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Author Topic: Knopkop and tankgirl sliding through the Eastern Cape (Beware - Lots of Pics!)  (Read 13602 times)

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Offline EtienneXplore

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The time had come for another proper bike trip. I rode my motorbike back form Zambia as I really did not get time to ride in Zambia, and being unemployed for a while gave me the perfect opportunity to do some chilling, relaxing, full time beer drinking and also a bit of riding!

The plan was to start in Stilbaai, and head east to visit family in Jeffrey’s Bay and then move further east to visit more family in Kenton-on-Sea and then have a bit of a beach holiday in Kenton. Then I would head further east and return back to Pretoria via Transkei and Lesotho.

Initially the plan was to do the trip solo, but then I chatted to tankgirl, and she was in the mood for a bike trip, so a plan was hacked, routes were slightly altered, and suddenly we were two souls ready for action in the Eastern Cape!
Please note that all photos in this ride report was taken with cell phones, edited with a free app and all the video was taken with these two phones and a GoPro.

On the way down to Stilbaai a few stops were made, but overall the trip down was long, hot and dry!
Had a stop in Kimberley for a quick beer at the Star of the West



In Victoria West they know how to pour a proper Captain Morgan!



I have been through Meiringspoort a few times, but never actually stopped to have a look at the waterfall. It is pretty impressive and I would advise anyone to have a stop, do the short walk and have a look at this beautiful waterfall.



I left Stilbaai at first light and made my way east via the 7 passes road between George and Knysna



But I first had to do the tourist thing and get a picture of the railway line at Wilderness



This is the first time that I have done the 7 passes road and it is really a very pretty road to do. I was the only person on the entire road and did not see one single other car or bike, just a few mountain bikers. It was the 24th of December and I was very happy to not be swamped by 1000’s of holiday makers, which was of course until I hit Knysna a later the morning!





From Knysna I took Kom se Pad via the forests, all the way up to De Vlugt where I stopped for a beer at Angie’s G-Spot



I could see the weather coming in just before I reached De Vlugt, but luckily I did not get any rain……for now that is…..



After Jeffrey’s Bay, I headed east in with a terrible side wind, all the way to Kenton……I flippen HATE wind on a bike, specially a cold side wind! Stopped for quick picture at the Wireless Bungee Bridge



Then I got to Kenton-on-Sea, my favourite place in the world! I have been visiting Kenton-on-Sea since I was born and my mom still lives there, so the next days were spent drinking lots of beer, spending loads of time on the beach getting sunburnt, and more beer drinking. I had the privilege of meeting up with Metaljockey, Nardus and Brian with their families for a few beers and lots of kak praat on the Boesmans River. It was great to meet you guys and thanks for the beers and lekker kuier!!
I will just post a few pics of my time in Kenton and surrounds where I did a short ride around the Woody Cape / Kinkelbos / Addo area.












Then it was time to do some repairs, my front fender broke so I had to do some Q-Bonding….

« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 04:27:40 pm by KnopKop »
 

Offline EtienneXplore

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The plan after Kenton was to meet up with tankgirl in Lady Grey. She would ride down from Pretoria and I would ride up from Kenton. As Lady Grey is much closer to Kenton than Pretoria, I thought that I could work in some dirt roads and dirt passes on the way, most notably Katberg Pass. I have never been to Katberg Pass, and on Mapsource the road looked very twisty and I knew it was dirt, so I decided it will be an awesome pass to ride!

tankgirl’s ride for the day was long straight highways………it was a very hot and dry ride, but with a stunning sunrise in big sky country!




Lunch in the middle of nowhere!




My ride for the day was more eventful, resulting in tankgirl reaching Lady Grey before me, with her doing about 220km more than me!
It was raining when I left Kenton and it seems like the rains had finally come, at least to the Eastern Cape, as I was riding in the rain for over 8 hours! I was very wet and very cold as I reached the Penhoek Pass, where the rain finally stopped. Everything north of the Penhoek Pass was hot and dry, but everything south was cold and wet….

My route took me from Grahamstown via Fort Double Drift towards Alice, then towards Kat River and then onto the Katberg Pass




My hands when I stopped for a hot coffee in Alice….



