Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Ri on July 17, 2021, 11:42:46 pm

Title: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 17, 2021, 11:42:46 pm
Suddenly everything is different.

My friend hires a personal trainer for our group of ladies and arranges for sessions to take place in my garden. Most of the ladies promptly fade, but my next door neighbour's daughter and I are dedicated, and the personal trainer commits to continuing with the sessions for the two of us - without increasing his rate, a man of his word. He brings his equipment and his knowledge, his enthusiasm and his very loud voice to my garden or patio, depending on the weather, and jollies and bullies us to greater efforts. When we start to look complacent, he changes to slightly heavier weights or adds 30 seconds to the reps. He is surprisingly adept at the mundane torture of cardio, coming up with combo's like burpee star jumps, squat jumping jacks, apple picker suicide runs and the most dreaded, mountain climbers. Slowly but surely, unnoticed, he increases our strength and fitness.

We are somewhere between a soft lockdown and a hard lockdown when I turn 50. This is my jubilee year.

The big surprise is my hair. I used to wear it super short for reasons of practicality and helmet hair, and because the salt and pepper makes me feel I look old. My dad was snow capped by his 30th birthday; my mom showed her first grey hair only at age 60+. I'm in between, fine iron hair appearing from about 18... but in patches, like my mom. During COVID and working from home I let it grow, gathering it in a fist on top of my head and cutting whatever sticks out. It turns out I'm mostly snow capped too, toned down by dark strands, with a pure white Charley Weir streak in my fringe. In sunlight, unless I'm standing next to a real blonde, I could be mistaken for a real blonde :imaposer:

I visit my family the weekend before my birthday, and they book my mother out of jail the retirement home for the weekend. They bake me a chocolate cheesecake with silver dust on it, and stick silver "50" candles on it . They allow me on a DR200 and point me down an unknown gravel road towards the next farm where we're joining more family for tea. When we come back, Bro-in-law points me to another rough little 2-spoor track through the veld. It is an absolute blast and I arrive home with glowing cheeks and glowing heart.

Cape Town offers wonderful opportunities on birthdays and I take a day's leave for my two favourites: a free ride up and down Table Mountain with a long hike on top, and free entry into the Two Oceans Aquarium. It is the perfect day, beautiful and blue and warm, and by great fortune a week or so before the mountain shockingly burns down.

I'm invited to hike and wild camp at Wolfberg Arch at the end of April, and with no additional fitness preparation I manage to slowly but consistently hike/climb the 10 km up the mountain, and the 10+ km down again next day (took a wrong turn :imaposer:). It is incredibly beautiful. I'm not at the level of the trail runners running up and down in 2-3 hours for fun, but I'm chuffed with my stamina nonetheless. Photo's: https://www.facebook.com/Ri.Snyman/albums/10227695182744146/?refid=56 (https://www.facebook.com/Ri.Snyman/albums/10227695182744146/?refid=56)

I am the first person to pay for the EC Bash, and take 2 days leave leading up to it to have a nice ride up. In the meantime, Ultraflight organises a group ride to Apollo de Karoo, a place I'm very keen to visit, and I sign up for that. Closer to the time, the weekend ride is moved out and I have to cancel due to work commitments.

Scottish Leader of the Postal Route contacts me; he'll be in the country for a short period around that time and would like to go for a weekend ride; would I care to join? Can I suggest some nice routes to ride?  I start looking at distances and my imagination fires up. Texts fly and soon Scottish Leader suggests that we make a proper long tour of it, from that weekend to the EC Bash the next weekend. I change my leave request for the umpteenth time and my patient boss duly authorises it. I get down to brass tacks and start setting down our route, rummaging through my bucket list for options. Suddenly Scottish Leader goes silent and I realise he won't be joining me. Relief lightly feathers through me.

I wouldn't have minded the company, but a week is a long time and I relish the idea of some alone time, of spreading my wings and falling further afield. I look at my route again with slight trepidation; there is some scope for falling. The thought pops into my head: why should I fall? I'm improving slowly but surely and becoming more skilled; if I don't expect to fall, maybe I won't. I optimistically name this my "No Spills" tour.
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: skydiver on July 18, 2021, 01:27:26 pm
Subscribed  :thumleft:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: petri oosthuizen on July 18, 2021, 08:22:49 pm
My friend hires a personal trainer for our group of ladies and arranges for sessions to take place in my garden. Most of the ladies promptly fade

Shame man......hy was seker 'n REAL looker gewees......??? >:D

Wat het gebeur dat you tjomme so fade?? Ons manne soek detail........ >:D
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 18, 2021, 09:29:56 pm
My friend hires a personal trainer for our group of ladies and arranges for sessions to take place in my garden. Most of the ladies promptly fade

Shame man......hy was seker 'n REAL looker gewees......??? >:D

Wat het gebeur dat you tjomme so fade?? Ons manne soek detail........ >:D

Hy lyk soos 'n effens korter weergawe van Jason Mamoa, lang hare en al 8)

Hy doen nou op ander tye sessies met die ander dames. Ek vra nie uit nie...
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Kaboef on July 18, 2021, 09:39:01 pm
Hoekom noem hulle dit n personal trainer?
Hoekom nie net n trainer nie?

As ek iemand my personal plumber, of personal mechanic noem, sal mense vir lag.

Ek subscribe solank hier.
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: petri oosthuizen on July 18, 2021, 09:42:27 pm
My friend hires a personal trainer for our group of ladies and arranges for sessions to take place in my garden. Most of the ladies promptly fade

Shame man......hy was seker 'n REAL looker gewees......??? >:D

Wat het gebeur dat you tjomme so fade?? Ons manne soek detail........ >:D

Hy lyk soos 'n effens korter weergawe van Jason Mamoa, lang hare en al 8)

Hy doen nou op ander tye sessies met die ander dames. Ek vra nie uit nie...

Klink na oulike seun............. >:D ;D
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 20, 2021, 12:18:40 am
Hoekom noem hulle dit n personal trainer?
Hoekom nie net n trainer nie?

As ek iemand my personal plumber, of personal mechanic noem, sal mense vir lag.

Ek subscribe solank hier.

As jy jou plumper of mechanic so gereeld sien soos wat ons die trainer sien, dan raak dit mos persoonlik, alhoewel jy dalk bekommerd moet raak as jou plumber vir jou sÍ jy lyk "tight", of jou mechanic nodig het om jou huis 2+ keer 'n week te besoek :o



Klink na oulike seun............. >:D ;D

Mooi kind.
En hy kan ook dooswyn bring as ons soek >:D :imaposer:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: ClemS on July 20, 2021, 05:14:50 am
Sub
 :sip:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: sidetrack on July 21, 2021, 04:02:15 pm
Ri is the 250 going to feature here ? Been looking forward to the RR
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: 2StrokeDan on July 21, 2021, 07:54:07 pm
My friend hires a personal trainer for our group of ladies and arranges for sessions to take place in my garden. Most of the ladies promptly fade

Shame man......hy was seker 'n REAL looker gewees......??? >:D

Wat het gebeur dat you tjomme so fade?? Ons manne soek detail........ >:D

Hy lyk soos 'n effens korter weergawe van Jason Mamoa, lang hare en al 8)

Hy doen nou op ander tye sessies met die ander dames. Ek vra nie uit nie...

Klink na oulike seun............. >:D ;D

Ga! Het jy gesien wat hy met Kaleesi gedoen het?? Die vark. :biggrin:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 21, 2021, 08:53:20 pm
Ri is the 250 going to feature here ? Been looking forward to the RR

Nope, sorry. I did want to take the 250 but he wasn't ready for the long road yet. Still isn't really - I need to do something about that seat :o
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 21, 2021, 09:12:16 pm
I packed most of my stuff on the bike during the week, but I'm not in a hurry to get away on Sunday. I snooze late and take my time strapping up the final items, and then leisurely roll in to die Boord Pick 'n Pay for some last minute shopping. I buy a few packs of premium dry wors and a few other snacks. It is surprisingly hot today, considering that it's winter and a few cold fronts and rain clouds are on the way. I check the weather again and I'm facing 27+ degrees heat in the Karoo for the next few days. How do you pack for +27 degrees to 12 degrees weather during a 10-day span?

