on June 07, 2019, 08:58:24 am
Lekker report!, was nice meeting the two of you outside at Oasis.

The Eselbank/Wupperthal route is truly a spectacular route, with some bad patches.
We did the entire loop back to Oasis via Clanwilliam and Algeria without incident, only for my brother to pick up a flat 200m before Oasis.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Hondsekierie on June 07, 2019, 10:12:54 am
Lekker report!, was nice meeting the two of you outside at Oasis.

The Eselbank/Wupperthal route is truly a spectacular route, with some bad patches.
We did the entire loop back to Oasis via Clanwilliam and Algeria without incident, only for my brother to pick up a flat 200m before Oasis.

Likewise.  Only realized who you were afterwards  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: woody1 on June 07, 2019, 10:29:34 am
I see you two need to eat from time to time. :laughing4:
Try and work Barrydale into your route. Go to https://dieselandcreme.co.za/ and have some chips and a milkshake.
Then you go towards Ladismith but turn right and go over Gysmanshoek pass. It is nice and green after the rains.
You then follow the gravel road past Korintepoort Dam.
When you hit the Ladismith - Riversdale tar you turn left and go back over the mountain using Garcia Pass.
After Garcia pass you turn onto the dirt towards Van Wyksdorp.

Here you have the option to carry on straight towards Herbertsdale or via Van Wyskdorp towards Rooiberg Pass and Calitzdorp to maybe go over Swartberg Pass.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: woody1 on June 07, 2019, 10:30:43 am
Of as julle moeg is het ons 'n kamer in Riversdal... met lekker koffie  :sip:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 07, 2019, 03:19:01 pm
Of as julle moeg is het ons 'n kamer in Riversdal... met lekker koffie  :sip:

Thanks, we are really winging the route so will see how everything works out :D
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: 2StrokeDan on June 07, 2019, 08:36:33 pm
Of as julle moeg is het ons 'n kamer in Riversdal... met lekker koffie  :sip:

Thanks, we are really winging the route so will see how everything works out :D

The best way is the unplanned way.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: OomD on June 07, 2019, 09:05:15 pm
Awesome RR, awesome trip :thumleft:

Thanks for sharing, and the awesome pics.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: OomD on June 07, 2019, 09:09:19 pm
Day 3 - Kenhardt via Verneukpan to Loeriesfontein

(https://i.postimg.cc/cJWhcnJf/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-03-at-20-09-30.jpg)
Beauty and the Beast? >:D
Yes, that really is a beautiful bike.

Oh wait...  :pot:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: HB 9 on June 09, 2019, 08:31:46 am
Awesome RR!! Safe travels and I'm looking forward for the return trip!
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 18, 2019, 07:53:05 pm
We have just gotten back from the second half of our trip. Nearly 5000km done in total, some more epic trails ridden. No punctures, no off's, no mechanical breakdowns, just pure awesomeness! Will be updating this soon :)
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: VaalBaas on June 19, 2019, 06:05:45 am
We have just gotten back from the second half of our trip. Nearly 5000km done in total, some more epic trails ridden. No punctures, no off's, no mechanical breakdowns, just pure awesomeness! Will be updating this soon :)

Groot job wat voorlę, maar ons is geduldig. Gaan lekker saam opry :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: OomD on June 19, 2019, 06:14:05 am
Waiting in anticipation...  :ricky:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Frannarossi on June 21, 2019, 03:32:02 pm
Sub :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 21, 2019, 11:17:48 pm
Lets get this underway :)

Back to the Cape and Preparations

After being back at work for about two weeks, we make ready our things for the return trip (last minute as usual). There isn't much to pack, except a new front tyre for the 990. Luckily the airline has no problem with us taking it, as long as it is boxed.

(https://i.postimg.cc/s1CZ8GCV/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-21-at-22-13-41-1.jpg)
Here we go again!

(https://i.postimg.cc/BZkkhTtx/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-21-at-22-13-43-1.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/pLt7vPfr/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-21-at-22-13-41.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/W45f0rQq/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-21-at-22-13-44.jpg)
Our mighty steeds have both had a service and were purring happily. The Motoz Adventure front comes off (HSK hated this tyre!) and the MT 21 gets slapped on. We are ready to roll!!!

(https://i.postimg.cc/SRY0LgZk/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-21-at-23-03-20.jpg)
Before we depart for Part 2 we call up a few friends we haven't seen in ages. Also, I got to meet 2StrokeDan, a man who precedes his reputation around here and overall nice guy. His wife cooked up the most awesome breakfast for us, nothing beats Wilddog hospitality :ricky: :) :thumleft:

Day 1 - Stellenbosch to L'Agulus

(https://i.postimg.cc/DzvMW5YK/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-21-at-22-13-42-1.jpg)
To our dismay, the weather is COLD!!! Freezing with rain. Great, what a way to start the trip. We get away a bit later than we'd like.

