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Offline LuckyStriker

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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« on: May 08, 2006, 12:28:05 pm »
6 ? 7 May 2006

It was raining heavily the night before. I almost decided to cancel my trip to the Overberg. I?m glad I didn?t.
On Friday night I packed my bags and made sandwiches enough to feed a small army. It was here that I discovered that the batteries of the digital SLR were run down and I didn?t have the charger.

DAY 1 ? Saturday 6 May 2006

It is Saturday morning and I?m off to the nearest camera shop. I ask the sales clerk to charge the batteries up for me and I return home to finish loading the bike. An hour later I?m back at the camera shop to pick up the charged batteries and off I go. The time is 10:00


11:30 ? I stop in Franschhoek to put on another shirt underneath my jacket. Damn, it?s quite chilly!


11:45 ? The clouds are dense around the top of the Franschhoek mountains.


There is a slight drizzle and the twisty roads look slippery. Fortunately the TKC80s have surprisingly good grip.


12:00 ? I stop to take in the views down into the gorge below. The DuToit?s river is in full flood and water roar over rocks and debris.


I love the Franschhoek pass. It reminds me a little of Glen Coe in Scotland. What was that Ewan McGregor said in LWR? ?The whole world looks like Scotland? :wink:




12:15 ? I took a disused access road down onto the shore of the Theewaterskloof dam.


Dead trees. This whole area is normally submerged by the Theewaterskloof dam but the past summer was hard on the Cape. These trees are remnants of a wooded area that was drowned by the dam when the valley was flooded many years ago. Occasionally you encounter the foundations of old houses.


Dead end ? This old road will soon disappear under rising level of the dam. Part of it is already gone.


13:00 ? Botrivier train station. Not much to do in this town. Most people simply fly past on the N2 on their way to Hermanus or further down the South Coast.


Okay, who stuck a TB sticker to this sign? I saw the sticker and had to stop and take a picture.


14:00 ? Napier. A pic of a church... it seems to be fashionable nowadays, so I took one as well :P


14:30 ? The town of Bredasdorp is behind me and I hit the road to Malgas and from there to Infanta.


15:30 ? We have reached Cape Infanta and decide to take a dip in the ocean. The water is freezing!


Don?t stress? I?m not parked on the soft beach, it?s a launch. Getting out of here was a bit tricky because the concrete was extremely slippery. :shock:


16:10 ? The Malgas ferry. When I got there the pont was quiet. Not a soul in sight. I drove over to the nearest house and roused the captain of the good raft. The price is 10bucks but I offered 20 because they pulled the ferry across just for me. Of course, I didn?t pay them until they got me to the other side (Chris deBurg wrote that song just for such an occasion as this)


17:00 ? I paid the proprietors of the campsite the handsome fee of R88.00. I commented that it seemed a bit much for a lone motorcyclist. I must have had bad helmet-hair because my charisma failed to impress the lady behind the desk.
Pefore I pitched my tent I rode around Witsand and came across this tavern on the beach. I drank a beer to celebrate my arrival but unfortunately there was no-one to engage in idle banter.


18:00 ? My GPS claims the sun will set in 10 minutes. Doesn?t look that way to me... Nevertheless, my tent is up and the bike is parked.
I did take my new bivvy along but decided to use the tent instead.
You may ask at this point why I mounted the Zega cases and not just a luggage roll. After all, I?m only going away for one night. Well, I knew that it would be a very cold trip so I brought along a thick wool blanket that takes up two thirds of a pannier and a proper pillow that took up the rest of the space. Pannier number two held my food, drink and sleeping bag. Plus a paperback, torch and white gold.


Inside my tent. I have not yet made my bed but the sandwiches, wine and smokes are out.


Self-portrait with cellphone camera. I felt a little bit lonely. No one to talk to (the campsite had only 2 other tents) and I didn?t even bring my laptop to chat to you folks online. And my wife is still on the S.A. Agulhas returning from the polar circle? :cry:

The tent nearest to me was occupied by a canoo guy. He must have feared the dark because he camped right underneath a lamp post and kept his gas light burning all night too. He was a nervous guy. I could tell because everytime I gave a loud fart (oh the joys of camping solo) he would sit up at his camping table and look around bewilderedly. He couldn't see me because he had too much light around his tent. hehehe

DAY 2 ? Sunday 7 May 2006


08:00 ? The bike is fully fuelled and I?m ready to say goodbye to Witsand. I had to pump my own petrol because the adult natives in the area are too short to see down into the tank!


08:10 ? Port Beaufort. Right next to Witsand lies this coastal haven. On the opposite side of the mouth lies Infanta (or Ballyfar to be exact). It looks a little like the towns on the shores of Loch Lomond?


08:30 ? The roads roll up and down, up and down the undulating hills of the Overberg.


08:50 ? I rode all the back to ferry again. Not to cross the river but to take another pic. I didn?t feel that I had a good enough pic the first time round.


09:00 ? En route to Buffeljagsrivier.



09:30 ? The BP Petrol station at Buffeljagsrivier has a petting zoo. This damn horse tried to grab my coffee.


09:50 ? Above the town of Swellendam are many fire roads on the foot of the Langeberg mountains. I took this one but had to do an emergency stop when the whole road disappeared into a muddy quagmire .


I stomped through the mud to see if it was worth pushing through but a large log blocked my path a few metres on. Just as well?


The radio tower above Swellendam. Kinda reminds me of a lone lighthouse or a mysterious dark tower in the land of Mordor?okay, not really.


10:30 ? Rolling hills of the Overberg. The overberg has no ?nature? to speak of. It?s all just onion farms, sheep farms, cattle farms, etc. The hills are lovely though. Some places looked like the wallpaper for Windows XP and other places made me think that I found the secret valley of the Tellytubbies.


The roads are easy to ride. Deceptively so. More than once did I realise I was going way too fast for an upcoming turn. I?d jump on the rear brake only to find that I had forgotten to switch off the ABS? Not once did I crash and lord only knows why not.


12:00 ? Hey whaddaya know? I found bla-bla?s family. They send their regards! :lol:


12:20 ? Crossing the Sonderend river. I now leave the hills of the Overberg behind and hug the Sonderend mountain range.


13:00 ? Crossing the Sonderend river again as I approach the picturesque town of Greyton.




13:30 ? I now say goodbye to the Overberg as I climb into and over the Sonderend mountains on my way back to Theewaterskloof dam.


On the bridge crossing the dam I encounter a man and his daughter with car trouble. They have run out of fuel and ask if I?d be willing to fetch them some in nearby Villiersdorp. They are surprised when I say yes. When I return they are almost giddy?they actually believed that I would let them down?weird.

I raced through the Franschhoek pass as fast as I dared. It must have looked crazy to the cars I passed. Imagine a bike as wide as a truck leaning around corners with these metal boxes almost scraping the tar!
I kept on riding crazy until the TKCs suddenly gave me a warning. I almost pissed my pants and decided to behave from then on.


14:50 ? I stop on a bridge over the N1. Naaah?I liked the dirt roads better than this precision engineered slab of tar.

I arrive home 10 minutes later.


My route

Moving time:   10hrs 47mins
Stopped time:   03hrs 20mins (excluding time spent at camp)
Total 'road' time:   14hrs 08mins

Day one:      382km
Day two:      449km
Trip Odometer:   831km
Max speed:   157km/h

Thank you. I'm LuckyStriker, and you're not.
 

Offline Grootseun

Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2006, 12:45:15 pm »
Nice one LS...some nice pics.
 

Offline droffarc

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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2006, 12:47:29 pm »
Wow!
See what fun one can have with a bike!

Nice bike - I take it it is guaranteed not to RUSt even if you go surfing on it.

Erm, somehow I had the impression that the fuming habit had been kicked - must have mis-understood.

Enjoyed the report and am itching to do a similar route. All I did on Saturday was a short ride in the rain to Stellenbosch - only got wet INSIDE my boots - dos not say much for my boots eh?

Thanks Lucky
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Offline >Herman<

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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2006, 12:52:29 pm »
A good report as always Sir LS.

Thanks for the family shot... but I don't recognise any of them.  :?
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Online KiLRoy

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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2006, 01:33:04 pm »
Well done LS - to the brave the spoils.  Listening to the weather guys I did expect more rain??  Good on you for not yielding to the weather watchers... :lol:

I've got a contact in Bredasdorp with a KLR who said he'll take us on a nice Overberg tour...  Must maybe give Paul a call?