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0471.jpeg)

I'm not traveling far today. My first overnight stop is Bike X Cape, and I take my time to get there, riding through Ceres, up Gydo Pass and then along my beloved Katbakkies Pass.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0473.jpeg)


Gent recently had his oil rings and related parts replaced and serviced, and it changed his whole character. No longer the purring smooth ride of before, he is now full of vim and vigour.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0474.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0475.jpeg)
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 21, 2021, 09:43:35 pm
I zip past Tankwa Padstal without stopping in, and arrive at Bike X Cape expecting to have the whole camp to myself, but there's a couple sitting in the shade of a tree sipping wine when I roll in.

Turns out there was a huge party at Tankwa Tented Camp and the couple didn't feel in condition to drive all the way home to Cape Town afterwards, and decided to recuperate at Bike X Cape. They go to bed early, as they have to leave at about 4am to be in Cape Town in time for work and stuff. I smirk to myself. I'm on leave, I have all the time in the world.

I park my bike next to the tent of my choosing, and go in search of Michelle. At the house, I peer over the closed bottom door and seen an unknown young man sitting there, and ask him where Michelle is. She isn't there, but Rael is, and he kindly comes out to say hello. Soon he and the lad, son of Rael's best friend who is visiting for a week, are adjusting and lubing the bike's chain and sorting out any little niggles that catch their thorough eyes. I take a walk about to catch up on all the changes that's been made since my previous stopover here.

New arrival at Bike X Cape: One mare that Michelle got arrived pregnant, and here is the mare and her offspring, walking towards their camp for the night.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0478.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0479.jpeg)


I enjoy the mood of this place, and the odd decorations. I wonder what it must be like to visit in the rain

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0480.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0482.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0483.jpeg)


I'm amused to see the little mossies pecking at the burnt offerings on the braai grids. Unwitting carnivores or BBQ connoisseurs?

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0485.jpeg)


I would love to have something like this beautiful specimen in my little home.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0487.jpeg)


This looks different. It dam must have been here but maybe they fixedit? Or planted the trees? The platform is new.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0488.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0489.jpeg)


The area to the back of the camp where there are some lekker enduro tracks to race around, apparently.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0490.jpeg)


These huge blue gum trees catch my eyes every time. They are simply majestic.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0491.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0492.jpeg)


The young man joins me at the bar while I wait for Michelle to come back, and we start chatting about bikes, etc. He points out something he only learnt at the end of his visit, what the "pis lelies" are for. These are basically pipes planted into the ground, with a wider receptacle for those with poor aim, in case both the ablutions are engaged and a guy needs to take a leak. I am stunned. All this time I've been visiting Bike X Cape and I never knew... :imaposer:

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0493.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0494.jpeg)


Spectacular sunsets

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0497.jpeg)


The lad is celebrating his recent 21st birthday with a trip to Cape Town to visit mates. What a coincidence, I say.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0501.jpeg)


Michelle arrives and promptly starts pouring the lad Jagermeister shots - she can't send him away without tomorrow without a hangover :lol8: We visit late into the night over an excellent braai.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0498.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0499.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0500.jpeg)
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 27, 2021, 08:55:43 pm
Day 2 and I take my time getting ready. Rael kindly sells me some fuel, which means I don't need to fill up at Sutherland today. I pay my dues and wave a cheerful goodbye as I head out the gate. Adventure awaits!

I head in the direction of the R356 and then turn towards Sutherland. I am a little nervous and excited - I'm heading up Ouberg Pass today. Last time I came down from Sutherland side, the bike took a nap in the first hairpin bend, but I don't plan to fall today. The area is dry and although it is hot, it is bearable. I don't come across any traffic all the way to Ouberg.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0502.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0503.jpeg)


That funny little koppie on the front of the mountain on the right marks the spot where my handlebar broke on a trip (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=226065.0) once. Whenever I see it I am overwhelmed, "And I find myself here on my knees again caught up in grace like an avalanche."

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0504.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0505.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0506.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0507.jpeg)


Gent is behaving impeccably, not missing a beat.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0509.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0510.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0511.jpeg)


Following my track on the MapOut app. It shows the turn-off left towards Ouberg Pass.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0512.jpeg)


The road to Ouberg Pass. I wonder whether I should have turned off later, because as soon as I turn off, I come across a closed gate into someone's farm yard. The gate is open though, and no one shouts at me for passing through. The beef on the hoof regard me with some distrust through.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0513.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0514.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0515.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0516.jpeg)

Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 27, 2021, 09:22:47 pm
This is another road I still want to take some day, the back entry into the Tankwa Karoo National Park. It should end up at the Tankwa Tented Camp, if I'm not mistaken. My only worry is a loose sandy surface, but I guess I can paddle it if I need to, humiliating as that would be :lol8:

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0517.jpeg)


The road beckons, and I carry on.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0518.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0519.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0520.jpeg)


Attempted panorama shot. I don't think I have the hang of it ::)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0522.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0524.jpeg)


An almost illegible board showing the way to Ouberg Pass. @Trygve Roberts , when are you planning to refresh this sign? ;D

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0525.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0526.jpeg)


Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: McSack on July 27, 2021, 10:10:40 pm
Such awesome pics and you sure do have a way with words. It has been way too long since I visited the Tankwa
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: McSack on July 27, 2021, 10:13:37 pm
.... My only worry is a loose sandy surface, but I guess I can paddle it if I need to, humiliating as that would be :lol8:

If a rider paddles their bike through a sand patch and there is no-one around to see it ...did any feet ever touch the ground ? ;)
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 28, 2021, 07:47:48 pm
.... My only worry is a loose sandy surface, but I guess I can paddle it if I need to, humiliating as that would be :lol8:

If a rider paddles their bike through a sand patch and there is no-one around to see it ...did any feet ever touch the ground ? ;)

 :laughing4:

Thanks McSack :)
Clarens must have some heavenly roads as well, surely? And you have that great little Tornado to play with? When are we reading about that?
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 28, 2021, 08:06:50 pm
The road becomes noticeably steeper and the surface becomes a looser. For some reason my memory has edited out a bit of the Ouberg Pass. Quite a lot, in fact, like the length of it, and how many little switchbacks it has, and how it just goes up and up, steeper and steeper. I crawl up it at barely more than walking pace, wondering where all the road came from.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0527.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0528.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0529.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0531.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0533.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0534.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0535.jpeg)


So far so good - no spills yet!

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0537.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0538.jpeg)


I slowly head upwards, getting up on the pegs when the road surface resembles a temperamental child's Lego project. Carefully crawling around another hairpin, I find a white Hilux pulled to the side of the road. The driver and his passenger are peering down, waiting patiently for me to pass. I smile and wave my thanks, and they wave back. As I pass the bakkie, the driver leans over his passenger and enthusiastically waves two thumbs-up at me, grinning hugely.

Ek verkneukel myself. I adore these kinds of interactions. One or two last bends, and suddenly my efforts are rewarded with unmistakable views.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0539.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0540.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0541.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0542.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0543.jpeg)

Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Captain Zef on July 28, 2021, 08:10:53 pm
Baie mooi. Nous ek sommer lus vir ry.
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 28, 2021, 09:39:34 pm
Heading towards Sutherland

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0544.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0545.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0548.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0546.jpeg)


Eventually I reach the only tar I will travel today, until I reach my destination: I have enough fuel and don't need to turn towards Sutherland. I turn right towards Verlatenkloof and Matjiesfontein...

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0547.jpeg)


... but very soon I turn left towards Allemanshoek Pass

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0549.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0550.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0552.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0553.jpeg)


Ah, a closed gate.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0554.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0555.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0556.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0557.jpeg)


And another one :)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0558.jpeg)


Oh wait... is that a vampire gate?!!

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0559.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0560.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0562.jpeg)


It's the first time I've ridden this way, and the scenery is spectacular.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0563.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0564.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0565.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0566.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0567.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0568.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0569.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0571.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0572.jpeg)


Allemanshoek is in very good condition. The steep bits are covered in concrete and I'm glad I finally made a plan to ride this way.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0573.jpeg)


The last gate

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0574.jpeg)


More adventure lies this way... Next time, for sure :ricky:

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0575.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0576.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0577.jpeg)


The sun is fading, throwing longer shadows. Suddenly my phone rings in the middle of nowhere - signal has found me. It is the lady I have an arrangement with to provide me with dinner, wanting to know where I am. "I'm on a bike", I tell her, "I'll be there soon"

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0578.jpeg)


Merweville finally appears on the horizon.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0580.jpeg)


As I ride into town, a row of motorbikes parked on the left catch my eye. A hand waves at me from the stoep of the establishment. I wave back, without clue as to who it might be, and head towards my accommodation for the night, Springbok Lodge. I'm tired and want to set up tent and wash up, and then I'll make a plan for dinner.