Crossing the Kat River



Then I hit the slopes of the Katberg Pass. I only have two pics of my ride on this pass, as it was soaking wet, raining the entire time and it was slippery as hell, and I could not see anything more than 10m in front of me. I am sure the views must be spectacular, as I just kept on climbing and climbing up and up and up! I could not see a thing! I would have to ride this pass again someday when it is dry and I don’t have to spend my time slipping and sliding my way up this pass.

This pic was on the lower slopes, before the pass starts and the second one at the top where the track splits off towards Queenstown. These two pics were taken 70min apart and about 35km apart. It is really very pretty and good riding area….




From a very cold and wet Queenstown I hightailed up the Penhoek pass and after Jamestown hooked a right on a dirt road leading me to Lady Grey where I would meet up with tankgirl




Yay, finally met up and settled in for a night of camping after a dinner of Black Labels and Pizza…


Offline Sláinte Mhaith

 :peepwall:
 

Offline EtienneXplore

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Next on the menu was to head to Elliot, but we would be including two dirt passes on the way, namely the Jouberts Pass just outside of Lady Grey and then the notorious Lapa Munnik Pass, better known as Bastervoetslaan pad. We were very very excited for the day ahead!


Magnum Mint Ice cream breakfast!



Whoop Whoop….



Martian snapping away with the cell phone, and then the result….




Reaching the top of Jouberts Pass, it is really a beautiful pass to ride early morning and the surface is great and it is not technical at all. Suitable for all levels of riding.




A quick snack in Barkley East saw tankgirl making new friends…



Then it was off to the BIG ONE for the day…….note the perfect weather….



Now, note the weather again, see that shit on the horizon? Well, that shit had a big role to play later on in the day!




You can see where I am going with this weather thing…..



From the turn-off to Bastervoetslaan Pad the road was great, and we were having a blast riding along




But, as soon as we hit the start of the pass, it looked like this, the rain was not that hard, but it was a soft, slow, consistent rain and it had absolutely soaked everything and turned the track into one big, long, snotty, slimy, slippery mess



Not many pics were taken on Bastervoetslaan Pad, mainly because we could not see anything, and also because we spent most of our time struggling up and then down the pass, it was slippery and muddy as hell!
Here are the pics we took on the pass:

























Towards the bottom of the pass the weather seem to clear a bit, but the damage to the road was done and we spent our time slipping and sliding all the way to the main dirt road.





We arrived in Elliot cold, wet and very tired. We decided to take a room at Myburgh’s Guest House, and I cannot recommend this place enough. If you are ever in Elliot, this is the place to stay, the owners looked after us like we were family! We even managed to chat about old GlenInk, who ran the bar at the Elloit Golf Club, and who was a good friend and keen biker. I am sure he is still missed here on the forum! They also have the coolest two Greyhounds….
Me, tired as f*ck!!




There was no place within walking distance from the guesthouse to get food in Elliot, apart from the Merino Hotel. It is a real shithole, with shit food, but hey, the beer was Ice Cold!!


We slept like the dead that night!

Offline skydiver

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I like the RR so far  :thumleft:
Can't wait for the rest
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Offline weskus

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Stunning fotos, meesste van daai paadjies oor Des gery.. baie nice..
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Offline EtienneXplore

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The next day we planned to get to Hogsback via small backroads through Transkei villages, it was a chilled day’s riding, with an awesome shabeen stop in the town of Cofimvaba. We love stopping at random shabeens and sharing a beer with the locals, these beers always seem to be the best ones and the ones you will fondly remember years from now…. We met some colourful characters at this bar!

















Arriving in Hogsback it was time for some Captain Morgan!



We checked into Away with the Fairies backpackers and found ourselves a campsite hidden way from the general population!



One of the best things we bought recently was hammocks, they pack up tiny and they are just great to chillax in!





Then it was off to explore the place a bit before settling down for some pizza and drinks and our hacked version of Scrabble!



Very happy chappies!!


 
The bath was not very clean…. But a great view none the less







The chill / dining room at Away with the Fairies




We did not have far to go the next day, Kenton was only about 220km away, so we took the time to have look around Hogsback and see a few things….

We went to see The Edge Labyrinth, it is a really cool place to hang round for a while and they make a kick-ass Carrot Cake in the restaurant there!!









Tiny Planet App doing its thing!



Then we decided to go and see the Earth Shrine, it is cool, but not really my thing, I am not artsy fartsy hippie nature bos befokte hipster earth child enough I guess….