H
 

Offline Leo

Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2006, 01:42:38 pm »
Nice one LS

Lone some of the pics  8)
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Offline Maverick

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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2006, 01:47:10 pm »
Cool pics and report LS, nice to get away even only for one night isn't it 8)
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Offline wino

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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2006, 01:59:34 pm »
awesome pics and ride, while it appears that the rest of the capies stayed indoors...
 

Offline sidetrack

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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2006, 02:04:25 pm »
Some very nice pictures and a lekker story to read, thanks for sharing !
Little by little, one travels far
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Offline X Banana Boy

Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2006, 02:46:46 pm »
Thanks for the ride report LS.  Some lekker pics.
 

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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2006, 04:05:24 pm »
Thanks LS. Nice info to have as I am planning to head out in that direction a little later this week.

Keep well
 

Offline Scribble

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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2006, 04:20:42 pm »
great report
you look very contemplative
as one does when you do things like that
i might be able to organize dosplek at the river somewhere for the next one ...cos there has to be a next one right  8)
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Offline JourneyMan

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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2006, 04:32:21 pm »
As always a top notch report and pics from LS! 8)
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shark_za

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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2006, 04:50:36 pm »
Awesome trip dude.
 

Offline funacide

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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2006, 04:55:07 pm »
GR8 report LS. I especially like the pic of inside the tent: Box on Wine, Ciggies and sandwiches, what could a man want in life (besides a gorgeous blond next to you :lol:  :lol: )

Thanks for sharing
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Offline Butch

Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2006, 08:09:49 pm »
Nice one, Lucky. You certainly have a way with words, and a camera.

Witsand was the first overnight trip I did - a truly unforgettable experience.
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Offline LuckyStriker

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Update
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2006, 10:15:41 am »
Thanks for the generous comments guys
I'd like to submit the following info which really should have been added to the report to start with. I was a bit lazy when I typed it up so I forgot to mention a lot of things...sorry hey.

Malgas Pont
Operating hours: sunrise to sunset (no defined time)
Tariff: R10 per vehicle
Co-ordinates: S34 18.135 E20 35.338

Witsand Caravan Park
Office hours: 09:00 - 16:30
Tariff: R88 per campsite
Co-ordinates: S34 23.690 E20 51.118

Dirt road conditions:
Theewaterskloof to Botrivier: Generally good with occasional shallow potholes and corrugation. Warning: sharp turns on Van Der Stel's Pass.
Bredasdorp to Malgas: Very good and smooth. High Speed dirt
Malgas to Infanta: Some roadworks. Slightly corrugated and shallow potholes. Warning: Pedestrians.
Malgas to Witsand: Badly corrugated in places. Some deep potholes. Warning: Holiday traffic
Malgas to Buffeljagsrivier: Generally good with occasional corrugations. Warning: sharp turns when you least expect it!
Weegskaal to Melkbos: Good. Unremarkable
Melkbos to Spitskop: Some damage and loose sand/gravel. Warning: Reckless farmers in Isuzus and roaming sheep
Spitskop to PROTEM-Klipdale: Very good surface
Klipdale to Riviersonderend: Good surface. Scenic. Warning: Innebriated groups of pedestrians.
Riviersonderend to Helderstroom Prison: Generally good. Scenic. Warning: Some severe corrugations and potholes at Genadendal.
Witdraai to Theewaterskloof (Draaiberg): Extremely good. Hard packed dirt with slow sweeping turns. Warning: Holiday vehicles

Would I ride it again? Sure! ...but this time I'd like to see more ocean and less farms. Perhaps a route through Stanford, Gansbaai, Buffeljags, Elim, Struisbaai, Waenhuiskrans, De Hoop Nature Reserve, etc.

Now is a good time to explore the Overberg. Not many tourists. Green and cool (okay ...cold)

Thank you. I am LuckyStriker, and I wear women's pantihose!
 

Offline Butch

Re: Update
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2006, 12:04:20 pm »
Quote from: "LuckyStriker"
...I wear women's pantihose!


And hang around in bars. :D
Live and let live.
 

Offline Ama ride ride

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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2006, 02:02:37 pm »
:) Hi LS

Cool ride. Nice pics. Did you swot fotografie at US? Think you should share some pic taking tips with us with five dicks for fingers.

Cheers
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Western Cape - Overberg Twister
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2006, 11:34:05 am »
Nice ride report LS.


 
What did you have on your sarmies? I like your goblet too. The man is prepared!