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Online tok-tokkie

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10 days to do the Bash
« on: November 19, 2007, 06:48:23 pm »
Going to the bash and back was my first real trip on a DS bike.  Soon after getting my Dakar I went up to Nieuwoudtville via Pakhuis & returned via Wuppertal but without any luggage as others were going by car.  I had done a trip to Stanford with luggage but that is all tar.  This was to be the first of many trips I hope.  I have kitted the bike out myself; basically a single seat and Storm cases as panniers and top box.  They padlock to the bike and padlock closed; important if you travel alone & need to leave the bike for a while while having lunch say.  I am retired so planned on being away for 10 days and aimed on sticking to as much gravel as possible and to criss cross the mountains as much as possible
 

Online tok-tokkie

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2007, 06:52:15 pm »
Day 1  Green Point to Calitzdorp.  417 km  9h30m

Over Franschoek pass, gravel to Robertson and then gravel from Montague to Ladismith.


View from the top of Helshoogte.  Nice spring green vineyards; we have had a very wet winter in the Cape and summer seems reluctant in getting going.  Is this Global warming & climate change? Helshoogte


View from top of Franschhoek.  Still have not got to the gravel.  Have fitted a new Kenda 270 on the rear.  Quite alarming when it folds while going round corners but it was a big improvement on a Trailwing when I got to the gravel.


Gravel to Robertson.  This is a nice quite road.  Starts just before the Kwaggaskloof dam and brings you out in Robertson.  Now the dirt has begun.


These pretty flowers were growing where I took the photo.


View as you exit Kogmanskloof on the Montague side.


I had made a fairly late start so had a beer and lunch a Fresh Caf√© just as you leave town on the R62.  I was not going down the R62 but turned left over langkloof pass according to my map but the board said differently.  My map shows Oubergpas as next but I would turn right for Ladismith before that. 


Whatever it was all good gravel to Ladismith


Calitzdorp has retained quite a few of its Victorian buildings in original condition.  Here is a double story shop with all the cast iron ‚??broekie lace‚?? still in place.  Look at the nice front door.


This is the Oudehuis.  Will the recent ‚??Tuscan‚?? monstrosities that have been thrust on our landscape age gracefully like this simple building?


When I was a schoolboy we had Pegasus petrol ‚?? later to become Mobil and now Engen.  This has survived 50 years.


 

Offline BMWPE

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2007, 06:57:22 pm »
Very nice
Keep it coming !!!
Rallye
 

Offline Doggone

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2007, 06:59:39 pm »
It was good to meet you at the bash!

This looks good .   Next instalment please. ;D ;D
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Offline Trailrider

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2007, 07:00:01 pm »
This is going to be good!
 

Offline growweblaar

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2007, 07:02:16 pm »
 :happy1:
 

Offline letsgofishing

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2007, 07:06:39 pm »
Don't stop now Toktokkie - some nice pics there!
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

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Online tok-tokkie

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2007, 10:37:12 am »
Wednesday  Day 2 Calitzdorp to Hankey  415 km   9h55min 

Stayed in Dorpshuis bar & restaurant in Calitzdorp ‚?? R180 B&B with a small fridge in the room which was useful for putting my Camelbak in for the night.  Supper (not included in B&B naturally) was ostrich goulash with sweet-potato but the patats tasted odd.  Asked about it; they were done with a bit of orange juice and a custard topping.  Bizarre, I was really puzzled.  There is lots for me to discover about this land of ours.
I once went through Baviaanskloof in my diesel bakkie some years ago.  Baviaans was the essential waypoint for my trip to the bash.  In fact I came back through it with Journeyman & Snap Crackle Pop.  It is fabulous but I was to discover other places that really ‚??pluked my hartsnare‚?Ě on this trip.



Cement  slab up to Oudtshoorn, sadly both the Trig Survey maps and Garmin do not distinguish which are the  gravel roads so I took a minor road alongside the railway line which was in fact concrete slabs, if I had gone next door there was probably a gravel road just to the south.
But gravel from Oudtshoorn to Dyseldorp and beyond.  This leads to the Kammanassie river.  That is a lovely name & I very much wanted to see that area just because of the name.  I went to quite a lot of trouble to get a kukumakranka plant for my garden then it vrekked because we had such a wet winter but I like the name so much I will get another & try again.

This is the road to the river.



Here is the road shortly before you join the N9 at Potjiesberg Pass.  Oddly I don‚??t remember any pass at all even though it is marked on my map.

