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Author Topic: Cape to Calvinia - 27 & 28 April 2006  (Read 1785 times)

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Offline Butch

Cape to Calvinia - 27 & 28 April 2006
« on: April 29, 2006, 09:10:20 pm »
Aaahhh, it?s good to be home again. No matter how much fun it is to be away, even if it is for just one day, there is something about home that makes it a ?nice? place to be. My legs hurt, my ass hurts (now-now, don?t jump to conclusions) and my shoulders hurt, but it?s a good kind of hurt, that kind of hurt that reminds you of the time you had.

Got up at 6 am on Thursday, packed (tools, compressor, shoes, undies, extra undies, soetes, etc.), got dressed, had coffee. 7 am, more coffee, checked that I packed everything, tightened straps ? come on 8 am!!! Yesss!! Off to Wellington to meet scribble and two of his mates at 9 am, which gave me enough time to take the dirt roads between Durbanville and Wellington and have time to spare.

The weather was mighty fine, a bit crispy, but the sweater underneath my jacket does the trick ? pity it didn?t cover my nuts.

Stopped at Wellington, on the bridge next to the golf course, as per arrangement. 8h50, ok, I?m early - perfect weather for riding. 9h00, scribble and choms should be here any second. 9h10, have another cigarette. 9h15, waiting. 9h16 still waiting. 9h17, getting impatient. 9h18, more waiting. 9h20, that sweet sound of a loud pipe on a 1150GS, that sound that made me get one in the first place (trueasbob, it was the sound).

scribble pulled up, ?Sorry we?re late.?, followed by a mean looking mother of an AT and a 1200GS. Helmets off - ?Howzit? ? shaking hands. ?Butch, Marco. Marco, Butch.? ?Butch, Dale. Dale, Butch.?

?Howzit?? said Dale, ?Watch this.? he said to us as he points to the guy about to tee off. ?Heeeyyyyy!!!!!!!!?, just as the guy takes the swing? That was my introduction to Dale. Marco, it turned out, is just as well misbehaved.

Off we go!

Du Toits Kloof pass was awesomely beautiful, as always. My inexperience really showed when I got to the top and the guys were already having Oros.

The ride to Ceres was good, just what you need to get into the swing of things. Breakfast at Wimpy filled the gap, accompanied by tall stories from the African trip scribble and co. did. Dale got all excited when he discovered the drive through bottle store.

Where to next? Sutherland. The map shows a thick red line all the way there, but we want to do dirt. According to my map, there should be a thin black line turning off the main road, and then another turn, and another? ?Trust thy GPS? ? Biker?s guide 101. ;-) The thin black line was tar (damn), but the turn-off to Touwsrivier led us onto some dirt (finally).

We soon found ourselves back on that thick red line, but don?t worry, there are more thin black lines to come. By now the vegetation turned from fynbos to the typical Karoo veld. The map showed that the next thin black line is about another 20km away, but there it was, the Sign. That sign that all DS bikers have come to know and love ? ?Gravel road ahead?. Wil jy nou meer, the thick red line is gravel. Wheeee!!!!

What a beautiful piece of gravel road it is. Mostly straight (unlike myself) and hard. We made good progress on this section, with my back wheel gently dancing from side to side. Some whoops also, for added fun. We stopped about halfway to Sutherland for some more Oros and to discuss the bloodyawesome ride.

Not far from Sutherland, we were back on tar, travelling at a leisurely pace when this windgat with his SLK 550 AMG merc shot past us from behind. What was he thinking, going into a mountain pass, having pissed off a herd of bikers. Marco?s day was made when the asshole had to yield to years of experience on the track, at least, that?s what they told me when I found them at the top of the pass, also having passed a sad looking SLK driver standing at the side of the road, inspecting his tyres. I can?t blame them, ?cause the pass was amazing.

It was about 15h00 when we got to Sutherland. My first time here and very much what I expected. I can see why they built an observatory here ? fcuk-all for miles, and apparently, the town is not allowed to have any street lights, because of the observatory. It didn?t take us long to find the library, for some Oros.

Ag, Dale is such a friendly chap. Making idle chit-chat with the bar-lady, commenting that ?Daai lippe is seker nie so van lemoensuig nie.?  :shock:

It?s true what LS wrote in one of his ride reports, the filling station is open, but closed, and the man that can make it open-open (at a fee of R10), lives across the road. Fortunately for us, some other ouk was there before us and all we had to do, was fill up.

It was 16h00 before we left for Calvinia and with the shadows already lengthening, we knew we couldn?t waste much time on this 160km stretch of dirt road (also a thick red line on my map. Damn deceptive map). For the first 50-odd kms, the road wasn?t too bad, a good mix of straights and twisties. scribble and I eventually stopped after we haven?t seen the headlights of the other two bikes for some time. We waited for about 15 minutes, giving scribble time to admire the view.

We eventually turned back and found them only about 5km behind us, next to the road. The battery terminals on Dale?s AT kept shaking loose and some repairs were needed. While getting my luggage off for access to the toolbox, I noticed that the one side of my bag was all wet and sticky. ?Damnshitfcuk,? I thought, ?the bottle of soetes broke!? Fortunately, it was only the cap that leaked and all we had to do to prevent further spillage, was to release some of the pressure into my handy telescopic drinking vessel. Bless the toolboxes on these 1150s, it had everything we needed to get the AT going again.