Next stop was the Madonna and Child Waterfall. Now beware if you want to visit this thing, it is quite a trek from the parking spot the waterfall, and it is all downhill. All doable in MX Boots and Knee braces, but not recommended….. The walk back up nearly killed us!
Some of the path to the falls, can you see tankgirl?







The falls are really pretty, but mid-morning is not the best time as the sun is in a crappy spot for photos, I reckon late afternoon or very early morning will be awesome!









We also stopped in Bathurst at the world’s biggest pineapple, it was R 15 to go in, but not really much to see inside there, but at least you can see the sea from the top, so that was cool I guess!



We spent the afternoon walking on the beach and was greeted with a beautiful sunset and even a small piece of a rainbow!















Offline woody1

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Lekker man  :ricky:

I WOULD RATHER BE AN HONEST ASSHOLE .... THAN A FLIPPEN LIAR !   


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Online punisher

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sheeeeezz  your cell phone takes lekker pics 

nice RR thus far  :thumleft:
just wanna have fun , and ride ... and ....... ride
 

Offline EtienneXplore

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The following day was just spent in Kenton on Sea, walking on the beach, looking for all kinds of creatures in hundreds of rock pools, and getting sunburnt!



































Another try at a Tiny Planet…..we are getting better at them….slowly!





Now tankgirl loves cats, and all cats love her, but Lukey, my mom’s cat would not even give her the time of day, this was as close as she could get to Lukey!



This one on the other hand loved the attention!



After a great day on the beach we went out for an awesome dinner at the Sandbar floating restaurant, and packed our bags for the road the next morning……..we were going to be heading WEST…..

Offline chicco

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sheeeeezz  your cell phone takes lekker pics 

nice RR thus far  :thumleft:

eesh...was all those pics taken with a cell phone?

what make?

sorry.....very nice report....could all those routes be done with a 4x4?

You dont have the route? :peepwall:
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Offline chopperpilot

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A lekka read! :thumleft:

Awesome pics! ;) What camera? ???
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Offline Sláinte Mhaith

Awesome pics! ;) What camera? ???

He mentioned in the beginning that it was mobile phones and a GoPro.

Knopkop, please give us details on what phones and how you achieved such great quality.
 

Offline Black_Hawk

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Very nice RR with awesome photo's  :thumleft:
Follow our blog: https://mytownsatoz.wordpress.com

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Offline EtienneXplore

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We were up early to catch the sunrise, and it was a winner!


This put us in a good mood for the day, and we were excited to be heading into Baviaanskloof later in the morning, but first things first. We needed coffee, so Colchester provided the biggest, strongest cup of coffee we’ve see in a long time!



A quick stop on the old abandoned bridge over the Sunday’s river





Then we headed off to ride the Elandsrivier road towards Patensie, the entrance to Baviaans
Not many pics of this road, as we were again riding in the mist and rain, so we could not really see much…





We arrived at Patensie and had some awesome burgers and take away cookies at Tolbos
Best burgers ever!!



Then it was time to enter Baviaanskloof, this had been my second time riding Baviaans, but a first for tankgirl. Last time I also did it on an X-Challenge…





Baviaans is really a great ride, not really technical at all, the water crossings are loads of fun, and Smitskraal was really full. I was very glad this time as the last time I did it, it was completely dry!



































We arrived at Makkedaat Caves after a chilled beer stop at a little farm shop, they had cold beer, but no water…….awesome shop!
We booked into Dassiebak, a rocky overhang in the mountain that has been converted into an awesome spot, with a balcony with stunning views. The only sounds were the cows, the birds and the wind……it was bliss







All out stinky gear left in the sun to dry out a bit!



The view from our balcony



Not happy that all the Whiskey is finished….



We had a braai of skaap tjops & wors with some beetslaai………hmmmm


The next morning we woke up and saw this on the floor…..we were oblivious during the night that this bastard was crawling around! Don’t know what happened to him, we found him like this?


 :o :o

Offline EtienneXplore

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......
sorry.....very nice report....could all those routes be done with a 4x4?

You dont have the route? :peepwall:

Yup, all can be done with a 4x4, if you want to do Bastervoetslaan Pad in the wet, you will have to know what you are doing, it is no joke in the rain!

I will attach the tracks when the whole report is done

 :thumleft:

Offline EtienneXplore

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Ok, so to address the questions about the cell phones / camera's

Like I said, no picture on this report was taken with a "camera". We did this on purpose to show that you do not need to lug around a big-ass DSLR with lenses to still get great pics. The drawbacks of cell only is long exposure shots is not really possible, zoom is not really an option and then Wide Angle Shots are not as great as with a proper wide angle lens, but the Panorama function on phones is pretty good to get around the wide angle problem.

I used an iPhone6S and tankgirl used a HTC M9. All editing to photos was done on the actual phones, no Laptop was used. We used a free App called Snapseed to do all the editing. The Tiny Planets was done with a free App called Tiny Planet FX. The collages was done with a free App called FotoRus. All the panoramas was done with the phones built in panorama function. All pics were uploaded to SmugMug, straight from the cellphone, again no laptop or PC was used. I only used a laptop to write and post this report.

I will post a video at the end of the report and all the footage on that video was shot with these two phones and a GoPro, but in this case the editing was done on a PC with Cyberlink Powerdirector 14

Hope this helps!


« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 02:08:39 pm by KnopKop »
 

Offline Adventurous

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Very nice RR, stunning photo's, looks like an awesome trip  :ricky:
Live it. Ride it. Love it. Make an adventure of every day…
 

Offline EtienneXplore

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I must admit, I do prefer riding Baviaans in the opposite direction then what we did on this trip, in other words from West to East (Willowmore to Patensie). Make no mistake East to West is still awesome and definitely worth the ride, but I just prefer it the other way round, I think the views are better riding East.
On the way out of Baviaans the next morning







Next on the menu was Grootriver Poort, running north of Baviaans on the other side of the mountain. This pass is much shorter than any of the passes in Baviaans, but much more technical! It is an awesome ride and you need to focus, hold on and commit!
Some very big and very old timers around these back roads towards Grootriver Poort!



Smooth, fast open sections after Willowmore heading east, also lots of opening and closing of farm gates!







tankgirl always spots the most interesting and pretty little things!



Descending into the poort towards the river crossing at the bottom











And then up the other side of the river…….it gets pretty rocky, loose, and steep with some step-ups on the eastern side leading up to the cell phone tower where it meets up with the Elandrivier road before descending back into Patensie again.







Another stop at Tolbos for lunch before heading back to Kenton via Port Elizabeth





Another pic of the Van Stadens River Bridge





We also made a quick stop at the Karel Landman monument close to Alexandria









Offline EtienneXplore

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After a chilled evening in Kenton, we set off the next morning towards East London. The destination for the day was Hole in the Wall, or Port St Johns in the Transkei, we did not have any fixed plans, just a general idea of where we wanted to be.

I had arranged to meet with up Michnus and Metaljockey when we would be passing through East London, but MJ had a meeting lined up, so we had breakfast with Michnus and chatted away for an hour or two. It was fascinating and pretty entertaining to hear his views, stories and tales of their travels on their RTW trip. I am planning a similar trip, so the inputs and first hand advice was invaluable! If you are not following their blog, shame on you!! Go have a look!

www.pikipiki.co.za

Michnus’ and our bikes in the parking lot


We then hit the road again and made our way to Hole in the Wall. We arrived fairly early and the plan was to get rid of our motorbike kit, have a walk to the Hole, have a few beers then head off to Coffee Bay for the night. That was the plan until we saw this about 50m from the lodge come backpackers place in Hole in the Wall….. FFS!!





So, we pulled in, made ourselves at home in the parking lot, I went to get some beers, and then the wheel came off, tube came out, new tube in…..you know the deal…… All went well, until I went and pinched the flippen tube when putting the tyre back on…….Idiot!!
So now we had two tubes with a hole in. I went to get more beer, while tankgirl started patching both tubes, as we were patching in any case, so might as well patch both tubes…..





She insisted that she will put back the tyre on the rim this time as she will not pinch the thing….She got the tube in, and we nervously stated pumping……..no air leaked….Whoop Whoop!! So the wheel went back on and all was good in the world! We then decided to just book a room in the backpackers as we were pretty gatvol now, and if we still wanted to walk to the Hole and then ride to Coffee Bay, we would run out of time, so we settled in, got rid of the bike gear, grabbed a few beers and headed off along the beach, and made it to this place…..



















Can you see me in this picture?


Tiny Planets again!




We had a great meal, lots of beer and rum and a few games of pool, we went back to a slowly spinning room…….

 :ricky: