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Author Topic: Barberton - Cape Town and the wrong way home, my Epic Solo ride (Finally done)  (Read 7458 times)

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Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #60 on: February 22, 2013, 08:08:22 pm »
Actually I was more concerned with the stopping and parking to take pics!  If I dropped this contraption there’d be little hope that I could pick it up without help and I have a habit of parking stupid… and true to form I did!  I put the side stand down, started getting off and realized that the stand was sinking into the soft stuff… oh bugger… quickly looked around for a flat rock and heaved the Twin upright to put the stone under the stand…. Problem solved.  :biggrin:

The road continued like that for a long time, and I even practiced ‘changing lanes’, something that always makes me a bit nervous, going through the loose stuff in between!  But I don’t know why that’s an issue, my Broom really doesn’t mind, never puts a wheel wrong!  Ah well of course it’s a Honda…. The Legend XRV750 Africa Twin… she was built for this stuff.   :laughing4:  :pot:  :peepwall:

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 #61 on: February 22, 2013, 08:14:21 pm »
The R407 between Willowmore and Klaarstroom is THE BEST!!!!!!! Especially when you get towards the rolling bits near Klaarstroom!

It is isn't it... I called them the giant Whoopsies, hehehe, pics coming up!
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 #62 on: February 22, 2013, 08:53:14 pm »

After a while the territory changed a bit, I even found a puddle to cross…. And then those giant Whoopsies came along!  I must admit that I slowed down when I got to those, I dislike not seeing what’s on the other side, and there were a few ruts and stones and such stuff!  But sooo much fun! :biggrin:

On this piece I saw the first signs of life!  Two chaps on bicycles… that’s when I knew I was almost back in civilization, what a pity, I really enjoyed it out there all on my own, it was like I owned the world.  But I was sure there were more interesting places coming up!  And I was right…  :3some:
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Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #63 on: February 22, 2013, 09:35:11 pm »
Finally I got to the little village of Klaarstroom and back onto the tar, I was almost disappointed, until I realized what came next…. Yay….. my favourite!  Twisties, though not high speed ones, the Meiringspoort Pass is quite narrow, but oh so scenic!   ;D

Unfortunately I only managed to stop once, I had passed slow moving traffic and I didn't want them to catch up to me again, as over-taking was a rather adventurous exercise on this road, especially with my rather wide and a bit cumbersome Twin.

The scenery through the pass was fantastic and to think I would have missed out on a great dirt road and this pass if I had stuck to my original plan!!! 
As I rode along I continued to be awed by the scenery, I can’t believe it took me so long to finally get to this part of the country!
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 #64 on: February 22, 2013, 10:41:42 pm »
Soon after the pass I arrived in a little dorp called De Rust.  I had heard about it, but didn't really know what the attraction was!  But being thirsty and a bit nibbelish, I decided to stop at a little coffee shop type place, whose name I forget!  I was quite certain I took a photo of it as the name was quite interesting…. But can’t seem to find the pic!  ???
  
* Late Addition: Found the cash slip - Sanita's is the name of the coffee shop

While I was sitting there, enjoying my Smirnoff Spin and pancakes, I overheard some journalists talking and a little later the waitress came to ask me if I knew about the motorcycle journo from England who had the fatal accident near there.  I said I did, his name was Kevin Ash, I asked where it happened and she explained it to me, sounded like it was near that wonderful dirt highway I just traveled on!  I must say that was somewhat sobering information!  RIP Kevin Ash  :(
And to think I was out there all on my own... Ah well, I prefer not to dwell on things like that, I'm still going strong and no mishaps to date.  Actually I never really had the feeling that anything bad would happen on this trip.
 
The ride into Oudtshoorn was uneventful, but as always in larger towns, I got a little confused as to where I should be going!  It was actually odd being back in civilization… I stopped next to an official looking building, in the the only bit of shade I could find, and consulted my map (which is rather old and out of date)!  
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 12:35:35 am 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 #65 on: February 22, 2013, 10:59:19 pm »
Veldbrand had suggested another gravel road that would take me from Outshoorn to Calitzdorp, but I was not sure which way to head out of town!  He said I should go towards Prince Albert and then I would find a turn-off to Kruisrivier/Groenfontein.

Without lingering longer I started my bike, as time was now moving on and I was getting a bit tired, the sun was beating down on me and I really wanted to get out of all my kit!  Actually at that point I was not sure I wanted to do another gravel road, especially since it now looked like more mountainous area, no longer the nice flat raceways!  But I told myself not to be a woessie…  :lol8: and on the map it didn't look like it was very far!

Oh boy… yeah, famous last thoughts!  I somehow couldn't find the turn off but decided to ride on a bit further (in the wrong direction, but I knew that) and eventually I found a sign board that said Calitzdorp… so I followed it, at this point I was just happy to turn back into the direction I wanted to go in!  It turned out to be a rather stunning, narrow tar road with amazing views of the Swartberge.  So I was ok, I was on the right road and once again the scenery was breath-taking and as so many times before, I felt quite alone out there, although here there were farm houses, just not much activity going on except for some cattle, sheep and horses now and then!  But at least I was on a tar road…   ;)
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Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #66 on: February 22, 2013, 11:38:38 pm »

But then, after riding for a while and enjoying the views, the road became gravel, not too bad, and still manageable, until I arrived at a T-junction… aha, this must be the road I was supposed to have been on!  I wasn't 100% sure, but I kinda figured it out on my map and knew I had to turn right onto the dirt road (I think it said Groenfontein on the signboard).   :deal:

Ah well, I guessed it couldn't be much further until I got to Calitzdorp.  Although by now I was really tired and the gravel road turned out to be quite hard work.  It was twisty, with loose stones, dipping up and down next to the side of the mountain, through some dry (sometimes sandy) streams, so the going was very slow for what seemed forever. 

At this point I must admit that a) a tar road would have been nice and b) some company would have been good too!  But yeah, since none of those were options I decided I’d better enjoy the adventure and make the best of it.   :3some:
Chrissie B. (Just Heksie)

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Offline stevo

Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #67 on: February 22, 2013, 11:43:59 pm »
Looks like you and your broom had a great trip.
Nice RR.  :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #68 on: February 22, 2013, 11:53:32 pm »
At one point I stopped briefly in the shade, stretched my legs and shoulders, and had some of my now rather warm water, before moving on.

For a long time I rode next to a river and eventually went around a dam, no idea what it was called, it’s not even on my map! And it was rather pretty out there, but tiredness was getting to me now and I just wanted to get off this bike and have a nice, ice cold alcoholic drink!!!   :bar:

It seemed like one of the longest rides I've ever done… every time I turned a corner I expected to see some sign of a town, but there was just more mountains, more twists and more gravel.  In reality it was probably not really that far, but the day was drawing to an end, the sun was setting in my eyes and my motivation was not quite what it was earlier in the day!   :-\
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Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #69 on: February 22, 2013, 11:55:18 pm »
Looks like you and your broom had a great trip.
Nice RR.  :thumleft: :thumleft:

 :biggrin:  It was wonderful  :thumleft:
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Offline Chrissie B

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #70 on: February 23, 2013, 12:06:38 am »

Thank you to all those who are following my story so far.  ;D  I will try to get it finished as soon as possible, although tomorrow I will have to give it a break.  It's my ex, Mario's 60th birthday party, so we will be partying up a storm...  yes, I still party with my ex... we're good friends.  :ricky:

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Offline AndriesGS

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #71 on: February 23, 2013, 06:36:43 am »
Nice report!!!!! :laughing4:
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Offline Stofdonkie

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #72 on: February 23, 2013, 06:54:06 am »
Lekker ry ek saam.  :thumleft:
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Offline gastank

Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #73 on: February 23, 2013, 09:00:41 am »
Great report!
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Offline T Rex

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #74 on: February 23, 2013, 09:05:55 am »
Lekker ry ek saam.  :thumleft:

Jy maak my jaloers.....lyk sooooooo nice!! :thumleft:
 

Offline Teapot

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #75 on: February 23, 2013, 10:37:44 am »
Now I want to go on a trip.
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Offline Bosparra

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #76 on: February 23, 2013, 02:00:34 pm »
Lekker report Heksie...glad you had fun!  :thumleft:
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Offline Crab

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #77 on: February 23, 2013, 02:03:26 pm »
Excellent reporting Chrissie. I am also really enjoying it.
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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #78 on: February 23, 2013, 03:38:07 pm »
Thank you for an excellent RR. Enjoy your party and special times!

Salute you for doing it (majority) alone!  :thumleft:  :thumleft:
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Offline Adventurer

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Re: Barberton - Cape Town and return, my Epic Solo ride
« Reply #79 on: February 23, 2013, 03:51:01 pm »
The R407 between Willowmore and Klaarstroom is THE BEST!!!!!!! Especially when you get towards the rolling bits near Klaarstroom!

That was the road I had my crash on a while ago, about 12km from Klaarstroom....
You would have only found the spot if you had a GPS and the co-ords though, there are still Dakar parts lying all over the place too...
Enjoying your RR so far, looking forward to the rest. :thumleft: :ricky:
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 03:55:51 pm by Adventurer »
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