At the Lodge, it turns out the camping spots are geared more towards caravans than two-person tents. I'm pointed towards a pile of rubber mats, and make myself comfortable.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0581.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0582.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0585.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0586.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0588.jpeg)
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: VaalBaas on July 29, 2021, 04:51:24 am
In plaas van loop werk, sit ek nou en saamtoer.....

Gooi maar nog fotos. Ons was lanklaas in daai omtes :thumleft:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Grunder on July 29, 2021, 05:56:26 am
Jo! Baie mooi wereld daai
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 29, 2021, 02:36:47 pm
Jo! Baie mooi wereld daai

Eiesoortig. Mens kry net nie genoeg hiervan nie...
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: sidetrack on July 29, 2021, 02:41:02 pm
Daai is net nie die mooiste kampeer spot wat ek al gesien het nie  :biggrin:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 29, 2021, 04:28:31 pm
Everything is covered in a find powdery dust that clings to you like that awkward relative you accidentally smiled at at a family event.

A muted roar alerts me to more motorbikes arriving, and it turns out to be Angus (Gus? Goose?) and a few pals doing basically the opposite of my planned route, coming from Baviaanskloof and riding through the Karoo tomorrow. I met him at the CRF 300L Not-a-Honda-launch. He tells me they were sitting on the stoep of the Goedkoper, where I plan to fetch dinner soon, when the lady who runs it worriedly told them of a lady rider travelling all by herself. They were speculating about Itchy Boots when I came snoring by, and the wave from the stoep was Angus pointing and saying, "Hey, I know her!"

I'm surprised at my unexpected ... umm... fame? Notoriety?

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0589.jpeg)


Check Angus' perfect 5th position ;D

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0590.jpeg)


Was it a good trip if you have to strip your bike later in the day to fix it?

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0591.jpeg)


The lady who runs Springbok Lodge didn't intend to make dinner for only one guest, me, and pointed me in the direction of Angela at Goedkoper coffee shop for sustenance. When Angus and his group booked accommodation though, they asked for dinner to be provided. I'm invited to join them, as there's more than enough food, and I phone Goedkoper to cancel my dinner appointment. Angela is fine with it but asks me to please come say hi in the morning as she's dying to meet this solo biker. I agree to have breakfast at Goedkoper.

My tent is on one side of the terrain, while my ablution facilities are at the other end, past all the rooms on the right hand side and adjacent to the caretakers' cottage. After I unpack my bike and set up my tent, I grab my toiletries bag and some extra clothes and head to my little bathroom for a clean up before dinner. But woe, there are obstacles to be overcome.

When I pass the newly-minted mechanics, Angus asks whether I'm good and I joke about how much I'd love a beer right now. He promptly and generously fetches a 500ml Castle Lite and pushes it into my hand. I find myself wondering whether this is left over from the Not-A-Honda-Launch - there had been a LOT of beer that day :o

I carry on with my journey and pass the two gents sitting by a cozy fire on which they plan to braai tonight. They are brothers in law or friends taking a break after COVID lockdown, trekking around the Karoo with their 4x4, and are planning to sleep over in Williston Mall the next evening. The omie on the left of the two promptly falls in love with me, inviting me to join them for dinner, telling stories of past exploits and not allowing me to carry on to my longed-for shower to the point his companion rolls his eyes at me. I laugh and cut him short, and head for my shower with beer in hand. 500ml is a lot of beer ...!!

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0592.jpeg)


I love this small and very functional bathroom with the shower over the loo. Very hygienic :) I have to play with the taps a bit to get the hot water to do my bidding, and spend a few moments tap-dancing under the thin stream trying to avoid either freezing or scalding drops.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0593.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0594.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0595.jpeg)


Refreshed, I make my way back to my tent to put away my stuff, and then walk back to join the guys for dinner. Kallie, who owns Springbok Lodge, arrives and insists on giving us a tour of the very nice venue, and we all troop after him to view all the wonders contained in the Springbok Lodge.

The mozzie breeding facility swimming pool is not up to its usual standard, but it should be really lovely when it's fixed and ready.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0596.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0597.jpeg)


Fire / braai places galore - the Lodge has no shortage of these, ready to give atmosphere and ambience to any gathering. This could be nice for a family gathering or other biggish event.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0598.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0599.jpeg)


For something really festive, the huge tree at the back is filled with coloured lights, adding a disco flavour to the dusty night.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0600.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0601.jpeg)


My new admirer insists on taking a photo of me - with my own camera - and my expression shows how absolutely thrilled I am to be captured. I'm still holding the never-ending beer. (Sorry guys, I mislaid the can that, like the widow's jar, never emptied).

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0602.jpeg)


Another bathroom with a lovely tile pattern on the floor. I think this one was made from a fuel tank stood on end. I really enjoy the Karoo inventiveness.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0603.jpeg)


My ablutions are in a little rondavel adjacent to this cottage, behind the "windpomp", where the light is shining.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0604.jpeg)


As you may have seen or read elsewhere, there is a locust plague around the Karoo and elsewhere in Africa, brought on by a perfect storm of years of drought, a smattering of rain and other factors. The locusts are on the move and they start arriving after dark, drawn to the light like...er...locusts drawn to the sun.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0605.jpeg)


I love spiders and don't usually mind goggatjies and creepy crawlies, but locusts "gril" me out like few things can, worst things being cockroaches and fish moths. One day God is going to take me to task for destroying His handiwork, slamming cockroaches with my bare hand, and I'll humbly bow my head - mea maxima culpa! - but ugh, I cannot STAND cockroaches. And I cannot slam a fish moth because it does that horrible smear thing and keep on crawling :sad2:

But I digress.

After the Lodge tour, the omies march me to their fire and press a huge glass of red wine into my hand. I have to go though, dinner is being served, and they make me promise to join them again afterwards. Thankfully they're pretty "moeg" by this stage. When I walk out much later, they'd already gone to sleep, and the next morning they are gone before I can pack my tent.

Dinner is lovely lasagne and red wine smuggled by people with more foresight - and packing space - than yours truly.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0606.jpeg)


I fall into uneasy slumber with all the bright lights around me. This place could host a day-night match. I have to visit the bathroom twice during the night, courtesy of the bottomless Castle Lite. As I crunch the chilly, gravelly kilometre (it feels like) to the bathroom, I wonder whether I'm waking the caretakers. If so, I muse with chilly satisfaction, stomping with a touch more intent, they probably wish they'd given me facilities closer to me.
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on July 29, 2021, 04:45:15 pm
Daai is net nie die mooiste kampeer spot wat ek al gesien het nie  :biggrin:

Jip... ??? ... en jy sal my nie glo nie maar dis goedkoper om 'n kamer te kry as om te kampeer. Oom Kallie se prysstrukture is... vreemd. En ek het nie vooraf pryse gevra nie want hoe duur kan 'n kampeerplekkie in Merweville nou eintlik wees? :eek7:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: VaalBaas on August 04, 2021, 03:57:28 am
Sooo, het Merweville nie petrol nie of hoekom wag ons :biggrin: :lol8:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 04, 2021, 09:17:45 pm
Sooo, het Merweville nie petrol nie of hoekom wag ons :biggrin: :lol8:

Sorry Vaalbaas moes 'n bietjie werk en ander dinge doen... soos motorfiets ry :ricky:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 04, 2021, 09:48:48 pm
Today is a short riding day and I'm not in a hurry. I move in a slow daze after my restless night, and all the other guests roar off before I'm ready to roll out of the Springbok Lodge
gates.

