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Author Topic: Barberton - Cape Town and the wrong way home, my Epic Solo ride (Finally done)  (Read 7457 times)

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Offline Teapot

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2013, 09:28:04 pm »
Great story. Bring it on.
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Offline Tonteldoos

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #41 on: February 20, 2013, 09:47:40 pm »
Lekker  :thumleft: Gooi Heksie, gooi!
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Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #42 on: February 21, 2013, 09:19:55 pm »
Too many beers last night.. ::) .. ?

Too many 2 nights in a row!!!! Tonight I'm NOT going to the Pub!  More of the story coming up shortly, just have to sort out the next lot of pics.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 11:58:44 pm by Chrissie B »
Chrissie B. (Just Heksie)

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Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2013, 09:37:03 pm »
After the fuel stop I headed south(ish), my lunch destination was Nieu Bethesda.  Many years ago Mario and I wanted to go there, but it was miserable weather, pouring with rain and chilly, so in the end we decided just to head to Jeffrey’s Bay as quickly as possible.  So now I would finally get to see this little dorp everyone talks about.   :deal:

I got onto the gravel at the turn-off to Nieu Bethesda, and as usual started off slow, especially since I was now on my own and I didn't see too much activity anywhere nearby.  But after a while I got into the rhythm and really enjoyed the ride and the scenery.  The northern road takes you through valleys, along a stream and over a little bridge.  I was now in surreal mode… somehow I was not quite believing that I was really here all by myself, all this beauty, wow…  

At one point I saw a horse and a pony in a field and decided to take a pic.  As I pulled over the little horse came cantering up to me, so I stroked it for a while and it nuzzled my neck… really friendly these Karoo horses.   Horsey looked almost disappointed when I got back on the bike and left him standing there  ;D

« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 09:37:20 am by Chrissie B »
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Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #44 on: February 21, 2013, 09:55:36 pm »
And finally I arrived in the little village of Nieu Bethesda and did the tourist thing… I took a little walk through Owl House, read the story of Miss Helen and bought souvenirs from the locals outside.   :deal:

Then I went across the road to have a bite to eat and some other tourists started chatting to me.  They were surprised to see that I was all alone, wanted to know where the husband was… told them I don’t have one of those!   :imaposer:
 
While I was eating my lunch, a local came along on his little horse and I mumbled something about wanting to ride the horse…  the chap from the table next to me overheard me and promptly called the youngster over to ask him if "the tannie" can have a ride on his horse… ‘ja, geen probleem oom’.  So off I went, bareback, with my off road boots and knee guards, riding this little horse up and down the road…. Peeps must have thought I’m nuts, and they probably wouldn't be all that wrong!

But it was time to get back on the road, so I took a ride through the village, took a pic of a church and moved on.  I was rather disappointed to find that the southern road out of the village has been tarred from just outside town… pity, just as I got into the swing of things!
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 12:22:50 am by Chrissie B »
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Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #45 on: February 21, 2013, 10:48:55 pm »
My next stop was going to be Aberdeen, so I just rode through Graaff Reinet and took pics of churches…  :3some:

I didn’t know what to expect in Aberdeen… and this was my first stop where I had no booked accommodation, I really hoped not to find a dump of a town and sleep in a hovel! 

But as it turned out I met a friendly young lady at a Coffee Shop (yes, you read right, no Pub this time!) and she directed me to “Die huis met die swart dak, hulle maak kos ook”.  What she didn't tell me is that… Wait for it… ‘Die swart dak huis’ also had a Pub in the back yard!!!

And so I moved into this rather odd B&B for the night.  It was a far cry from the ‘larney’ accommodation from the night before, but it was a bed and a bathroom.  Actually I was lucky to get a room with a sort of a ‘bathroom’, as some of the other rooms share.  And to get to the Pub I had to walk through the kitchen, the décor was…. Well, let’s just say that one should send the “Home Makeover” crew in there asap!!

But the tannie and oom were really friendly and it was the cheapest place I stayed in during my whole trip.

Distance from Venterstad to Aberdeen (via Nieu Bethesda) – 360km
Chrissie B. (Just Heksie)

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Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #46 on: February 21, 2013, 11:20:27 pm »
After breakfast I packed my Broom once more (that was going to be one of the most tedious things to do… loading and unloading the bike almost every night!).  ::)

Now I was really getting into this traveling thing, I was now in totally unfamiliar territory, but truly loving it,  There was so much to see.  I wish I’d had a helmet cam, because stopping for photos is quite a mission!  Park bike in suitable place, get gloves off, flip helmet open, find phone and/or camera, take pics and then pack the lot away again.  There were times when I saw really cool stuff but couldn't pull over, or had just stopped a few km’s before!  It would have taken me months!  And sometimes I was a bit sorry afterwards, but I did have a birthday party to get to, so I had to move on.