To Uniondale to top up with petrol and hurry on to Baviaans because I have a long days riding today.  After turning off the N9 there are 37km of gravel vlaktes before the Baviaans passes, rivers & poorte.  This is the beginning of the interesting bit.



Here is a panorama of one (the first?) of three passes you go through in Baviaanskloof



I was alone so waded through the watercrossings & left my camera & Zumo on the far side.  I sat on the bike but paddled it through because dropping it in the water while alone would have dire consequences.  When I came back through here with Snap Crackle Pop & Trailrider I still carried the camera & Zumo over but then rode through the water.  This water crossing consists of two pieces about this size.  Trailrider tells me that usually they are joined together in one very long crossing going round a bend.



The water came up nearly to the top of my Oxtar boots.  They are said to be waterproof and so it turned out (they are almost identical to the BMW Savannah boots).
Going up the second pass I lost the front wheel on the side of the middlemannetjie as you see here.



I think this is the top of the second pass.  Baviaans is all about going up one side, over the top and down the other then along the valley for a bit with water crossings and repeat that sequence again.  It is real wilderness area with only the road to show that people have been here.



I took it slowly & carefully through Baviaans.  The road was in pretty good condition but still the front wheel bucked and jumped over the rocks in many places. I find it much easier going up than down.  There was a lot of smoke about from a fire somewhere towards the south.  Only passed two other vehicles and a helicopter (which was still around when we came back 5 days later).

When I got to Hankey I rode around looking for a B&B sign but could not find one.  The manager of the little Spar told me where to go.  Turned out to be a self catering place.  Asked where I could get a beer & get a meal.  He (Andr√©) says he will organize the beer and ask his wife about supper.  Comes back with 2 cold Amstels and asks do I eat pork?  Yea.  Then you can share my supper, Ron√©l

Ronel will cook extra.  I was whisked off by another guest to see Sari Baartman‚??s grave, the huge sundial and the pump station he is working on.  When we got back this supper was waiting for me.



Putter Inn.  Andr√© & Ron√©l Slabbert 083 270 9918.  R125 per person I think.  Supper was R35, beers R7. Huge room with excellent bathroom & fridge so I could once again stick my Camelbak in there.  No pub or restaurant in Hankey it seems.  Andre rides a 1200GS. 
 

Offline letsgofishing

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2007, 11:36:56 am »
...more...more...
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

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Offline Biesie

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2007, 11:53:51 am »
Oom TT,

That picture of Oubergpas makes me long for home... the Touw-Karoo has some of the "lekkerste grond paaie" I've experienced.... must take the Bloutoring turn-off..past the Prinsrivier plase ...Anysberg..and a about a 100 k's later you end up in Laingsburg... "Mooier as mooi"

Great report and stunning photies!!

 

Offline Eisbein

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2007, 11:54:49 am »
Excellent so far!

02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline lonerider

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2007, 12:10:56 pm »
Loving it tok-tokkie! That's where my spirit goes (or wants to go!)...
[snip]
I do not think that dying is a good idea.
Living doing something that you love is a good idea.
Living until you die is a good idea. If living happens to kill you it means you made a mistake, but we are human, and humans make mistakes, so go for it, enjoy it, live until you die, rather than not living for your whole life.
 

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2007, 12:26:44 pm »
I ride that Kammanassie road often. The is a secret road from there through the mountain that pop's out at De Rust. It's over private land and we're trying to get permission to ride it. It's through a very steep and narrow kloof we call "Die Moeder van Klowe".

One day...

Nice report so far!
 

Online tok-tokkie

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2007, 03:59:18 pm »
Thursday    Day 3     Hankey to Somerset East     384 km  8h18m

My plan was to go through the Grootwinterhoekberge.  My map showed a road starting near Patensie which can get you to Steytlerville but I would follow a series of roads through Kleinpoort, the top end of the Addo Park and more or less directly to Somerset East.  I planned an easy day as yesterday had been quite a mission.  As it turned out this was about as hard but did not take as long.



First I went back to Patensie (I had passed through it yesterday) to some interesting rock formations that the road cuts through.  Here is a close view of the alluvial conglomerate.  Notice that it is round river stones glued together.  It looks like a pile of stones & one would expect it all to come crashing down.



But look here, it towers right up into the sky.



Then I went up the ridge that forms the side of the Gamtoos valley at Patensie.  This valley is largly citrus cultivation and you have this fresh citrus smell as you ride through.



At the top of the ridge there is a T junction where I turned left.  This was the most delightful road and the one that made the biggest impression on me during this trip.  You ride for ages along this desolate but good road in a north west direction.  There is one descent to cross the river before you come to a t junction again where you turn north and cross the Groot river once again.  The descents & ascents are rocky & loose so I took them very carefully as it seems it would be days before anyone passed along here again.


.


You go winding along on the top of this long ridge.



Look on the far hill to the right: there it goes on.  What a fabulous road.  I had not been expecting something quite like this.



Here I have got through the ridge and am on the vlaktes leading to Kleinpoort.  The rest of the day‚??s riding was quick & easy.



All there seems to be at Kleinpoort is this padstal.  Made me think of the film Bagdad Caf√© (incorrect spelling is true to the film).  Had a beer and cheese sandwich there & bought some socks.



I asked the proprietor of the padstal for advice on the best roads to Somerset East but I thought my petrol would be touch & go so decided to go to Jansenville on the tar to tank up.  From there I cut back down towards Waterford on this road.



I turned left where I should have turned right.  I have a Zumo but it is very difficult to program directly (as against using Mapsource in a computer & transferring the route to the Zumo).  Karin Garmin is poep scared of dirt roads & will go 5 sides of a hexagon rather than directly along the 6th if that is a dirt road.  If I had looked at my map I would have seen where I was but instead I followed the road more travelled & ended up in Pearston.  From there I slabbed it down the tar to Somerset East.

I was now properly in the Eastern Cape.  The roads can not be trusted.  The driffies in particular can have surprises and there are unexpected wash-away runnels every now & then.  My gps track for the run up to Pearston records 101 kph twice & it was basically all above 80kph.  I hit one very unexpected pot hole which launched the bike completely into the air (the others had just made the front buck).  Fortunately the road was smooth when I landed & the bike took care of things for me.  Some days later Trailrider pointed out that I had bent my front wheel.



I rode around Somerset East before deciding which B&B to book into (there is plenty of choice).  I came across this in the onderdorp.  It reminds me of a feudal village with a common for the communal grazing of goats.  Around this were streets of houses like the ones you see with just this one open patch of land..  Sorry about the amputation; I bought a camera specially for bike trips just before I left & must get used to it


 

Offline Eisbein

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2007, 04:31:15 pm »
This made me laugh out loud:

Quote
Karin Garmin is poep scared of dirt roads & will go 5 sides of a hexagon rather than directly along the 6th if that is a dirt road.

That road that you said was the highlight - it really really looks awesome !

I would love to retrace your steps at some point.

 
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline Trailrider

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2007, 04:33:18 pm »
This made me laugh out loud:

Quote
Karin Garmin is poep scared of dirt roads & will go 5 sides of a hexagon rather than directly along the 6th if that is a dirt road.

That road that you said was the highlight - it really really looks awesome !

I would love to retrace your steps at some point.

 

That road is part of the circle route SCP, Sir G and I did.
 

Offline Eisbein

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2007, 04:35:38 pm »
I thought some of them photos looked familiar.

02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline letsgofishing

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2007, 04:42:24 pm »
This made me laugh out loud:

Quote
Karin Garmin is poep scared of dirt roads & will go 5 sides of a hexagon rather than directly along the 6th if that is a dirt road.

That road that you said was the highlight - it really really looks awesome !

I would love to retrace your steps at some point.

 

+100
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

www.mikekaplandesign.com
 

Offline Watty

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2007, 04:53:29 pm »

Here is a panorama of one (the first?) of three passes you go through in Baviaanskloof



Going up the second pass I lost the front wheel on the side of the middlemannetjie as you see here.



I think this is the top of the second pass. 



and a very lekker report!

BTW, regarding your references to the Baviaans passes, the first picture is a view of the Grasnek Pass looking in an eastern direction.  The second pass where the middelmannetjie ambushed you is called the Holgat Pass, and the last pass you refer to as the second pass is actually a section of Combrink's Pass, the last pass before descending to the Wit river (Poortjies) and eventually the road to Patensie.

And, as a matter of interest, those rock formations mentioned where the road cuts through on the other side of Komodo belongs to the Enon Conglomerate Formation (from the Cretaceous Period, deposited approx. 125 Million years ago when Africa and South America were still joined as Gordwana land).  Just a little bit of trivia.  :D
« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 08:02:31 am by Watty »
 

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Re: 10 days to do the Bash
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2007, 05:12:53 pm »

That road that you said was the highlight - it really really looks awesome !

I would love to retrace your steps at some point.

 

+100

I feel a ride coming on ;D