I head over to Goedkoper to say "hi" to Angela. She is delighted to meet me, and we start chatting. I ask for a big strong coffee and she brings me a big coffee press full of coffee strong enough to power an army, and a big jug of warm milk.... bliss. I order breakfast and a steaming plate arrives, with a basket of fresh toast alongside. All of this for barely R60 :eek7:

We talk for almost 2 hours, about city life vs small town life, security, freedom, community and more. The flaming flowers growing everywhere mesmerises me and I can't stop taking photo's. I watch the locals come and go, and listen with amused compassion as they come to pay their credit, or haggle for a few cents more to celebrate a birthday. This ou tannie turns 80 yrs old and peddles around on a bicycle so tall she can barely sit on the seat, but she is deep in debt, as most of them are. I understand why Goedkoper gives credit, but I reckon she isn't really doing them a favour. They still only have their grant income to spend, but now on top of that they also owe an entire month's grant money. Sigh.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0608.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0609.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0610.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0611.jpeg)


You, too, can be a landowner in this beautiful little town if you buy this prize establishment, featuring a restaurant and guest rooms.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0612.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0613.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0614.jpeg)


I finally tear myself away as the day warms up, and fill up at the dodgy-looking fuel station across from the shop.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0615.jpeg)


I ride towards Prince Albert Road with the intention of turning towards the road that runs between Theekloof Pass and Leeu Gamka, but I miss it because my head is in the clouds, and end up riding tar all the way to Prince Albert Road. I'm not keen to arrive in Prince Albert via tar, and turn left on the N1 towards Leeu Gamka, and after 30km I turn right onto the dirt road that runs from the N1 to Prince Albert. It is a frisky day and there isn't much traffic to bother me. Soon Prince Albert appears against a glorious backdrop.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0616.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0619.jpeg)
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 04, 2021, 10:03:24 pm
I fill up again and try to withdraw cash for tonight's accommodation, but the shop owner insists that he doesn't have cash to give me. Eish... I buy a sandwich or something and stop just outside Prince Albert to eat it next to the road. Econo-riding at its cheapest best.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0620.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0621.jpeg)


Then on the bike again and onwards, drawn in by the magnificent beauty of the Swartberg Pass.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0622.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0623.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0624.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0625.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0626.jpeg)


The beauty and endurance of the road stone works never fails to amaze me - a sliver of human ingenuity slashing the awe inspiring majesty of these mountains.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0627.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0628.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0629.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0631.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0632.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0633.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0634.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0635.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0636.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0637.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0638.jpeg)
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: dw1 on August 05, 2021, 08:16:38 pm
Cool RR and beautiful pics. Thnx
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: BMWPE on August 05, 2021, 08:40:57 pm
As usual all ways a great ride report  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
keep it up
thank you
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 09, 2021, 10:56:38 pm
The big moment of this trip finally arrives: I am at the Gamkaskloof turn-off. I feel excited and a little nervous at the prospect of creeping into Gamkaskloof by myself, and even more nervous at the thought of the rain that is forecast for the whole day tomorrow, when I am riding out, but I am here now and it is do or die. Hopefully do :ricky:

The board indicates that it should take me about 2 hours to reach Gamkaskloof, and I set myself a target to at least not take longer than 2 hours.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0639.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0640.jpeg)


Soon after the turn off the road condition changes a little, with strips of washed out pebbles loosely covering the surface. Nothing I haven't faced before, I tell myself, and certainly nothing compared to Kareedouw Side Entry. I trundle ahead optimistically, and am rewarded with majestic views.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0641.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0642.jpeg)


I unexpectedly catch up with rush hour in Gamkaskloof: there are 3 vehicles ahead of me. One is parked in the middle of the road, taking a break and some photo's. Two others are driving slightly further ahead. The front car is towing a trailer and is crawling at almost walking pace. I take photo's and then roll down the long incline to see whether there's any space to pass. The last vehicle graciously pulls aside. They seem to be waiting for the towing vehicle to catch some speed on the next downhill before they pursue. The second vehicle is on the first vehicle's trailer, but there is no space to pass... unless you are on a slender bike. I zip past in a cloud of dust, waving jauntily at the fearful driver as if he pulled over into the yellow lane for me.  They are soon little puffs of dust left far behind. I do feel a little better though. If I come to grief, these cautious crawlers will eventually catch up to me.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0643.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0644.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0645.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0648.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0650.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0652.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0653.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0654.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0655.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0656.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0657.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0658.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0659.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0660.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0661.jpeg)


My head swivels from side to side as I try to drink in the glory and the beauty of the nature surrounding me.  I'm light headed with joy and excitement. I feel like the most fortunate woman alive to be here right now, on this bike, riding this road. Despite my private travel time target, I don't want this road to end. It is spectacularly beautiful. There are folds and "klofies" in the mountain, and I wonder where they lead to.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0662.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0663.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0664.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0665.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0666.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0667.jpeg)


I round a corner and catch my first glimpse of Gamkaskloof. The words "scorched earth" springs to mind. The damage from the not too long ago fire is still clearly visible.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0668.jpeg)


The fleecy clouds start banding together as my descent into Gamkaskloof starts. I'm surprised by the cement strips that cover sections of the steep downhillls; I can't remember them being mentioned? I'm very grateful nonetheless. I crawl around the first corner - so far, so good. A few rain drops decide to welcome me on this steep crawl.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0669.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0670.jpeg)


And then my cautiousness makes a mockery and a lie of my optimistic ride report name. On the next very off camber corner, my crawling speed is too slow and I find myself graciously tipping to meet the ground. I switch off my bike, get to my feet and assess the situation. The only damage, apart from my very bruised ego, is the X-mount holding my cell phone, which I'd managed to rip off its mounting point. I check that the bike isn't leaking fuel, and for the first time ever on a trip, I leave the bike lying on the ground and take a break.


(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0671.jpeg)

The rain is hurrying down little more earnestly, but it is hot in the pass. I take off my helmet and my jacket and walk around taking photo's. I can see Gamkaskloof almost directly below me, a very steep and vertical drop.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0672.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0673.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0674.jpeg)


Unwilling to loosen my luggage, and seeing the steep angle at which Used-to-be-Gent is lying, I try a different tack lifting him. I kick out the footrest, grab the handle bars, and grunting like Serena Williams on a serve, drag the bike upright.

I gingerly push Past-Gent over until he leans drunkenly on his footrest at a crazy angle, and now face the dual challenge of mounting and tipping him upright against the uphill camber. ATGATTed once more, I slide my leg uphill over Was-Gent's saddle. With more unladylike grunting, hopping and cursing, I slowly force Not-Gent upright, spurred on by the thought of the 4x4s appearing above and catching me in this undignified position. A last scream and HooliGent is ready to roll once more. One last turn and some last loose stones for luck and I reach the gates of Gamkaskloof. I made it!

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0676.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0675.jpeg)
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: stcomza on August 10, 2021, 07:36:25 am

Thank you for sharing  :thumleft:

Following with anticipation
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: M3X3Z3 on August 10, 2021, 09:25:59 am
Thanks Ri for taking the time to post a great RR with with photos that make you feel you were there.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Odd Dog on August 10, 2021, 01:36:45 pm
As usual and as we have come to expect from you, a well written ride report, thanks.  :thumleft:  Happy belated birthday young lady.  :occasion13:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 14, 2021, 05:08:11 pm
As usual and as we have come to expect from you, a well written ride report, thanks.  :thumleft:  Happy belated birthday young lady.  :occasion13:

Thanks @Odd Dog ! Looking forward to seeing you at the Thumper Bash :ricky:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Sabre on August 14, 2021, 10:37:16 pm
Pragtige foto's  :thumleft:
Waarmee het jy geneem ?
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 15, 2021, 08:45:14 am
Pragtige foto's  :thumleft:
Waarmee het jy geneem ?

Dankie! Dit is geneem met 'n iPhone 12 mini, wat ook die wye lens by die gewone lens het. Die skermpie is maar klein en ek kan dikwels nie sien wat ek afgeneem het nie, LOL, so ek is ook nogal beÔndruk met wat dit reggekry het. Ek moes die foto's heelwat kleiner maak ook, die foontjie se resolusie is hoog.
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Mev Vis Arend on August 15, 2021, 10:21:00 am
Al wat ek kan se is "WOW"! 
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 15, 2021, 06:54:13 pm
My sigh of satisfaction is cut short at the sight of the sign at the gate: it informs me I still have about 7 km to ride to my camping spot for the night... but the worst is behind me, right? Was-Gent and I get going again and the terrain starts to look like the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve - rutted 2-spoor, loose stones and looooooong sandy stretches greet my nervous gaze. I'm following a dry riverbed through the barren, scorched trees.

