Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: MRK Miller on August 11, 2019, 02:28:44 am

Title: Val to Greyling stad ghost town
Post by: MRK Miller on August 11, 2019, 02:28:44 am
So the past week, not weekend, my Good buddy and i decided its time to put his newly revamped ktm to the test, and see if it will keep up with the klr. We would do the trip, the family and i did a few weekends ago, but will stick to the gravel as much as possible. Wednesday was our last of day, so we decided the day before on that day, since the route was already there, but for a few changes here and there. Through Nigel we got our first taste of gravel, which was a gravel highway
 
For some or other reason the gps did not want to do the guide thing. I would select the route, it would show it to me, but when i press go, it does not give the route. It shows where i am, but no route. I had a idea of where to go, but this scenario would rob us of a piece of road. Somewhere on the route the road turned into a stone infested two track, which made for interesting riding. The scenery was great, rolling hills of grass lands, filled with grazing cattle, and sheep. The pace was easy. Hennie was patient with all the stops to check the route. There were these wonderful stone houses everywhere.

Just after that, on the one uphill i saw to my left, one of my favorite animals. A Jackal standing in the veld watching us. I slammed on the brakes, in the hope of a picture but the phone battery had gone flat. It was a beauty. We stood and watched as it disappeared into the grass over the hill. My day was officially made. From there we headed on ward to a T-juction, where the gps said left then right to Val. But this was tar, Which on bacecamp is still gravel. Will have to inform them. Did look like a new tar road, hopefully not for very long. We did pass a turn of unto gravel, and we hesitated if we should, but the gps said straight on the tar til the next turn off to the right, also tar, R547. This is when we realized we should have taken the gravel, but that was now a few km back, and Hennie having only a 6.5 lt fuel tank was worried about his fuel, which would catch us later anyway. So onward to the right on the tar still. Doubt started to fill my mind as to weather we were on the wright rode. So we stopped ad had a chat to some fence builders on the road. They confirmed, straight on. Shortly after this we reached the gravel road from which we would have excited had we taken the earlier gravel. We reached Val, only to find everything closed and being painted in the dining area. So we look around some, when the oak who served us the last time, suddenly showed up, and asked if we wanted serves. We wanted breakfast,was our reply. He invited us in to the bar where we placed our order. About 30 min he said. This gave us time to explore the hotel and the mad of the area, to find the old bridge where the whiskey train derailed. The rooms in the hotel were open this time around, and i found one that would fit Monica and myself honeymoon number 20 very well, and it was not even that far to ride. I think they go at R900 a night. Returning back, our breakfast was ready, and so the coffee. We enjoyed a peace full breakfast,while chatting to our Congolese friend, who served us with a smile, even though we were the only once there
 
From there we proceeded to hunt down the old bridge, to see if maybe some had missed a whiskey bottle that was lying under a grass bush or something. We found the bridge, and if there is still a old bottle of the good stuff lying there somewhere, it will stay till someone else finds it. We left with only clean coke to drink.

We made our way into Greylingstad, where Hennie suggested we first find a fuel station then get back to the lost city, which we did. It is a funny place, and since being there previously i always wandered what happened here, how long ago. This time there was a old man looking after cattle, so i asked him if he knew of the history of the place. In broken English he tried to explain, with any real sense. Then Hennie came and asked him in Afrikaans, and in better Afrikaans than my own he proceeded to explain. Apparently some of his people live there till 1994. Because they could not really afford cars those days, it was not a problem to walk up to where the houses were.

 

After 1994, most of them got access to motor cars which now was a problem because no one could ride up to there houses. So they all moved down into the now town and informal settlement Nthorwane Where they had streets to there houses. I must say i was a bit disappointed as i though these were old ruins from much much more way back.
Title: Re: Val to Greyling stad ghost town
Post by: MRK Miller on August 11, 2019, 02:39:53 am
From there we proceeded to follow the way points, which the gps would then plot, mostly the same it was on base camp. There were some stunning views, although it was windy with a lot of dust in the air
 
So you could not see very far. We reached the heighest point in the area, where you could look for miles i believe, on a clear day

We passed under this power line with the sculp of a bull of some kind was hanging. Not to sure if he wanted to attempt pole vaulting over the wire, but it seems he was not success full
 
The wind was also really blowing at this stage. I could just free down the hill, with the weight of the klr, and ducking behind my little screen. Hennie had no such luck as the ktm was much lighter, and he had no wind break. So who says a ktm is better than a klr in all aspects. This i believe proves them wrong. We made our way to the road we started on in the morning and back track for a short while before turning left again. This again was a nice little piece of road, through the valley, till we reached the Balfour R51 road. Here we turned left again unto a little road i explored earlier with the boys, but that time the gps did not track it, so i though i might get lucky this time. Little two track road with some nice water breaks in them giving you nice even hump, and jump if you so wish. I also got tested a bit with some sandy parts, and it seems the new setup works pretty well, and off course the tips given to me but all. Look up and throttle out. Thank you to those. We were also looking for a road to a dam, but all roads led through farmers property, so we will have to go back, and find another way. We got to the main road again and turned right, aiming for Fortuna holiday resort. Not the resort itself, but that direction. At the t
turn off we spot another nice looking dam close to the road, that held a promise off fish. We cross the bridge and go through the open gate to the dam.

 

 

The wind was blowing and it has cooled down since late morning. I cast a few casts into the reeds, along the shores but no luck. Think the fish know, bad weather is coming. From there we head closer to Fortuna looking for a way around the train bridge across the river, for when Eben joins on his pitbike. We cross a bridge again where water is running from a local transport business it seems into the main river. But here there is a bad stench that fill the air, and one cannot help but wander what are they pumping into the river. We go along a track through the rocks till we reach the river coming from Fortuna dam, with another river running into it from the side. This river has the water with the bad smell, and one cannot help but wander how it affects the farmers down stream

 

But we reach a couple of locked gates. Don't even know why they are locked. But we make the best of it, get out the fishing rods again, as we see a lot of fish playing on the surface. But no luck. Commencements tells me there is a shortage of oxygen in the water and the fish mostly Barbel are plain on the surface for oxygen. The place really smells like crap from the water
 

 
From there we head back to the main road then unto the tar road R23 Heidelburg for a short stint accross the river. We stop to ask about petrol for the ktm, but without luck. So we push on, turning right unto gravel again, forever looking for a way across the river. We reach the R42 and turn right to Nigel, while i keep a close eye on Hennie as i know he is very low on fuel. Constantly listening for the roar of the ktm, till i do not hear it any more, and i look in the mirror and see him slowing down and flashing lights. Ha petrol done. So i turn and go back to where he is on the side of the road. Another upside to the klr. Fuel carrying capacity. Nigel being only about 4km away at most we only take a liter out into the ktm. We reach nigel and he fills up. We start ou last stretch home, but i do not want to wast my nobbelies on tar, so the first chance i get i turn left and head to to the railway line, to ride that to springs. From a little two track to a little single track to finding our way through the bush. It was a awesome little piece of road. At one stage we had to cross the railway line,@ which the ktm had no problem. The klr went and sat flat belly on the railway. Hennie promptly helped me get her over. We reached Springs and parted way's to our homes. 250km for the day at average 70 to 80 km/h. Started at 07hoo, and back home at 16h30. A day well spend. Now to figure out what i did wrong when plotting the route on the gps. Any ideas welcome.
Thank you for reading