The road to Willowmore was not the most exciting, so I pretty much just roared along at a nice brisk pace of around 140ish…  :o

What struck me again and again on this trip was the vastness of this country.  It hits you even more when you’re all alone out there!  It was a wonderful, free feeling and I was thoroughly enjoying it.   Just me and my little Broom!  :biggrin:
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 12:28:26 am by Chrissie B »
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Offline Crab

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2013, 07:35:41 am »
The Karoo is so lekker.
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Offline HB 9

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2013, 01:15:13 pm »
Great trip and RR!!  :thumleft:  :thumleft:
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Offline KTMRICK

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2013, 02:07:00 pm »
Enjoying the RR. Good looking "broom".
 

Offline Firecoast

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #50 on: February 22, 2013, 02:16:44 pm »
Flip this looks lekker!!!
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Offline DRAZIL

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #51 on: February 22, 2013, 02:59:34 pm »
can't wait for the rest :thumleft:
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Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2013, 03:02:04 pm »
Flip this looks lekker!!!

Firecoast, such a pity we didn't get to meet.... but I hope there will be a next time  ;D
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Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #53 on: February 22, 2013, 03:04:19 pm »
Enjoying the RR. Good looking "broom".

She is a good and good looking little Broom... can't think what I'd rather have (other than a 990 KTM, hehehe)...
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Offline Firecoast

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #54 on: February 22, 2013, 03:37:54 pm »
Flip this looks lekker!!!

Firecoast, such a pity we didn't get to meet.... but I hope there will be a next time  ;D

I will be sure to look you up whenever I am in Barberton  :biggrin:
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Offline Hermit

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #55 on: February 22, 2013, 06:24:46 pm »
 :sip:      :biggrin:
An' here I go again on my own
Goin' down the only road I've ever known,
Like a "drifter" I was born to "ride" alone
An' I've made up my mind
I ain't wasting no more time = Whitesnake
 

Offline Teapot

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2013, 07:22:52 pm »
Awesome story Chrisy. Keep it coming.
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Offline Topie

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2013, 07:52:16 pm »
Baie nice Chrissie... :thumleft:
 

Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2013, 07:59:05 pm »
After an uneventful ride I cruised into Willowmore.  At least this was somewhat familiar as I was here years ago after doing Baviaanskloof on the very same Africa Twin.  Anyway, I thought it wise to fuel up and pulled into what I think is the only garage in town.  There I took the opportunity to consult with my maps.  Up to now I had stuck to my planned route, but Kevin’s Katoom had whispered in Da Broom’s ear and made her want to get a bit more dirty!!! Bad Katoom!!!   I saw there was a un-tarred road going from Willowmore to Klaarstroom (N12), my route was actually going to be the R341 (tar), but I was feeling quite adventurous now, and had no problems with the previous gravel excursions.  So I asked the petrol attendant where the road is and he pointed across the road, just go down that road, the gravel starts right there, by the bridge.   :3some:
 
Now for those of you who have ridden with me before, you will now that I’m a bit of a speed enthusiast on the tar, but crawl along like Granny Smith on dirt… with that in mind I checked the time and decided it should be ok, it was still early and I will make it to Ladismith early afternoon, even with planned sightseeing stops along the way.  :deal:

So my tank was full, I had some water, Play and sweets to keep me nourished and I was ready for a bit more adventure in the dust.  I didn't really think it would be a difficult road, it looked pretty straight and since it was on the map it should be in good condition.  And when the wheels touched the dirt my Broom did a little jump for joy, or was it me being windgat and making the back wheel slide a little?  But in all I was pleased with what I saw, it was a perfect dirt highway!  :laughing4: 

Totally against my usual behavior, probably ‘cos I was having sooo much fun, I found myself thundering along at 120/130kph!!!  Every now and again the surface looked a bit ‘soft’, but I soon discovered that my bike is so heavy that it just ploughs through, it didn't even really wiggle much, despite the fact that my tyres were not that great anymore.   This was so much fun, I could do this all day!   And I think I was smiling to myself thinking how horribly irresponsible I was, full well knowing I'm alone out here and only one person, very far away, knew more or less where I was!   ::)
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Offline Firecoast

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #59 on: February 22, 2013, 08:00:56 pm »
The R407 between Willowmore and Klaarstroom is THE BEST!!!!!!! Especially when you get towards the rolling bits near Klaarstroom!
"Don't let your ice cream melt while you're counting somebody else's sprinkles."