I try a new trick, telling myself with false bravado, "This isn't deep sand. This is just a little loose soil over firm terrain". But Not-Gent isn't listening and starts plowing through the not-sand like a not-scrambler. My tendency to twist his ear without prejudice when I'm tired kicks in, and his back end sways like an aggravated hippo. My shoulders freeze and my nervous hand won't relax its death grip on the throttle. I cling, swerving wider. Suddenly a short bend looms and Was-Gent jumps for the high sandy shoulder, comes to his sense and tips into the road sideways. I shout out anxiously "Lord! Help me!" Time stops and I find myself standing with one foot on the shoulder, the other in the road, having managed to somehow catch my 170-odd kg Gent's sideways tip. My mouth hangs open, then I breathe "Praise the Lord!!" I tip Was-Gent upright and continue more cheerfully to my destination.

Marina welcomes me to the farm and offers me a cottage for the night. I'm stunned, as it was all fully booked when I emailed, but apparently someone cancelled. I gratefully accept. I don't mind camping in the rain, but getting dressed and packing up in a tiny tent in bad weather is challenging.

The cottage is simply beautiful. I later see it is the same one Itchy Boots stayed in, but I'm not nearly as well prepared as she is in the food department, and the farm is short on products for some reason. Ah well, I have some lovely dry wors and fruit to eat, a few baby Snickers for dessert, and I buy a freshly-baked roosterkoek and jam from the shop for breakfast.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0677.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0678.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0679.jpeg)


A book on the bookshelf echoes my belief.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0681.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0682.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0684.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0685.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0683.jpeg)


After unpacking, I walk around a bit to take photos, and a friendly couple waylays me for a chat. Apparently I passed them when I entered Swartberg Pass, and they are pleased to find me here. I vaguely recall waving at people next to a 4x4 taking photographs at the first river crossing. They share some interesting information about the Donkey Ladder further down in the Kloof and we have a good chinwag before they greet me to go set up camp. I carry on with my sortie.

I would stay here again in a heartbeat! But then I want to spend a night at the next farm, and go see the Donkey Ladder, seemingly a single track of about 1 km of almost vertical climbing with a string of donkeys tied together, laden with baskets filled with produce from the fertile valley. If one foot slipped... I shudder. At the top is apparently a 4x4 route following the track used by the cart that picked up the Kloof produce. I wonder where it starts, and whether motorbikes are allowed there. Must speak to Veldtie... It seems a mountain bike race is held here and the racers carry their mountain bikes in or out of the Kloof along the Donkey Ladder.

Later on Rooikoos, Marina's husband, stops for a quick chat as well. I mention the sand and he says they use it everywhere to get rid of it, especially for building, but the sand is never-ending.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0686.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0687.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0689.jpeg)


Some animals come to say "hi".

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0688.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0690.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0691.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0692.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0693.jpeg)


 ::)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0694.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0695.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0696.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0697.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0699.jpeg)


Body needs some work but the tyres look great!

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0700.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0701.jpeg)


Even a pool!

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0702.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0703.jpeg)


The collie starts to gather the chicken, who takes refuge in the donkey's enclosure. It's apparent that the donkey and the dog are not friendly. The dog barks at the donkey and snaps at its nose, but carefully stays outside of range and on the other side of the fence. The donkey doesn't seem to give a rat's arse but his hind leg is carefully positioned for a strategic blow, should the snarling dog come within range. The dog finally pretends it was called and trots into the shop.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0705.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0706.jpeg)


There's a succulents nursery as well!

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0707.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0708.jpeg)


Another doggy rushes over to declare undying love and friendship.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0710.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0711.jpeg)


I turn in early, tired and nervous for what lies ahead tomorrow. Rain is forecast for the entire day tomorrow, but Marina looks up with a jaded eye. They aren't expecting much rain from this weather. I shower and tuck myself in under the sumptuous feather "bulsak" - no chance of me suffering a cold night!

I sleep fitfully and hear showers of rain cascade down through the night. At least those not-sandy stretches should be hard packed in the morning, I console myself, praying that the river crossings won't be too bad. I doze off again, lulled by the beautiful sound.
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 18, 2021, 09:28:19 pm
The rain stops some time in the early morning, and I wake to a bright blue sky with little puffs of white floating along. The thirsty earth absorbed most of the moisture, and the road is dust and fairly mud free.

I am not in a hurry because today is again a short day, but I don't really have a reason to linger. This is the Hell - no breakfast is served. Due to no connectivity - the generator hasn't been started yet - I can't pay, and I take Marina's bank details to do an EFT transfer once I'm connected to the Global Village again. This is trust.

While packing up, I put the kettle on the gas stove to make myself a cup of coffee. When it whistles, I turn off the heat and grab the handle to lift it off the fire. I don't know why I thought the handle would be isolated from the heat, but I turn out to be disastrously wrong. The handle sears a path across my soft palm as I try to put it down hurriedly without dropping it. I'm so die moer in with myself, my desire for coffee sommer evaporates.

I continue to pack but my throbbing throttle hand hinders my efforts. I clutch a glass of cold water to try dull the burning pain, and eventually beg a few blocks of ice from Marina to put in the water. Thankfully no blisters formed, but the skin is burnt into little hard white scabs that throb dully. Would I be able to put my hand in a glove and ride like this? I'll have to try.

My medical aid kit yields a gel-soaked burn dressing sealed in a packet, too big for the wound, and I put it in my backpack along with scissors, not wanting to waste a whole dressing on the smallish wound, but realising I'll need it if the pain becomes worse. Bleak from lack of sleep and the throbbing ache, I put on all the gear, roll the bike around and make my exit from Gamkaskloof.

I scoot through the packed sand with more pace and surety than yesterday. My confidence always gets a boost from any successfully negotiated terrain, and often the road that seemed terribly technical going in is a relative breeze going out. At the top of the pass I come across the only other vehicle I'll meet until I reach the other side of Swartberg Pass: an oldish Opel sedan comes crawling over the pass, with an oldish gent behind the wheel looking grim, and a oldish lady sitting beside him looking slightly alarmed.

The beautiful surrounds and weather start to work its magic and my mood lifts and becomes jubilant and humble. I forget about the throbbing hand and just enjoy everything.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0712.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0713.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0714.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0715.jpeg)


A last view over Gamkaskloof at the top of the pass. I'll be back.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0716.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0717.jpeg)

Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 18, 2021, 09:41:14 pm
(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0718.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0719.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0720.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0721.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0722.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0723.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0724.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0725.jpeg)


Apprently it took the road builder and his team of handlangers quite some time and effort to move this huge rock out of the way, and it was subsequently named after him.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0726.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0727.jpeg)


A funky looking little 2-spoor leads of to the side, drawing my eye, and I promise myself I'll check it out next time I ride this way.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0728.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0729.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0730.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0731.jpeg)


The credentials of this pass.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0732.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0733.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0734.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0735.jpeg)


Too soon I reach the junction where the Gamkaskloof Road again joins the Swartberg Pass Road. I sigh with satisfaction and regret, and continue my journey.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0736.jpeg)



Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 18, 2021, 10:08:29 pm
(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0737.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0738.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0739.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0741.jpeg)


I stop at Kobus se Gat for some proper coffee, and on a whim also order the pancake. When the pancake arrives, I pick up the plate to go show the owner, Kobus, the single pancake lying on the plate while the menu promises two. "Maar daar IS twee", he insists, "die een is binne-in die ander een opgerol."

 ???

I cut into the pancake and indeed, two pancakes have been rolled up into one. I don't understand the logic and I don't enjoy the execution. Thankfully the strong coffee improves my outlook a little.

Kobus tells me a group from Suzuki have booked with Kobus se Gat for lunch before they ride over the Swartberg Pass. I speculate that it must be a group of Jimnys riding over Swartberg Pass, as there aren't any Suzuki adventure bike groups. Then I hear the unmistakable roar of motorbikes and storm up to take a look:

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0744.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0745.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0747.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0748.jpeg)


I start chatting with the riders, who turn out to be motorbike journalists flown down for the weekend to test ride the new Suzuki 1100 VStrom. It looks to be a beast of a bike, and the riders are very impressed with its performance and handling. It is also has adjustable seat height and is exceptionally low; one rider invites me to take a seat, and to my shocked surprise my feet comfortably reach the ground. And this isn't even the lower seat option. Unfortunately the bike is so heavy that I can't tip it upright without help.

