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Author Topic: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof  (Read 7143 times)

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Offline Bernoulli

Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« on: July 30, 2014, 12:46:58 pm »
Any excuse to ride! After a very successful venture to the wide open spaces of Verneukpan last year (that was bucket list 1) we felt the need to mount our stofskoeters (dust scooters for the linguistically challenged) and go explore something less flat. That made the choice of destination exceedingly easy. Baviaans, of course! We have done the flat, it is time for the mountainous.  

But there was a problem: In a moment of still unexplained lunacy, our leader sold his bike! He is bikeless and seems intent on remaining so.  After 5 lengthy seconds of intense deliberation as to (a)why anyone would do something so out of character, (b)how do we proceed without his formidable leadership and most importantly (c)how do we stop him from crying uncontrollably when we break the news to him, we decided to proceed with 2 participants only: the photographer (LuvOutdoors) the writer (Bernoulli).

Where better to start than at Winelands Engen on a balmy autumn Friday morning late in March.




When I arrived, the photographer seemed out-of-sorts, troubled almost. Quickly turns out that his added responsibility of operator-of -all-devices-electronic-including-matters-GPS caused him an almost sleepless night. I knew he had carefully and skillfully devised a pooratech mounting for his ageing  GPS, so why the fuss?

Allow me an interruption here. “Carefully and skillfully” in this context is woefully inadequate. I simply do not have the writing skill to do justice to the man’s skills. He is a master at all things practical, be it farming, bikes or IT - The closest I have ever come to being in the company of a real-life McGyver.

Back to the story. When attempting to upload the planned route, said ageing GPS decided not to co-operate. Several plans were attempted, none worked. And time marched on relentlessly, deeper into the night. Until eventually the (still sobbing) leader came to the rescue and offered his GPS. It solved our problem (or rather the photographer’s problem: I was soundly asleep and completely unaware of all these shenanigans going on in the deepness of the night) and it made the leader part of the trip, somehow easing him out of his uncontrolled fits of pity.

Anyway, here we were. Fuelled up, fired up and raring to go!

Over Helshoogte, on to Franschhoek and a quick stop at the top to take official leave of the beautiful Boland waking up to the already mentioned perfect autumn day.





We rode along a misty Theewaterskloof dam,



through Villiersdorp and shortly afterwards turned onto gravel that delivered us onto the R62 just before Robertson, in time for tea at the farmstall.



The R62 took us to Barrydale to refuel and 20km later we turned onto gravel with the knowledge that it is going to be mostly gravel to George, our destination for the night. Time to adjust tyre pressures.



What a glorious road to ease one into gravel! Well maintained, surrounded by beautiful landscape and all coming together on a beautiful autumn day (Or did I mention that already?) In fact, let me deal with that right here. Throughout our trip, the weather was so perfect that I (usually riding at the back) had to increase my following distance substantially. There was no wind to clear the photographer’s dust from the road!

Lunch somewhere along the road,



followed by a quick rest.





Offline Mooi Rooi

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Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2014, 01:56:13 pm »
 :confused4:  :dontknow: :dontknow:

1st bit was entertaining - Where is the rest

 :snorting: :snorting:
 

Offline Dirt Junkie

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Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2014, 02:23:15 pm »
 :sip:
Something to think about...
When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept your it. All else is madness.

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Offline DCR

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Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2014, 03:21:56 pm »
 :sip:
 

Offline BLK

Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2014, 03:26:12 pm »
Still resting?
 

Offline Lem

Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2014, 03:41:28 pm »
 :sip:
Faith is not knowing what the future holds, it's knowing who holds the future
 

Offline Bernoulli

Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2014, 04:22:55 pm »
Life is interfering.
More to follow omorrow

Offline Oupa Foe-rie

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Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2014, 04:31:57 pm »
 :sip:
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Offline zebra - Flying Brick

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Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2014, 09:39:01 pm »
 :sip:
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Offline Marvin

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Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2014, 09:08:24 am »
Enjoyed the first bit... :thumleft:
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Offline Jakkals

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Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2014, 09:30:45 am »
Die begin is great en ek sien uit na die ander, :thumleft:

Is julle lunch time nie al verby langs die pad nie, ons wag in spaning vir die res, :imaposer:
Remember that hapiness is a way of travel - not a destination.
 

Offline Noneking

Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2014, 06:32:32 pm »
 :sip:
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Offline Bernoulli

Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2014, 09:39:53 pm »
OK lunch is finally done, and we have rested well  ;), let's continue!

Shortly after lunch, we stumbled on the first wonderful surprise of the trip. I was cruising along and noticed what I thought would be a good spot for a photo. I stopped and took this.



I saw the distant road in the background and deducted that we were going to cross some ditch/stream ahead. But being in Karoo mode (expecting mostly open spaces, little water and generally nothing, glorious nothing) I proceeded around the corner to happen upon this:



A low level crossing over the Gourits!

And the Gourits was playing along nicely by giving us a substantial display of force.



Where it seems some other pawed being had been visiting shortly before. Leopard?



What could the history and hardship hidden in the crevices of this hilltop helmet be? Any one of the Southern Cape dawgs that can tell us?



Followed by an afternoon filled with blissfully entertaining gravel snakes luring us almost biblically to our destination.





Offline frans1

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Re:
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2014, 09:50:50 pm »
Wow!  Can't wait for the rest to come!
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Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2014, 03:28:08 am »
Welcome to the Southern Cape. No doubt you will return again.

 :thumleft:
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Offline jaybiker

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Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2014, 06:59:20 am »
 :sip:
 

Offline Bernoulli

Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2014, 03:13:39 pm »
Welcome to the Southern Cape. No doubt you will return again.

 :thumleft:

and again and again!

Offline Lem

Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2014, 03:20:09 pm »
Bernoulli, I believe that old kliphuisie you photographed on the Cloetes pass road has been written up by Trailrider in one of his reports..

I think he is unbanned recently, so I hope he'll answer a PM if you need to ask him.

My father, who is now 77, grew up in Herbertsdale area and went there to school, I can ask him as well. Later in life he used to drive a milktruck on this route every week to Van Wyksdorp as his first job. I'll ask him as well.
Faith is not knowing what the future holds, it's knowing who holds the future
 

Offline Bernoulli

Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2014, 03:23:01 pm »
But first an afternoon stop at Haelkraal.



Not a major tourist attraction but the photographer discovered that it has a rather unique approach to separating the sexes in the public amenities! Imagine….
No, let us rather not go there!



Our route to George included  crossing the Moordkuil river near Botlierskop with a low-level bridge. At the turn-off, there was this sign.



The effect on us, predictable: Here we go!

Down a beautiful, twisty, steep, decline heading for the crossing, where we were stopped by this.





There was no way through, so we turned around and found another route. (Thanks, dear leader, a working GPS really is a wonderful aid!)

The rest of day 1 had no more “events” with which to entertain you. But our ride was relaxing, entertaining and refreshing. We were in the Southern Cape, on a (all together now) glorious autumn day just enjoying being in the moment.


Day 2 to follow.


Offline Antonie

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Re: Bucket list 2: Baviaanskloof
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2014, 04:51:16 pm »
Looks like a lekker adventure!