By then the sun was just above the horizon, the shadows long and the road turned from OK to absolute crap. The car tracks were deep, with lots of loose sand and gravel between them. That in itself wasn?t too bad, but at stages we were riding into the sun and with the sun in your face, dust on your visor and the road in the shadows, you could see fabsolutely uckall. Only when you and the bike started doing the tango, did you realise you were not on the track anymore. But where was the track then? Oh dear, hope I?m still on the road. Then came the sand, nice thick sand, also waiting for us in the shadows. You couldn?t ease off on the throttle, ?cause that would be suicide. Look up (into the sun), stand up and open up. On more than one occasion I thought ?This is it. I?m going down. Houston, we have a problem! But I?m going too fast to fall now. Vaaaaaaaak!!!!?

Eventually we stopped for a bit of a break. I was actually glad to hear that it was not just my inexperience that made the road so bad, but that scribble and Marco also shat themselves in places. You can?t see it clearly in the picture, but I think Marco was praying as he remained sitting on his bike.

With only 40 or so kms to go, the sun was setting fast and who knows what the road ahead looked like. You guessed it, more of the same, except that visibility was a bit better once the sun set below the horizon. What a beautiful sight! I only wish a photo can portray it like it really was.

Then, as the last bit of daylight disappeared - tar. Good, steady, solid, sticky tar. Never thought I?d say this, but tar is nice too. That?s also where we found Dale, ready with the Oros, to calm the nerves. Everyone had a story to tell of just how close they came to buying a piece of land, and how they managed to stay on. I wanna do that section again, this time in good light.

Earlier in the week, I booked accommodation at a place called Rolbos. Remind me to post a note in our biker-friendly-places thread. We eventually had a whole house to ourselves. We thought of having a braai, but the nearest Woollies Food Market was about 400km away. We ended up having dinner in the Hantam Hotel, which was just around the corner (in fact, the whole town was just ?round the corner). The food was good, and the locals friendly. Here?s Dale making conversation with some of them (the guy at the far end of the bar was in for a surprise, though. He couldn?t even say ?Mexican arsehole? afterwards).

Some more stories, soetes, rum and laughter followed back at Rolbos. I was still smiling from ear to ear and felt a sense of accomplishment as I went to bed ? t?was a good day.

We decided to take the ?shortcut? home, that long road between Calvinia and Ceres, as Marco had business to attend to back home. This meant that we didn?t have to get up too early. We were packed and ready to go shortly after 8h00.

We filled up the bikes and ourselves (with a good hearty breakfast) at Myl 250. We had a long road ahead of us.

About 20km outside Calvinia, you get to the Bloukrans pass ? you?re riding along a straight, level road, and all of a sudden the world just drops away ? breathtaking.

Now what on earth does one do with a road like this? Yip, you ride it. You ride the shit out of it, for 220km. Wheeee!!!!!

Except for scribble?s puncture, which we fixed in 5 minutes flat  :D ;, the rest of the route was without incident (or events for that matter).

We rested, had some Oros to soften the teeth that were starting to grow out of our saddles, and we rode and rode.

Past the majestic Cederberge to our right (next time we?ll go through them)?

?and before we knew it, we were back in Ceres, with it?s marvellous drive-through bottle store.

Funny how people get quieter and quieter the closer you get to the end of a journey, as if they?d rather be somewhere else. Anyway, we said cheers to Dale and Marco who had to make tracks, while scribble and I had a cold drink and filled up, before the last stretch home. We took it slow through Du Toitskloof pass, as if to savour the last bit of the trip. The view from the top of the pass is definitely something worth stopping for.

scribble and I parted our ways just after Wellington, pledging to do this more often. I was sad and happy at the same time when I got home. I was dusty and the GS clearly looked as if it was used for the right stuff. What a trip! Good ride, good company. What more can you ask for?

Aaaahhh, it?s good to be home. I need a beer.
Live and let live.

Offline macduff

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Cape to Calvinia - 27 & 28 April 2006
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2006, 09:29:45 pm »
very lekker report/pics  :lol:  :lol:

tks man  :wink:


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Cape to Calvinia - 27 & 28 April 2006
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2006, 03:04:33 am »
Sweet! :thumbup:

Offline Leo

Re: Cape to Calvinia - 27 & 28 April 2006
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2006, 09:27:49 pm »
Quote from: "Butch"
?Daai lippe is seker nie so van lemoensuig nie.

 :D  :D  :D  :D

Thanks for sharing.

Nice report!
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Offline funacide

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Cape to Calvinia - 27 & 28 April 2006
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2006, 11:10:03 pm »
Nice report, thanks for sharing....

and some real AWESOME pics in there....
 :lol:  :lol:
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Offline >Herman<

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Cape to Calvinia - 27 & 28 April 2006
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2006, 10:01:54 am »
Cool report, man we have a beautiful country!


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Cape to Calvinia - 27 & 28 April 2006
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2006, 11:43:18 am »
Awesome roads Butch!

I love it when its like that, no tar road bailout for 100's of km's, gotta ride the dirt.

Offline Grootseun

Cape to Calvinia - 27 & 28 April 2006
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2006, 07:53:35 am »
Nice one guys!!!


Offline LuckyStriker

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Cape to Calvinia - 27 & 28 April 2006
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2006, 09:17:00 am »
Bakgat Butch & Scribble!
I was really looking forward to reading this report and I'm glad I'm not disappointed - cool pics too!

Thanks for sharing Butch, it was lekker 8)

Offline wino

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Cape to Calvinia - 27 & 28 April 2006
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2006, 11:10:17 am »
excellent report and pics! cool ride! :D

Offline Scribble

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Cape to Calvinia - 27 & 28 April 2006
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2006, 02:02:49 pm »
.an absolute blast good mixture of everything
im trying to post pics but still trying to figure that out
as soon as i do i will  :wink:
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