I mention my little DR650 nearer the entrance and the photographer nods, he'd seen it. He beckons one of the riders to park the new VStrom behind Gent for some new generation/old generation photos "for the files". While we chat, an older Jimny cruises in and parks next to the Gent, and the passengers start chatting with us as well. One of the Suzuki people jogs up to us and pushes a pair of Suzuki branded socks into each of our hands, and we're instructed to hold these aloft while more photos are taken. We grin like idiots. But I'm chuffed. I haven't seen much Suzuki-branded stuff around, and the socks turn out to be quite decent quality.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0749.jpeg)


I wave my goodbyes and pull away, and soon turn towards Oude Muragie road. The road must have had quite a lot of rain recently judging by the deep ruts in the road, but it is fairly dry when I ride there. Too soon, I reach the tar road to De Rust and turn left to find my accommodation for the night.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0750.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0752.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0753.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0754.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0755.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0756.jpeg)


Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 18, 2021, 10:29:28 pm
I'm staying in a guesthouse on the Main Road. The proprietors are lovely people, friends of a friend, and go out of their way to make my stay as comfortable as possible. This won't be a guest house for long, though, as they plan to turn it into a deli and restaurant.

They invite me join them in the back garden and we chat easily while I walk around taking in the hues and bright colours

Some beautiful hibiscus

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0757.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0758.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0759.jpeg)


There are chillies everywhere

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0761.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0763.jpeg)


And these beautiful deep red hibuscus

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0764.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0765.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0766.jpeg)


They offer me delicious Spaghetti Bolognaise for dinner and soon I head to my room to sleep. It starts to rain in earnest. I lie in bed and listen to traffic passing outside on the main road, audible despite my plugged up ears. Trucks drive down the hill towards Meiringspoort, then come steaming up the hill again an hour or so later as the poort is closed due to flooding. Eventually the rain stops falling and around 02:00 in the morning the trucks pass and don't come back again. I toss and turn, and eventually manage to snooze a little.
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: sidetrack on August 19, 2021, 10:06:24 am
Daar is darem min dinge so lekker soos n solo trip elke nou en dan. Dis seker die introvert in my. Ek lees verder  :thumleft:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: husky on August 19, 2021, 02:21:40 pm
Great report, good work and I am envious of your trip. The top of the Donkey Ladder, Die Leer is accessible from the Bosluiskloof road but via a private 4x4 track and quite tightly controlled as there have been issues in the past.  Rich history; Slim Jannie Smuts was rumoured to have led (well, taken, maybe guided by locals) his men down there during the guerrilla warfare at the end of the 2nd Boer War.  The Freedom Challenge, non stop pushbike from Pmb to Paarl, goes up it each year. For me, down was quite enough carrying a bicycle.

https://tracks4africa.co.za/listings/item/w132334/die-leer-passage-into-the-hell/
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Sabre on August 19, 2021, 08:51:56 pm
Ek geniet jou toer !
Die foto van jou fiets saam met die V-Stroms laat jou fiets uitstaan as die regte avontuur fiets. Hy lyk net reg  :thumleft:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 19, 2021, 10:38:48 pm
Great report, good work and I am envious of your trip. The top of the Donkey Ladder, Die Leer is accessible from the Bosluiskloof road but via a private 4x4 track and quite tightly controlled as there have been issues in the past.  Rich history; Slim Jannie Smuts was rumoured to have led (well, taken, maybe guided by locals) his men down there during the guerrilla warfare at the end of the 2nd Boer War.  The Freedom Challenge, non stop pushbike from Pmb to Paarl, goes up it each year. For me, down was quite enough carrying a bicycle.

https://tracks4africa.co.za/listings/item/w132334/die-leer-passage-into-the-hell/

Thanks for the extra information. I enjoy hiking, next time I'd like to stay at the next farm and walk up the ladder. It's on a private farm so no general access to it. And no, I won't be silly enough to drag a pushbike along :lol8:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 19, 2021, 10:40:04 pm
Ek geniet jou toer !
Die foto van jou fiets saam met die V-Stroms laat jou fiets uitstaan as die regte avontuur fiets. Hy lyk net reg  :thumleft:

Gent het maar bietjie scruffy gevoel teen die blink nuwelinge maar in my hart stem ek saam :ricky:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 19, 2021, 11:03:13 pm
Daar is darem min dinge so lekker soos n solo trip elke nou en dan. Dis seker die introvert in my. Ek lees verder  :thumleft:

Ek geniet bashes en byeenkomste baie, maar ek is ook 'n introvert, ek raak mensmoeg. Dit is lekker om alleen na of van 'n bash af te ry, dan recharge mens voor of na die kuier.

Dit moet lekker wees om in 'n klein groepie te ry of 'n biker buddy te hÍ, maar waar kry ek iemand wat dieselfde afgeleŽ terrein wil ry as ek, teen laer spoed? :imaposer:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 21, 2021, 01:21:42 am
In the morning, not very refreshed, I drag myself out of bed and switch on the kettle. My hostess gave me the last of her Hug in a Mug sachets and I make a kickstarter coffee, amping  it up with a packet of Nescafť, and go sit on the stoep to drink it. My hostess joins me with a cheerful good morning; I offer to make her a cup of coffee as well, and she accepts gratefully. We sit on the stoep sipping our coffee, greeting and watching the world pass by.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0768.jpeg)


I fetch my bike from next to the shop one house over where it was parked safely behind a locked gate for the night, and start packing. When I am done, I greet my friendly hosts, and tie up loose ends such as my jacket and my helmet strap. While I'm ATTGATTing, a GS1200 cruises by with a rider and pillion. A minute or so later, they roll up in the opposite direction and stop next to my bike. This is strange; usually my bike is invisible to anyone over 700cc :imaposer:

The rider asks me a question about a place to eat or something similar I don't quite catch thanks to my earplugs and helmet, and I shrug and say I don't know. Then the lady leans over and asks, "Are you..." ... I start laughing and tell her "No, I'm not." She asks, "Why are you laughing?" I explain that I'd been asked this before; that I know Noraly passed through here, but she went the other way and her bike is white and red. She is also covered in cameras. They nod and quickly pull away, hasty to be elsewhere. Noraly has spotlighted the single female riding a smaller bike, but I prefer to fly under the radar.

The day is grey and overcast, with here and there raindrops falling. I'm heading to Bonniedale Guest Farm to meet Ultraflight's group and to ride to the EC Bash in Baviaanskloof with them. I'm not comfortable yet riding through the Nature Reserve by myself. Next time.

I'm not sure what road I plotted, but seems it is part of the Prins Alfred Road, if I'm not mistaken? Remembering the downpour the previous night, I'm nervous of gravel, and I change my route to have a bit more tar than I would've preferred, but then I didn't get this old by being stupid. Before I get to gravel, I find a petrol station in a little town and after filling up and putting on my rain suit, I ask them about the best biltong in town. They direct me to a little butchery in a dodgy-seeming part of town, and it is humming with activity. I buy braai meat for tonight's dinner and head for uncluttered spaces again.

Soon I come to the gravel turn-off and just a few metres on face a water crossing. I gauge the water level and the road surface for a second, and then storm through without incident. Maybe I'm a bit more stupid than I give myself credit for. The rest of the road holds a few muddy surprises, and the adrenalin wakes me up good and proper.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0769.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0770.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0771.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0772.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0773.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0774.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0775.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0776.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0777.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0778.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0779.jpeg)


Then I reach tar and just in time, as the rain starts to come down more fitfully. It is really cold, and I stop to close up any gaps in my ATTGATT that is allowing the icy wind to steal my precious body warmth. 

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0780.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0781.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0782.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0783.jpeg)


I reach the turn off towards Bonniedale Farm at the Eigh Bells and enjoy this last gravel stretch for the day.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0784.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0785.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0786.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0787.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0788.jpeg)


The road through the plantation delivers a few surprises as well, the most unnerving being a huge area where they were milling trees, which was covered in mud and wet plant material. I hug the side of the clearing and slide through unscathed.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0789.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0791.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0793.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0794.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0795.jpeg)


I reach Bonniedale Farm, but the group I'm joining haven't arrived yet. I wonder whether I should worry. I meet the caretakers of the farm, a lovely couple who show me to our accommodation, the log cabin with 4 en suite rooms facing onto a little courtyard, and a kitchen and dining hall connecting them. We hear the group buzzing in from the other side of the farm, and the lady runs to fetch me a beer and help me pull of my jacket and shoes, to make it look as if I'd been here for quite a while already as a joke. The group arrives with tales of the bridge outside Van Wyksdorp flooding after they'd crossed it, the first time in many many many years. This rain is such a blessing...!