(https://i.postimg.cc/m2GRNsGn/62223799-10157386687551972-5256492426398269440-n.jpg)
Anyway, things have a way of working out and the rain passes. We slab it to L'Agulus, the most southern point in Africa.

(https://i.postimg.cc/GmLCVxtJ/62259108-10157386687386972-2500884221518675968-n.jpg)
We are standing oceans apart?

(https://i.postimg.cc/Njdcc2rh/62327276-10157386687106972-3411100628921876480-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/4dDG0CHm/62534604-10157386687191972-2594915198955421696-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/yYXKLb18/64240080-10157386687766972-1001674952832712704-n.jpg)
I throw a stone into the sea. Visit the southern most point of Africa bucket list item ticked! Now all there is left to do is to visit the most northern point? Hmmmm....

(https://i.postimg.cc/vBD2hTsq/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-21-at-22-13-43.jpg)
The little restaurants are well worth visiting.

(https://i.postimg.cc/zDh8gf4W/62427635-10157386687926972-2529620872738635776-n.jpg)
Why can't I stop eating? :imaposer:

(https://i.postimg.cc/VvXwQ7X4/62204062-10157386688126972-3656403318051176448-n.jpg)
We stay at the Backpackers. Cozy place.

(https://i.postimg.cc/x1yZTB5R/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-21-at-22-13-44-1.jpg)
Dinner at the Seafood place, we had some of the best fish here. Nom nom's!

(https://i.postimg.cc/65ZSF8GF/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-21-at-22-13-42.jpg)
A night ride to the beach :) I really enjoyed it here, the area felt safe and the atmosphere relaxed. Weather report looked good for the next day, something to look forward to after the cold rainy ride we had in the morning.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: 2StrokeDan on June 22, 2019, 03:52:49 pm
It was good to see Johan again, and even better meeting you, Barbara.

Glad you could stop here.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 25, 2019, 08:49:27 pm
Day 2 - L'Agulus to Ladismith

Today was just going to be an easy ride to Ladismith. We are on holiday after all :) Something I've always wanted to do was to go over with the Malgas Pont :D We finally have our chance and plot some nice dirt roads to ride for the day.

(https://i.postimg.cc/NG73qw7T/62406847-10157389280791972-3857022954139287552-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/50WRTPXn/64242619-10157389281561972-8988091202939125760-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/9MyvQ666/62399739-10157389281716972-9111384922139918336-n.jpg)
Such a vast collection of stickers.

(https://i.postimg.cc/fywgTJjd/64318865-10157389281606972-1600846616024055808-n.jpg)
Wheeeeeee!!! I feel like such a tourist, this is awesome :D

(https://i.postimg.cc/GpyfM0m4/64348853-10157389281131972-2150778643830276096-n.jpg)
Pristine dirt roads.

(https://i.postimg.cc/wj3ZmRKc/62513900-10157389281061972-1814394034953650176-n.jpg)
Admiring the view at Tradouw Pass, tar road, but so beautiful and worth including on any adventure trip.

(https://i.postimg.cc/T1GBLkGp/62191426-10157389281871972-3704453672697069568-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/D0gHqqy5/62537213-10157389280936972-5128840599587258368-n.jpg)
We stop at Diesel and Creme for their legendary milkshakes.

(https://i.postimg.cc/sDjt30wL/62514121-10157389281496972-860500284051292160-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/htwwb4cF/62624253-10157389281301972-3508797949356277760-n.jpg)
And of course we have to stop at Ronnie's Sex Shop while in the area!

(https://i.postimg.cc/0NTTxkBG/62433236-10157389281231972-3544342226819612672-n.jpg)
In the distance, the Towerkop mountain.

(https://i.postimg.cc/RCRDpL4L/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-25-at-20-11-15.jpg)
We arrive at Ladismith and stay with Veldtie at Koedoeskloof.

(https://i.postimg.cc/vT321b3N/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-25-at-20-10-46.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/QMC5Q5hm/64308069-2380636602053258-5444672643196256256-o.jpg)
When we arrive we bump into our friend Mark Hardy! Wow what a surprise!!! The world really is small. Mark is in the area on a photographic trip. It has been so awesome meeting so many old friends on our journey.

So our original plan was to do the Baviaanskloof the following day, but weather predictions were pretty gloomy for-spelling cold and rain. We decide to take another rest day to sort a few things out. It's good to just relax, otherwise the trip starts to feel more like work than a holiday.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 25, 2019, 09:27:26 pm
Day 3 - Rest Day and quick hop to Seweweekspoort

The day is cold, gloomy... But no rain just yet. We take the time to do some washing, relax and buy a few things from the shop. We decide to not completely waste the day and pop out to Seweweekspoort about 30km away.

This is one of the most beautiful places to visit. Spectacular rugged mountains, that make you feel so small, it's a truly magical place. I remember the last time I was here I was sat on the back of the bakkie and was literally gaping at all the sights around me. It was wonderful to ride through this scenic pass on the bikes again.

(https://i.postimg.cc/rpNbrByx/64243383-10157389887276972-2228860852918812672-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/B6Zzcmty/62308303-10157389887156972-2041193665669365760-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/gjnB1rVH/62338252-10157389886916972-5920523193885392896-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/j2mkTKv0/64345061-10157389887516972-6605566947134275584-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/fLHrHY9b/64393384-10157389886796972-59896080606691328-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/J4H2qD41/62231974-10157389887621972-8785283422747623424-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/1RjdwcSC/62447993-10157389887446972-2757894905597526016-n.jpg)
We plan on having a romantic picnic, but the rain decides to eventually show face and foils are plans. Damm you rain! *shakes fist at the sky*
We head back in the freezing cold and pack up our things so we can start early the next day. We'll be doing over 400km including Baviaans and want to stay just on the other side in Patensie.

***

While browsing my facebook I am surprised to find Joey Evans is heading through the Baviaanskloof. If we didn't abondon our plan due to bad weather we would have bumped right into him! I quickly message Joey and ask him to please report on the condition. He sends me some photos and says we must take care the water is quite deep. He went on the right hand side (riding same direction as we were going to, west to east), hit the concrete step (which is VERY exposed) and got stuck. Luckily he managed to get the bike out without any incident. Phew! Ok, guess we'll stick to the left going through the infamous Smitskraal. Thanks for the advice Joey!

A few pics Joey sent me, he was riding the KTM 790R to a talk he was hosting in Patensie and of course decided to take the fun way there:

(https://i.postimg.cc/4ykB2w3s/62604714-2392856170804329-9079705453818019840-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/G2NZLkh5/62341778-2392870424136237-3377471563275173888-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/mDhvWdR9/62355431-2392891424134137-4495921982486872064-n.jpg)

Great, can't wait to head to the Baviaans tomorrow! We've done it before, on the KTM 950 and the Husky 701, along with the Grootrivierpoort and Antoniesberg on a previous trip, but the water levels were very low and we never got to experience the river crossings as we would now. So excited!!!
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Sheepman on June 25, 2019, 09:35:19 pm
Excellent RR and pics, thanks  :thumleft: Not to detract from your beautiful Klip Trap Machines in the workshop pic......I scanned a piece of real classic on a ramp there, a Ducati Paul Smart 1000 with Zard pipes  :drif:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 25, 2019, 09:58:15 pm
Excellent RR and pics, thanks  :thumleft: Not to detract from your beautiful Klip Trap Machines in the workshop pic......I scanned a piece of real classic on a ramp there, a Ducati Paul Smart 1000 with Zard pipes  :drif:

Thank you :biggrin:
Ooohhh and yes Julian at SB Solutions gets to work on the most amazing bikes!!! :drif:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 28, 2019, 08:12:12 pm
Day 4 - Ladismith to Patensie via Baviaanskloof

Yay today we are heading for the Baviaanskloof :D

It would be a long ride again. We leave Ladismith after a quick breakfast and brave the cold weather. Thank the pope for winter gloves, it was freezing, especially when we were doing the long tar section!!!

(https://i.postimg.cc/CxC2VtVK/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-23-59.jpg)     

Of course we include a couple of dirt roads on our way.

(https://i.postimg.cc/XvVzN8Vk/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-24-23.jpg)    (https://i.postimg.cc/nL0wXDrb/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-24-14.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/rsvH82mD/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-24-33.jpg)
Getting close now.

(https://i.postimg.cc/d37XPVqM/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-24-47.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/yYZ5LxQc/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-25-02.jpg)
Love all the stickers!

(https://i.postimg.cc/cCrqxcBb/64263091-10157393065936972-6765051336376451072-o.jpg)
HSK giving us his best pose.

(https://i.postimg.cc/NfZt0ZV7/62410816-10157392941981972-8900053577486041088-n.jpg)
Onward ho!

(https://i.postimg.cc/vTNsfKmy/62377493-10157392943291972-9026174020822761472-n.jpg)
Could not resist but stop for a quick cappuccino :)

(https://i.postimg.cc/ryb3GxJq/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-25-19.jpg)
Ok, lets do this.

(https://i.postimg.cc/sgCLqzq8/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-25-12.jpg)
Some people on BMW's checked in earlier, the only other traffic for the day it seems. We check in at 14:51. That doesn't leave us with much daylight to reach Patensie.

(https://i.postimg.cc/d1fHBcG5/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-25-29.jpg)
A few people mentioned that the Baviaans is in a pretty rough condition after the recent flooding. Lets see about that :)

(https://i.postimg.cc/k4GYKgRV/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-25-37.jpg)
There is lots of water and we cross numerous rivers. Last time we were here it was so dry we could barely recognize the place.

(https://i.postimg.cc/BnD0PMfW/62435252-10157392942436972-5292315369929703424-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/m2PRBTdg/64215677-10157392942306972-1808099876345479168-n.jpg)
Where is Smitskraal!? Are we there yet?

(https://i.postimg.cc/MHjs33Dq/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-25-49.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/dDP5bRHd/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-25-57.jpg)
The moment we've all been waiting for...

(https://i.postimg.cc/8CmgtcCt/64873124-10158557129968047-8735581219384721408-n.jpg)
 :imaposer: Ok, so in order to prevent some serious bike drownage, I asked HSK if he feels like going first to test the waters...

(https://i.postimg.cc/DZCk3NLG/64448967-10157392943221972-4031478452619051008-n.jpg)
He makes it through, and waits right on top of the concrete section where the big step is.

(https://i.postimg.cc/pTkxXrbp/62629256-10157392942136972-4784081160965718016-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/pTVb7vhx/64327720-10157392943161972-7681893074431115264-n.jpg)


Ok, lets do this! :D :D :D Damm, there's a lot of rocks all over, can't ride in the track without being thrown from side to side. I really didn't want to get my feet wet, but oh well, we made it. The step where the concrete starts is also quite big, it's good to be aware or you could get stuck.

(https://i.postimg.cc/DfjF9SPN/62424181-10157392943051972-8684555805317398528-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/rpkL1xqD/64221301-10157392942881972-8493591676617490432-n.jpg)
The only problem with waterproof boots is, it also keeps the water in :laughing4:

(https://i.postimg.cc/fyLs3sD5/62520805-10157392942961972-8317709355642257408-n.jpg)
The rest of the route goes well with a couple of climbs and dodgy concrete strips. We stop a few times to take some photos.

(https://i.postimg.cc/ry0ML8ZF/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-26-27.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/L4cR9rGk/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-26-38.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/hPVnf2qk/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-26-53.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/0yxsm7kb/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-27-02.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/Nj4wxLFb/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-19-27-09.jpg)
We exit at the gate on the other side at about 5pm, we didn't do too badly, but it was quickly starting to get dark. We arrive in Patensie just as it gets dark, grab a bite to eat at the Hotel and sleep over at the lovely Archers Boutique Hotel.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 28, 2019, 09:13:49 pm
Day 5 - Patensie to Hogsback

Today we'd have a fairly easy going ride through some of the dirt roads in the Addo area heading all the way to Hogsback. BigDom was kind enough to help me with this awesome track, much appreciated.

(https://i.postimg.cc/RFrqnX02/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-20-38-01.jpg)
Even though I tried using the hairdryer, my boots still weren't completely dry. I guess I'll have to use plastic bags as over socks to keep my footsies warm. Oh the joys of adventure riding :P

(https://i.postimg.cc/cHQC7wgC/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-20-38-01-1.jpg)
Patensie kitty helped us pack our luggage.

(https://i.postimg.cc/nrGsxBpg/64239286-10157395625586972-4312085583942909952-n.jpg)
Beautiful scenic road just north of Patensie.

(https://i.postimg.cc/Cx1ZyRtr/64274913-10157395625956972-5854236412395651072-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/mgHsFRF2/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-20-52-08-1.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/28JY63yK/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-20-52-07-1.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/Hs3JPwS7/64317612-10157395625691972-5488483933840474112-n.jpg)
Near the start of the Zuurberg pass. Nice and smooth at the start.

(https://i.postimg.cc/RZDWvMxS/62568451-10157395625821972-4041631798256467968-n.jpg)    (https://i.postimg.cc/nzHb5DSC/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-20-52-08-3.jpg)
Things get progressively more and more interesting and we have lots of fun navigating through this rocky pass which also offered some spectacular views.

(https://i.postimg.cc/JhCWNgb3/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-20-52-08.jpg)

We get to Grahamstown which is buzzing with activity. Unfortunately we don't have much time to hang around and meet with everyone we would have liked. We've had so many awesome people telling us to pop in when we are in the area, but unfortunately we were already a day late on our schedule and just couldn't spend more time. We did stop though for a quick coffee with BigDom and thanked him for his awesome route. We must ride together next time! :)

(https://i.postimg.cc/3J06t1rt/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-18-36-45.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/MKzMDPYS/62551555-10157395626171972-4443639294053056512-n.jpg)
After Grahamstown we pretty much have to put in the quickest route to Hogsback as the dark was catching us again! That is the problem with winter riding, sun comes up late morning, goes down early evening and the days are just too short. HSK's GPS diverts us through a dodgy part of the township before Hogsback, but we get through ok and again arrive in the dark. As we hadn't booked any accommodation on our trip we were just too glad they could accommodate us at The Edge.

(https://i.postimg.cc/pXyxRKWj/Whats-App-Image-2019-06-28-at-20-52-07.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/Bb08RM92/64511804-10157395626291972-664217787543060480-n.jpg)
We have dinner with this special guest sitting at our table.

(https://i.postimg.cc/dQ2ZGPr6/62461777-10157395626416972-2587602686421499904-n.jpg)
 :love10:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on June 28, 2019, 09:29:44 pm
Day 6 - Rest day in Hogsback

I've always, always wanted to visit this magical town and we just had to take a day off to enjoy some of the sights.

(https://i.postimg.cc/5y4z6n7b/62627377-10157398311026972-9186182499154264064-n.jpg)
We start exploring at The Edge where we are staying and walk the labyrinth.

(https://i.postimg.cc/qq13nySn/62552044-10157398310881972-253750245555437568-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/FsnSHbjX/62646700-10157398309776972-4640926993297178624-n.jpg)
We were really, really spoiled by all the beautiful views on this trip.

(https://i.postimg.cc/c4JYWktc/62654255-10157398311301972-3676005419941101568-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/50qv4Zms/62576896-10157398308461972-6265326539957600256-n.jpg)
We both hop on the 990 and ride down to visit the Madonna and Child waterfall.

(https://i.postimg.cc/6302JC9S/64718572-10157398308601972-293823802255605760-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/fyR3wkyb/64583624-10157398308796972-6459894137628917760-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/G21G1cvB/64460642-10157398309176972-101349408435601408-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/Nj3r1gJN/64246654-10157398309386972-8406289770472275968-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/0yMwM6fM/64251568-10157398308986972-7108899232613924864-n.jpg)
The iconic bathtub?

(https://i.postimg.cc/d0GZ6zgJ/64514015-10157398309501972-1673089761239105536-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/rmc0PfLx/64578178-10157398310501972-7186967367094632448-n.jpg)
And of course, more amazing food! Lord help us I think we both gained 10kg on this trip :imaposer:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Lem on June 29, 2019, 12:28:51 pm
ah, peddaling through Smitskraal and staying at The Edge...brings back so much great memories  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Dutchman81 on June 29, 2019, 05:14:46 pm
Such a great RR thanks for sharing , glad you enjoyed Hogsback right on my door step...

Sent from my I3312 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: billy-joe on July 01, 2019, 09:51:05 am
loving this rr, thanks so much!  i also did the paddling thing and i was on a 650!  keep it coming!
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Plaasseun on July 01, 2019, 01:17:47 pm
Minxy I also got my boots soaking wet in Smitskraal, stuffed it full of newspapers for the night and it was completely dry the following morning. Could barely believe it myself, good tip to remember.

Enjoying your report  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on July 01, 2019, 09:32:23 pm
Day 7 - Hogsback to Aliwal North

With the onset of the school holidays, we decided to change our original plan a bit. From Hogsback we originally wanted to go all along the coast towards Durban, then back up home to Pretoria. But yes, with the school holidays starting we thought it would be a bad idea as there would be loads of traffic and we haven't exactly booked any accommodation etc. We'd cut our holiday a few days short this time and head home on a more direct route.

Today we'd ride Mitchell's pass, Katberg Pass as well as the Devils Bellows, then sleep over on the Orange River in Aliwal North.

(https://i.postimg.cc/C5LVq4hY/64578332-10157400604296972-5719309632539721728-n.jpg)
Just outa Hogsback on Mitchell's Pass.

(https://i.postimg.cc/bw2fkrhG/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-43-56.jpg)
HSK remembered riding Mitchell's pass some year's ago on his Hp2 and recalls it being in a terrible condition, full of donga's and deep ruts. It was pretty good this time round and made for some lovely riding.

(https://i.postimg.cc/8CzWZ71H/64221189-10157400604476972-8795169827577659392-n.jpg)
Ruins of old in Seymour.

(https://i.postimg.cc/L8rRbfTB/64475061-10157400606331972-2388537953048592384-n.jpg)
I asked around for some info regarding the condition of Katberg pass (it seems to have quite a reputation) and people said it's pretty rough, but doable. Great! Little did I know that this would really be the highlight of our ride back home.

(https://i.postimg.cc/289CngLt/64508980-10157400604606972-4430699773065953280-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/LsKKTS9x/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-44-54.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/Gt7nJstD/64679796-10157400606481972-507707100512649216-n.jpg)
The scenery along Katberg pass was just breathtaking and kept changing.

(https://i.postimg.cc/rp16ZHzM/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-46-50.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/PqYhsxVG/64485099-10157400604821972-8700620417523515392-n.jpg)
Where did this even come from!?

(https://i.postimg.cc/KjYdzvf8/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-46-57-1.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/v83ydChm/64779132-10157400605301972-8496398021133598720-n.jpg)
The road started getting rougher as we climbed our way out of the forest.

(https://i.postimg.cc/tCcHsPLQ/64753714-10157400604981972-8409024075501928448-n.jpg)
I just had to stop and take photos. Nobody will ever believe the shit we get up to otherwise :imaposer:

(https://i.postimg.cc/wTMpxF4Q/64786276-10157400605701972-3622422979914235904-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/j5tpphJN/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-46-51.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/TY3RLT1m/64257175-10157400605551972-5249493343397740544-n.jpg)
One of the many beautiful views we got to experience on our magical trip.

(https://i.postimg.cc/G2KWdskf/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-46-56.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/ZRmmTSXW/64630622-10157400607311972-6264218614488891392-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/7ZCw9XgZ/64249434-10157400605431972-5361304269964181504-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/76NkhRym/64418897-10157400606641972-9031581230029602816-n.jpg)
Not as many stickers on this sign post. Could see a very faded one from Edgy, as well as Wolweseun. It's a truly special place this, quite far off the beaten track, we did not see a single other person out on these roads.
This is also where the Katberg pass ends and where the Devils Bellows starts up ahead.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Ri on July 02, 2019, 06:42:09 am
Beautiful scenery, and rough bit of riding in places - thanks for stopping to take photo's
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on July 05, 2019, 04:52:11 pm
We soldier on to Devils Bellows pass. Quite an intimidating name! >:D The pass itself is short compared to Katberg, but wow what a ride! A few rocky sections, with a windy road going into a very overgrown black wattle forest. BigDom told us we can avoid the overgrown section by taking the obvious detour around it. We didn't pay attention and don't see any detour, but there was a nice rutted single track going right through the forest. We'll just take that :) How much further off the beaten track can you go?

(https://i.postimg.cc/8P7mfVs5/64506355-10157400606181972-4747749044766375936-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/MpyR1ZwW/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-46-57.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/dtZGtmSZ/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-46-52.jpg)
Dense forest, doubt any vehicle can get through without cutting some of the tree branches.

(https://i.postimg.cc/XvbfPGLG/64254065-10157400605906972-7973978097831641088-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/nzdqMdJB/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-31-30.jpg)
Rutted single track through the forest sections with a couple of ups and downs to navigate.

(https://i.postimg.cc/7PsNLLHd/62654775-10157400607466972-5401947691515117568-n.jpg)
We come out on the other side of the forest. The track is very overgrown and it doesn't seem anyone has been through here for quite a while.

(https://i.postimg.cc/wjKLtySf/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-46-54.jpg)
This beautiful forgotten road pops out onto a main dirt highway.

(https://i.postimg.cc/9MXGW6vc/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-32-25.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/C5zk8jht/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-32-40.jpg)
We go through so many sad little towns on our way. Crumbling buildings, old houses, many just abandoned.

(https://i.postimg.cc/v8NWsSXd/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-32-52.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/VvpMWd5N/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-48-01.jpg)
Some more dirt highways.

(https://i.postimg.cc/PqywF6N9/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-48-02.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/fLb94x9L/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-48-03.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/W1rmS6Gc/64218775-10157400607056972-3217352742938869760-n.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/R04tdrCw/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-01-at-20-48-01-1.jpg)
We get to our lodge on the Orange river in Aliwal North. No swimming for us. It's minus 4 degrees that night and we are absolutely freezing!!!

(https://i.postimg.cc/1Xj07v7s/62646255-10157400607826972-2921566329607553024-n.jpg)
Orange river in the background.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: 2StrokeDan on July 05, 2019, 07:53:48 pm
I did Mitchell's pass, if it is the same one running out of Hogsback, years ago with John of WildWood fame, and like HSK mentions, it was very rough. Deep dongas and ravines making it difficult for a good rider on a 990 and gs800.

And who says nothing gets repaired or maintained in the EC? :ricky:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on July 08, 2019, 10:49:48 am
Day 8 - Aliwal North to Boulders Lodge Fouriesburg

Today the fact that we are heading home really hit. We've had such an incredible trip so far and all the real highlights were behind us. Today we'd just be riding some dirt highways heading to our last overnight stop in Fouriesburg. Neither of us have ridden the dirt roads following the Lesotho border on the western side before, so at least it would be something new.

(https://i.postimg.cc/25p3HsKH/DSC-2995.jpg)
An old stone house.

(https://i.postimg.cc/s2pxbnF3/DSC-2997.jpg)
Crossing a beautiful lake.

(https://i.postimg.cc/4dsyGzZV/DSC-2998.jpg)
Just down the road a couple of farmers were busy braaing. They invited us for a dop :D We had to politely decline as we still had a long way to go. How I wish I'd taken a photo! Wonderful people in the middle of nowhere, our journeys are never without surprises.

We stayed over at Boulders Lodge with Mike and them in Fouriesburg. They have a great farm where you can ride around on their trails and they offer training as well. As usual we just didn't have time to go ride around, but I thought I'd mention it as it's a great biker friendly place to stay if in the area.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on July 08, 2019, 01:52:49 pm
Day 9 - Lets head home, Fouriesburg to Pretoria

We rode from Fouriesburg to Clarens for a nice breakfast. We decided over coffee to just hit the most direct route back home. The fun was over now, the back roads heading back to Gauteng are really not anything to write about, unless your idea of fun is riding 100's of km on some dusty, corrugated dirt highways next to mielie fields. So 350+km on tar it is... Anyway, we'd rather get back early so we have time to unpack our bags etc.

I didn't take any more photos, we didn't even stop except for fuel halfway.

So after a journey of a combined 5000+km's we are finally home. What a most memorable trip it has been! As mentioned before, we had no mechanical breakdowns, no punctures, no incidents, just pure riding bliss.

How did the bikes hold up?

(https://i.postimg.cc/B6JmWwz3/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-08-at-13-38-38.jpg)
You might notice some duct tape on HSK's 990s headlight protector, what broke it? He pushed it off accidentally with his belly when walking around the bike and stepped on it :imaposer: I saw it happen in slow motion, so funny :ricky: Otherwise, not a scratch :D

(https://i.postimg.cc/nzT0nG8D/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-08-at-13-38-36.jpg)
This tyre was put on when in Capetown so only did the return trip, still looking snazzy.

(https://i.postimg.cc/cL89f33p/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-08-at-13-38-36-2.jpg)
The rear tyre (Motoz Tractionator RallyZ) was put on just before the start of our trip.

(https://i.postimg.cc/Pqj4ZRTD/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-08-at-13-38-35.jpg)
I pulled off some of the sticker kit which was coming loose on the safari tank of the 950SE, it's quite old and needs a replacement anyway. Other than looking a bit shabby cosmetically (already fixing that) the bike did brilliant! :) I enjoyed the 950SE so much again that I've pretty much jacked it for myself. This is also the reason I cancelled on the 790R pre-order l >:D Previously on my 950SE (which I sold four years ago), I did over 25,000km problem free, a truly bulletproof and capable adv bike.

(https://i.postimg.cc/0NRtnNdb/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-08-at-13-38-36-1.jpg)
Same front tyre as on HSK's bike, did the entire round trip. Still plenty of life!

(https://i.postimg.cc/KYP0HyJQ/Whats-App-Image-2019-07-08-at-13-38-37.jpg)
The rear tyre, also the same as HSK's has done close to 6000km now. It did a trip to Limpopo and now this entire trip too. Very impressed with the Motoz! Will fit one again, nothing else has ever lasted anything longer than 3000km on this bike.

Anyway this is a wrap, thanks to everyone for following along on our ride, we really enjoyed everyone's comments. I'll be doing another ride report on our more extreme trip the 23 Rivers shortly :)
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Grunder on July 08, 2019, 02:09:07 pm
Thank you for a great read!!

 :ricky:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Fuzzy Muzzy on July 08, 2019, 02:37:16 pm
Fantastic route.. lovely read.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: OomD on July 08, 2019, 02:45:20 pm
This was a lekker read, thanks! Lovely trip.  :thumleft: :ricky:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: 2StrokeDan on July 09, 2019, 08:10:50 am
All I fit on the front are those Pirelli Rallycross', really great all-rounders.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on July 09, 2019, 03:15:33 pm
Great trip, and nice to see some familiar places, thanks for sharing.

 8)
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Clockwork Orange on July 09, 2019, 03:36:07 pm
Brilliant as always. Thank you :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: DirtRebell on July 09, 2019, 10:18:35 pm
You are are styling it,
Epic trip with great memories.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on July 10, 2019, 10:50:45 am
Thanks for the lekke RR Minxy. :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Offroadrider on July 11, 2019, 01:32:31 pm
This is the shit legends are made of
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: windswept on July 11, 2019, 02:07:59 pm
Well written, enjoyed it. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Zanie on July 14, 2019, 01:47:14 pm
Thanks for a lekker RR. Most of the route is our backyard, but Katberg is still on my bucket list, alongside Bastervoetslaanpad and, thanks to your RR, Devil's Bellows! I'm going to go peak at your 23 Rivers RR now. Extreme = extremely interesting.  ;D

Did you ever finish the Namibia RR where things went wrong? I can't seem to find it and last I read, things were still ok, but going South.
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on July 15, 2019, 08:10:33 am
Thanks for a lekker RR. Most of the route is our backyard, but Katberg is still on my bucket list, alongside Bastervoetslaanpad and, thanks to your RR, Devil's Bellows! I'm going to go peak at your 23 Rivers RR now. Extreme = extremely interesting.  ;D

Did you ever finish the Namibia RR where things went wrong? I can't seem to find it and last I read, things were still ok, but going South.

Thanks Zanie :thumleft:

You guys really do have some awesome riding right on your doorstep, like Matroosberg 4x4 I'd love to come and do sometime as well :ricky:

When you guys go up to do the Bastervoetslaanpad, why not do the Ben 10 challenge while you are at it. Most of those passes are spectacular and everything is quite close to each other.
https://www.mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za/find-a-pass/ben10.html (https://www.mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za/find-a-pass/ben10.html)

23 Rivers is a MUST. Please do contact @malmens gerrit  from Oppie Oewer if you guys want to ride in that area as you do need permissions (there is a locked gate, forestry roads etc). He offers awesome accommodation as well.

And the Namibia trip ride report I never finished, I will get to it at some stage. Trip ended up as a bit of a downer though with my bike breaking, but we'll go again :ricky:
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Zanie on July 15, 2019, 10:12:55 pm
We are really spoiled for choice, in the Western Cape and South Africa as a whole. When you read of the nanny-state shenanigans in, say, Europe, you can only be happy we haven't reached that point of policing yet. "Thou shalt take that one authorised dirt road." Can you imagine?

Speaking of which, unfortunately Matroosberg is now a no-go zone for bikes as far as I am aware, which is a real pity. Unless this has changed again? Though, I must say, I don't think I'd ever want to tackle it on a motorbike. I did it by mountain bike and the steep downhill was absolutely hair-raising! I would have bailed if not for the fact that once you hit it there are two options: ride or fall. The back keeps wanting to overtake the front whenever brakes are applied. As an uphill, it was bloody steep. Longest ever trail I went "hiking" with my mountain bike...

I've been eyeing the mountain passes site's Ben 10 Challenge. Lance and I were thinking of possibly doing it with my parents: us on the bikes and them in the "back-up" 4x4. It will be nice to have a light bike when tackling those roads. I'd remove the time limit though. No challenge awards for us. I like slow, as can be seen!

Thanks for the 23 Rivers contact. Is that area in Limpopo? Flipping far for us Capies, but it must go on the bucket list. Just like South America: bucket list. We can always dream hey?
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on July 15, 2019, 10:26:53 pm
We are really spoiled for choice, in the Western Cape and South Africa as a whole. When you read of the nanny-state shenanigans in, say, Europe, you can only be happy we haven't reached that point of policing yet. "Thou shalt take that one authorised dirt road." Can you imagine?

Speaking of which, unfortunately Matroosberg is now a no-go zone for bikes as far as I am aware, which is a real pity. Unless this has changed again? Though, I must say, I don't think I'd ever want to tackle it on a motorbike. I did it by mountain bike and the steep downhill was absolutely hair-raising! I would have bailed if not for the fact that once you hit it there are two options: ride or fall. The back keeps wanting to overtake the front whenever brakes are applied. As an uphill, it was bloody steep. Longest ever trail I went "hiking" with my mountain bike...

I've been eyeing the mountain passes site's Ben 10 Challenge. Lance and I were thinking of possibly doing it with my parents: us on the bikes and them in the "back-up" 4x4. It will be nice to have a light bike when tackling those roads. I'd remove the time limit though. No challenge awards for us. I like slow, as can be seen!

Thanks for the 23 Rivers contact. Is that area in Limpopo? Flipping far for us Capies, but it must go on the bucket list. Just like South America: bucket list. We can always dream hey?

I've seen ride reports on Matroosberg before, not sure if things changed since then, would be nice to know, but yes it looks hectic, proper challenge :D

It's always a good idea to go with backup, especially in some of the remote places you ride through on the Ben 10. Well worth it though, such a stunning area! And I agree with taking time to see the place. I know some people have done it in a day, but I'd take at least a couple of days to explore that beautiful area. No point rushing through so quickly you cant even take a photo and appreciate the scenery.

And yes, 23 Rivers is near Tzaneen in Limpopo. Quite far from the Cape haha, but you could put the bikes on the train to Pretoria? Could be quite the adventure :D
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Zanie on July 16, 2019, 08:27:14 pm
The Matroosberg ban is a recent change and is reflected on their website: https://matroosberg.com/4x4-trail/. I guess some hooligans spoiled it for everyone. I know there's a story attached to it, but can't remember the details. I think there was a bike-car altercation.

If we do head to the Eastern Cape, we will set aside proper time to do it justice: maybe two weeks. At least now I have a bike that I can trust to last the distance!
Title: Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
Post by: Minxy on July 16, 2019, 09:16:29 pm
The Matroosberg ban is a recent change and is reflected on their website: https://matroosberg.com/4x4-trail/. I guess some hooligans spoiled it for everyone. I know there's a story attached to it, but can't remember the details. I think there was a bike-car altercation.

If we do head to the Eastern Cape, we will set aside proper time to do it justice: maybe two weeks. At least now I have a bike that I can trust to last the distance!

I see, that is a pity :(

And yes, I think you found a winner of a bike with that Honda! :)