We braai and have a lekker kuier, and soon it's time for bed. I get a whole room to myself, adjacent to the room where Kenneth Daniels and his friend are sleeping. The friend has a lot on his chest/mind and I hear the drone of his voice through the log wall. I put in my ear plugs but the drone continues audibly, non-stop. Good grief, but the man can talk! Eventually I say, "Good night!" very loudly, and after responding with the same, the drone thankfully stops. And people say I'm talkative...?!!

One of the people in the group travels with a travel chess set and loves challenging others to a game.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0795A.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0795B.jpeg)



Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Slim Jim on August 21, 2021, 07:07:04 am
Awsome adventure so far  :thumleft:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: jaybiker on August 21, 2021, 06:17:25 pm
 :sip: Enjoying this. Awesome report and pics Ri.  :notworthy:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Lem on August 25, 2021, 02:23:29 pm
Enige verslag of foto oppad na, in verband met Oubergpas of daarvandaan raak eenvoudig nooit oud nie  :thumleft:

Dit is lekker dat jy jou tyd kon vat met hierdie trip  :thumleft:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: FireBoy on August 26, 2021, 04:29:06 pm
Great RR.
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: sidetrack on August 27, 2021, 12:20:08 pm
Enige verslag of foto oppad na, in verband met Oubergpas of daarvandaan raak eenvoudig nooit oud nie  :thumleft:

Dit is lekker dat jy jou tyd kon vat met hierdie trip  :thumleft:
Quick ? for those in the know, Ouberg vs Gannaga which one would you rather ride ?
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: P.K. on August 27, 2021, 04:21:31 pm
Great pic`s and a well penned report.

WELL DONE.
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 27, 2021, 10:50:32 pm
Enige verslag of foto oppad na, in verband met Oubergpas of daarvandaan raak eenvoudig nooit oud nie  :thumleft:

Dit is lekker dat jy jou tyd kon vat met hierdie trip  :thumleft:
Quick ? for those in the know, Ouberg vs Gannaga which one would you rather ride ?

I prefer Ouberg Pass to Gannaga Pass. Gannaga Pass is lovely but you look down into a kloof so although beautiful views, it doesn't stretch all around like Ouberg does. When you are at the top of Ouberg and look back... immense. Probably only me but Ouberg makes me more nervous than Gannaga ever has.
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Tom van Brits on August 28, 2021, 02:39:02 am
Baie mooi. Nous ek sommer lus vir ry.

Ditto :3some:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: sidetrack on August 31, 2021, 03:14:36 pm
Enige verslag of foto oppad na, in verband met Oubergpas of daarvandaan raak eenvoudig nooit oud nie  :thumleft:

Dit is lekker dat jy jou tyd kon vat met hierdie trip  :thumleft:
Quick ? for those in the know, Ouberg vs Gannaga which one would you rather ride ?

I prefer Ouberg Pass to Gannaga Pass. Gannaga Pass is lovely but you look down into a kloof so although beautiful views, it doesn't stretch all around like Ouberg does. When you are at the top of Ouberg and look back... immense. Probably only me but Ouberg makes me more nervous than Gannaga ever has.
Thanks, I plotted the TAST over Gannaga but maybe Ouberg is a more scenic option then  :thumleft:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 31, 2021, 03:24:58 pm
Enige verslag of foto oppad na, in verband met Oubergpas of daarvandaan raak eenvoudig nooit oud nie  :thumleft:

Dit is lekker dat jy jou tyd kon vat met hierdie trip  :thumleft:
Quick ? for those in the know, Ouberg vs Gannaga which one would you rather ride ?

I prefer Ouberg Pass to Gannaga Pass. Gannaga Pass is lovely but you look down into a kloof so although beautiful views, it doesn't stretch all around like Ouberg does. When you are at the top of Ouberg and look back... immense. Probably only me but Ouberg makes me more nervous than Gannaga ever has.
Thanks, I plotted the TAST over Gannaga but maybe Ouberg is a more scenic option then  :thumleft:

They are both beautiful. They both provide magnificent views over the Karoo. I just love Ouberg Pass more, I don't know why. Gannaga Pass has Gannaga Lodge at the top, and it is a great place to stay over. Very hospitable, great food.

Gannaga Pass goes up into a kloof, whereas I think Ouberg Pass follows a tongue of land up to the plateau ridge.

Check out mountainpasses.co.za videos of both passes, and decide for yourself :)

Pity you can't incorporate both. Maybe provide it as an alternative?
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: sidetrack on August 31, 2021, 03:33:37 pm
Enige verslag of foto oppad na, in verband met Oubergpas of daarvandaan raak eenvoudig nooit oud nie  :thumleft:

Dit is lekker dat jy jou tyd kon vat met hierdie trip  :thumleft:
Quick ? for those in the know, Ouberg vs Gannaga which one would you rather ride ?

I prefer Ouberg Pass to Gannaga Pass. Gannaga Pass is lovely but you look down into a kloof so although beautiful views, it doesn't stretch all around like Ouberg does. When you are at the top of Ouberg and look back... immense. Probably only me but Ouberg makes me more nervous than Gannaga ever has.
Thanks, I plotted the TAST over Gannaga but maybe Ouberg is a more scenic option then  :thumleft:

They are both beautiful. They both provide magnificent views over the Karoo. I just love Ouberg Pass more, I don't know why. Gannaga Pass has Gannaga Lodge at the top, and it is a great place to stay over. Very hospitable, great food.

Gannaga Pass goes up into a kloof, whereas I think Ouberg Pass follows a tongue of land up to the plateau ridge.

Check out mountainpasses.co.za videos of both passes, and decide for yourself :)

Pity you can't incorporate both. Maybe provide it as an alternative?
Will have a look, I went over Gannaga mainly to link up with the Cederberge route
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on August 31, 2021, 05:30:18 pm
Gaan daardie track deur Wupperthal en Botterkloof na Calvinia se kant toe, voor dit op die Niewoudtville pad afdraai na die Karoo Nasionale Park?

Plaas van op te draai Gannaga Pas toe, kan mens ook deur die Karoo Nasionale Park ry en anderkant uitkom op die R356 so paar km voor mens opdraai na Ouberg Pas

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0518.jpeg)

Bo kom altwee by Sutherland uit. Ek praat onder korreksie, maar ek dink waar die Ouberg pad weer by die groter grondpad aansluit, kan mens links draai Middelpos toe ook.

Maar dit lyk of jou roete deur Calvinia gaan. Dan gaan Ouberg om 'n laaaaang pad wees.

Eintlik moet jy maar net jou TSAT kom toets en altwee passe ry om te sien wat werk  :ricky:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on September 04, 2021, 11:35:51 am
Our plan is to get away early-ish, but it is really cold. I force myself from under the warm covers and dress and pack up as quickly as possible. Ultraflight does the math and we settle our bills.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0796.jpeg)


The guys discuss jobs and career changes into IT, and when they hear I'm a programmer, I get drawn into conversation (or being a nosey person, I may have inserted myself). My career path has been jazzy at best, and I'm probably not the person to advise anyone on jobs in IT, but I offer some options they can look at.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0795C.jpeg)


The morning is spitting with rain and I don my radioactive-yellow rain suit. Not only is it waterproof to retain any water that inevitably seeps in, it effectively channels it into my boots for long term storage and discomfort. As a secondary perk, it acts as a wind breaker while still allowing for exchange of hot and cold air around the neck. This secondary perk only becomes apparent when the air exchange causes exquisitely effective heat shedding at speed, nullifying all other heat retaining measures such as extra thick gloves and undergarments. Guaranteed is that any attempt to rectify the heat loss will exacerbate it. Also guaranteed is that I'll forget to rewrap at the next comfort stop.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0796A.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0797.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0798.jpeg)

Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on September 04, 2021, 04:49:44 pm
The sunrise is frosty and magnificent. The road out of here is marbly and muddy, just the thing to wake one up and get the adrenaline pumping. Oh to be alive and riding a dualsport motorbike on a clear winters morning in South Africa...

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0799.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0800.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0801.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0802.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0803.jpeg)


Someone snaps Radiactive Ri, Queen of SeSlow.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0802A.jpeg)


The other Suzuki in the group, also a grey DR650 with the rider, Henry, also wearing a white helmet. My DR650 is of course way better looking.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0802B.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0804.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0805.jpeg)


We head to Mosselbay to fill up, then hit the gravel again at Klein Brak into George where Albie joins us, and from there up the magnificent Montagu Pass. After Montague Pass we turn onto the Paardepoort Rd, then follow the Kamanassie Rd to Uniondale, our last fuel stop before Baviaanskloof.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0805A.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0805B.jpeg)


Mandatory stop and stream at the train bridge. Albie endears himself to the group by sharing out the delicious 'padkos' packed for him by concerned and caring females in his family.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0806.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0807.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0808.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0809.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0812.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0813.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0814.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0815.jpeg)


Rest stop where we join the road along the Kamanassie River.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0818A.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0819.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0820.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0821.jpeg)


Then we join the tar road to Uniondale....slow poke sweeping up the rear guard.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0821A.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0822.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0823.jpeg)





Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Duster on September 04, 2021, 08:33:00 pm
Ek sien nou eers die report en geniet dit baie.  Dankie vir die deel en ek haal my hoed af vir jou.....Awesome!
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on September 04, 2021, 08:50:22 pm
There is a mix-up on where to fill up in Uniondale, which has me racing to and fro between fuel stations to find the group. It was a short night followed by a long day and I'm gatvol. When I find everyone taking a break outside a fast food joint, I ask permission to carry on, Capt'n. Ultraflight nods and I wobble off like a shooting arrow in slow motion. Challa, who just joined the group, decides to follow along.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0824.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0825.jpeg)


Challa's watercrossing.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0826.jpeg)


Soon we reach Doringkloof and can rest, relax and join in the festivities. But first! Grab your printed and laminated EC Bash ID courtesy of Dorsland :deal:

Rudimentary Roadmap to the Riding of your Nightmares Dreams

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0826A.jpeg)


Albie and Dominic aka Big Dom in their matching outfits :)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0827.jpeg)


We camp right next to this big hole - beginnings of a pool, maybe? - and immediately a pool starts for bets on who'll be the first person to either ride or fall into it. Most bets are on Cocky, with a Ball&Chain and Riaan as strong co-contenders. [Spoiler alert: no one fell into the hole :xxbah:]

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0827A.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0827B.jpeg)


Saturday sees most guys hanging out at the Boskamp, chilling and visiting, while a few go riding around. It's a bit drizzly but not too bad. I don't know whether it's due to attendance being capped at 60 people and the usual troublemakers missing the deadline, or Dorsland's calm and gentlemanly influence, but it is a most congenial and mostly polite Bash. There is only one incidence of early morning bike revving, and it doesn't last very long. The next morning, everyone (suddenly a master mechanic) has an opinion on what is wrong with said bike based on the way sounds when it started, revved, and died down again.

Although I saw them briefly at a long ago Bash, I meet Firecoast and Throttle Jockey for the first time, and Firecoast and I have a lovely chat about being slowish riders who stop for photo's, the challenges facing KGB, and finding people to ride with. Firecoast of course now has Throttle Jockey, and I of course have given up. I also meet Kaboef for the first time, although I've seen him before. To my delighted surprise he is gracious and complimentary about my ride reports. Who, me? :biggrin:

Probably the greatest reason for the EC Bash' popularity: the incredible spit braais. This year they again outbraai themselves.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0827C.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0827D.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0827E.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0827F.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0827G.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0827H.jpeg)


I'm still sitting with Firecoast, TJ, Operator and Kaboef when dinner is served, and we somehow end up at the front of the queue. The food is absolutely delicious, and the next morning there is still some left for breakfast. We eat like kings and queens.

Then early to bed so we're hopefully early to rise. I spend a cozy, snoozy night listening to the chorus of snorers scattered about, not sleeping deeply but not fully sleepless either.
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on September 04, 2021, 08:55:54 pm
Ek sien nou eers die report en geniet dit baie.  Dankie vir die deel en ek haal my hoed af vir jou.....Awesome!

Baie dankie en groot plesier :biggrin:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on September 04, 2021, 11:25:24 pm
We rise early and pack up quickly so we can still swallow a few cups of coffee and grab some of last night's leftovers warming on the fire. I again don my sexy glowing rainpant in the vain hope it will stop water streaming into my boots in the event of any deep river crossing.

As the slow poke in the group, I again ask Ultraflight to let me go ahead, and soon I'm at the Nature Reserve gate, signing in and waiting for my group to show up. Albie is not joining us as he has to head straight home.

Today we ride through Baviaanskloof and then turn towards Humansdorp. I haven't ridden the Humansdorp road before and didn't even know one could miss Patensie. Maybe I'll pay more attention to the map next time I plan a trip.

Baviaanskloof is as always a joy to ride through. The area is greener and has a bit more water than the last time I passed through here and the unexpected long muddy tracks cause a bit of traction loss havoc now and then, but no one comes to any grief.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0828.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0829.jpeg)


Smitskraal is an old friend by now, respected but not feared, especially since its "teeth" were pulled by the recent thorough grading that saw the cracked cement track filled in with loads of gravel. 

Kenneth enjoys Smitskraal so much he turns around his AT and rides back to the other side, then comes roaring through again.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0830.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0831.jpeg)

My river crossing... stylin' it. (https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0832.mp4)


Later on some mention is made of my apparent fearlessness when crossing small or even larger bodies of water. My rationale goes something like this: if I'm first, streams are clear and I'll hopefully be able to see the bottom. If I'm not first, I should look where the person ahead of me rides and either follow or avoid their course. Also, momentum is my friend - don't slow down! Rather fall on the other side of the body of water than in it. And so forth. So far my logic serves me well. May or may not apply to muddy patches in the road.

I'm storming after the group when I come across the F800GS parked in the middle of the road. Is has developed intermittent firing issues and its rider is a very sad man, talking rashly of riding it over a cliff and going back to the AT750. Challa and Kenneth offer tools and technical support while I offer sympathetic noises and gather photographic evidence of the BMW's apparent demise.

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0834.jpeg)


Rumours of her demise are exaggerated, though. Soon a faulty wire is found and fixed, and the 800GS splutters to life triumphantly. When Mr Loquacious next comes to a stop, he is grinning from ear to ear. His 800GS is once again the bike he fell in love with.


(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0834.jpeg)

At the end of the long downhill near the end of Baviaanskloof is a short river crossing sitting in a bend in the road. I forget my momentum rule as I'm a little nervous of navigating the bend, and in the middle of the crossing HooliGent chokes, dies, and tips. I scream in frustration and grab the handlebars at an alarming angle. My arms immediately start to shiver and burn; GentLigan is a comparatively light bike but he still weighs 100kg more than I do. I don't have the strength to lift him up so I hang on for dear life, trying to keep him from going under. Ultraflight stops behind me and wades into the water to grab NotGent's luggage rack and help me tip him upright. Disaster averted!

With various spills and thrills we take too long to get to Humansdorp and have to slab it to Wilderness, where we are sleeping tonight. But we still make time for Bloukrans Gorge and the 7 Passes Road. We treat ourselves to a dinner at a tiny joint next to a petrol station, and get to bed early again. It's been a long day!

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0835.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0835A.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0837.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0838.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0839.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0840.jpeg)

(https://insolita.co.za/images/2021-05/IMG_0841A.jpeg)


The next morning Ultraflight still has a long and lekker gravel route home, but a few of us decide to cut our ride short and head straight home. Challa wants to hang out with Vulcan, and Kenneth and Mr Loquacious are missing their partners. I've had a long trip already and want to relax before I have to hit the computer again tomorrow.  And so a wonderful ride comes to an end.

Not quite the spill-free holiday of my hopes, but considering my history, 1 minor tip-over on an almost 10 days tour is still a win :biggrin:

Thank you for riding along :ricky:
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Slim Jim on September 05, 2021, 07:20:31 am
awsome
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: jaybiker on September 05, 2021, 04:50:24 pm
An engrossing report Ri. And the pics illustrate clearly why your bike is better looking. More elegant you might say.

It's the luggage!  ;)
Title: Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
Post by: Ri on September 05, 2021, 07:21:36 pm
An engrossing report Ri. And the pics illustrate clearly why your bike is better looking. More elegant you might say.

It's the luggage!  ;)

 :imaposer: :thumleft: