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Offline Eazy Rider

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To Die Hel and back
« on: October 14, 2014, 08:39:34 pm »
Another great ride in this beautiful country. Departing from Cape  Town - A ride through the Tankwa, Seweweekspoort, Swartberg Pass and Elands pass, down into Die Hel and back. Wow! Some wet and muddy conditions made the trip more of an adventure.



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Offline Kuifie

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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2014, 08:45:40 pm »
Baie mooi fotos
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Offline gwild

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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2014, 09:56:58 pm »
Nice pics but is that all?  :peepwall:
 

Offline Eazy Rider

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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2014, 04:30:28 pm »
My posts are intended to inspire. I have many pics but from my experience it becomes boring. What would you like to know about the trip...I will gladly share?


Happy daze
 

Offline Swannie 685

Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2014, 08:13:17 pm »
I agree it`s beautiful pics  :thumleft:

We,well i ,would like to know more abt the trip itself. Did you see anything interesting on route,like animals, tortoises etc ?

 What was the trip like bike wise ? Any hardships like punctures etc ?..or anything else (advice) you can share with other bikers wanting to do the same ?

This RR is like.: I started from point A and got to point B :'(

Take us through the trip plse.  :deal:
Wanneer ek iets wil herstel, is dit heeltemal gef*k daarna.

Vorige bikes: Suzuki 50cc, Yamaha 185,Honda 250,Kawasaki Z650, Kawasaki Z1000, Honda CB900F en Suzuki DR500. Tans Kawasaki KLR 685
 

Offline Eazy Rider

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To Die Hel and back
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2014, 10:42:32 pm »
Ok...here is an extended RR

Ride report
Ok...here goes
Trip duration: 9 days
Bike:  Yamaha XT660Z Tenere
Distance: 1300kms
Navigation: old school Slingsby
maps.( full of useful info and contact details)
Luggage: A (200l)  waterproof bag, with tools, sleeping bag,  matt, 2man tent, some extra warm dry clothes and first aid kit. The bag was strapped to the back luggage rack, no pannier racks needed, as the Tènere stock exhaust has a heat shield👍

For me the trip had many aspects to it, and had to tick a couple of boxes.

-My first long distance, overnighter.
-An antidote the drudgery of city life.
-A test for the bike and myself, as i packed it as if i would do a solo.
-It was school holidays so i had backup in the form of wife and children in a 4x4 with some luxuries in tow.


The trip:
As it rarely turned out we were ready before the time, so we spontaneously headed out to Bainskloof, giving us a chance to getting used to pitching tents and life on the road.
I can't recommend TweedeTol campsite, with noise levels higher than i remember for such a tranquil place. We were kept up most of the night by the neighbouring camp party.
The next morning we could not get out soon enough. We stopped at the Tolhuis on Mitchell's pass which did not disappoint with its roosterbrood breakfast.
Tummies full we made our way up the Gydo pass into the Kouebokkeveld. We visited some friends up on a farm at the foot of the Katbakkies pass. That evening our plan was to wild camp on the other side of the pass at the picknick site, but it was too busy with other campers who had the same idea. We opted instead to spend a night at Sothemba. We stayed in the newly built kliphuisie. Nice place but still incomplete. Nice views over the Tankwa. (The shower was either extremely hot or icy cold.)
Sothemba have to sort out some things for future guests.
Firstly, pizza is one of their specialities and the oven is fired up with treated builders timber(Carcinogenic chamber).
Secondly, if you weren't drinking beer then it was challenging. In our case, Gin and no Tonic. So we had beer. Otherwise a nice place and perfect for adventure riders.





The next day we had to make our way to  Matjiesvlei via Seweweekspoort, a great ride through the Tankwa, taking the R356 and then the first right to the east. Following this road all the way until you end up in Lainsburg. Watch out for drifts that are full of water, they were deep on some places.
I actually took the wrong turn, as I originally intended to go to Lainsburg, and instead ended up in Matjiesfontein, which was not such a bad compromise since it was a good lunch spot. I suppose a GPS would have been good at this point.





Other obstacles one has to look out for, are sheep and the odd bokkie that jumps into the road. The landscapes were classic Karoo big sky country and the roads were surprisingly good.


From Matjiesfontein we tarred for about 20 mins on the N1 to link up with the R323 at Lainsburg. The clouds had started to build up and it started raining the moment we hit gravel. I did notice that the Tenere fairing provided a lot of protection from the rain. Riding in the rain is always tricky, with the visor misting up. I rode with the visor adjar, to let the air flow through to prevent condensation building up inside.



The R323 is a spectacular drive with the Klein Swartberg to one side. This road takes you directly to the top of the Seweweekspoort. The Seweweekspoort did not dissapoint and lived up to its reputation. Spectacular! Cogmanskloof x10. This road is to be riden slowly since there are some sharp bends and the road is narrow in places. I encountered some cyclist riding up the poort (Madness). My neck hurt comming out the other end from craning upwards at the views.
The R323 meets up with the R62 again. Turning towards Calitzdorp we crossed the Gamkariver and about 2kms thereafter, is a turnoff to Matjiesvlei. The road down to Matjiesvlei was unexpected and beautiful. It is a cul-de-sac and snakes down to the Gamkarivier valley. There you can stay at various old farm buildings that have been beautifully restored. We stayed on the old School House. It was cold so we fired up the old woodstove. Nice place and nice people and farm dogs.
So far the bike was doing well and after many hours in the saddle I was still looking forward to more.
I fitted some Mitas E07 to the bike and had no problems at this point.

From Matjiesvlei our next destination was Die Hel. We took the road that follows the Nelsrivier past the Calitzdorp dam. This is a beautiful road that runs in parts along the river. The farms also looked very fertile and productive. I had rainy conditions and had to let my tire pressure down, as the rain made for extremely slipper conditions on gravel. This made a huge difference to traction in mud and soon I regained my confidence. When conditions got really bad I stood up an accelerated my way out of trouble.
I learnt that by standing up, in general, made potentially dangerous conditions much safer, controlling the bike especially through rocky drifts, much easier.

The road eventually meets up with the Swartberg pass. A storm cloud had caught up with us but we opted to continue. The weather conditions deteriorated quickly. I was caught in a blizzard. Sleet wind and fog made the conditions unbearable. I was still warm at my core but my gloves and boots were wet and cold. I was dreaming of heated grips at that point.
We decided to travel in convoy in case either the car or bike had a breakdown.
This was tedious for me as the car travels very slowly over this terrain.  Better safe than sorry though.
The clouds had lifted at the top of Elandspas and I was met with the majestic view of Die Hel. Wow!
The road descends almost 1000meters from that point. It was an easy ride down into Die Hel. I was told by the Ouplaas manager that the bigger bikes found it a lot trickier coming down and traversing the rocky drifts.



Down in the lush valley we stayed at Ouplaas, Jan Eentands house. A nice place with a plunge pool fed by river water. We relaxed here for two nights exploring the area on foot and making potjies. The camp site at Ouplaas looked nice as well for warmer nights. There is no fuel down there so be sure to take enough to get out.
It was time to make our way out of Die Hel and an opportunity to appreciated the beauty that denied us on our way in. The scenery is fantastic.
Reaching the top of the Swatberg again, we noticed that there had been a fire and the mountain was charred black. It really looked like a Swartberg.



We made our way down the pass and headed towards Tierkloof Eco Lodge in the Gamkaberg nature reserve.
An awesome luxury tented camp with its own boma and pool. I will come back to this place again.



Homeward bound via the Rooibergpass. A stunning pass that just goes on and on, and the views are brilliant, an increadible pass that links the Klein Karoo with the Langeberg Mountains. Interesting was to see the transition of vegetation as the micro climate changes over the pass.
Hungry and tired we stopped at Vanwyksdorp and had an incredible fry-up at the local coffee shop.

Warmwaterberg was our next overnight and we followed the backroads eventually linking up with the R62 near Barrydale. Our last night we soaked up the minerals at the spa and camp in the last site available. The lamb chops from the shop are great as are the breakfasts.

From Warmwaterberg it was a long slog home albeit still beautifull through Montagu, Ashton, Robertson and Rawsonville over DuToits pass down the N1 back to Hout Bay.

What I learnt from this trip.

Bring more chain lube. Riding in mud can really destroy your chain and I had to lube the chain daily.

Take along some synthetic oil as it is not always available. (Not that i needed it on this trip).

Bring two plastic packets to wear over your socks to keep your feet dry.

Try wearing cycling shorts under your riding gear, as they provide an extra layer of comfort.

A fleecy buff under the helmet kept me extra snug in the cold.

The DMD Kalahari riding jacket was excellent and kept me dry and warm in the worst conditions. It also has a built in water bladder which makes sense when the temperature rises.

The xt660z was great and never faltered and is a great tool that inspires confidence when the going gets tough in remote places. This bike was designed to take you safely, reliably and economically through Africa.



I needed a GPS in places where there was no cellphone reception.

Spring is a nice time in the Klein Karoo. It can be very cold but it never got too hot and unbearable. For ornithologist birds are out pairing and building nest. A treat really when time slows down.

Biltong at Calitzdorp butchery is excellent.






Happy daze - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Soul-Tonic-Motorcycle-Adventures/275198322683235
 

Offline Eazy Rider

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To Die Hel and back
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2014, 10:42:35 pm »
Ok...here is an extended RR

Ride report
Ok...here goes
Trip duration: 9 days
Bike:  Yamaha XT660Z Tenere
Distance: 1300kms
Navigation: old school Slingsby
maps.( full of useful info and contact details)
Luggage: A (200l)  waterproof bag, with tools, sleeping bag,  matt, 2man tent, some extra warm dry clothes and first aid kit. The bag was strapped to the back luggage rack, no pannier racks needed, as the Tènere stock exhaust has a heat shield👍

For me the trip had many aspects to it, and had to tick a couple of boxes.

-My first long distance, overnighter.
-An antidote the drudgery of city life.
-A test for the bike and myself, as i packed it as if i would do a solo.
-It was school holidays so i had backup in the form of wife and children in a 4x4 with some luxuries in tow.


The trip:
As it rarely turned out we were ready before the time, so we spontaneously headed out to Bainskloof, giving us a chance to getting used to pitching tents and life on the road.
I can't recommend TweedeTol campsite, with noise levels higher than i remember for such a tranquil place. We were kept up most of the night by the neighbouring camp party.
The next morning we could not get out soon enough. We stopped at the Tolhuis on Mitchell's pass which did not disappoint with its roosterbrood breakfast.
Tummies full we made our way up the Gydo pass into the Kouebokkeveld. We visited some friends up on a farm at the foot of the Katbakkies pass. That evening our plan was to wild camp on the other side of the pass at the picknick site, but it was too busy with other campers who had the same idea. We opted instead to spend a night at Sothemba. We stayed in the newly built kliphuisie. Nice place but still incomplete. Nice views over the Tankwa. (The shower was either extremely hot or icy cold.)
Sothemba have to sort out some things for future guests.
Firstly, pizza is one of their specialities and the oven is fired up with treated builders timber(Carcinogenic chamber).
Secondly, if you weren't drinking beer then it was challenging. In our case, Gin and no Tonic. So we had beer. Otherwise a nice place and perfect for adventure riders.





The next day we had to make our way to  Matjiesvlei via Seweweekspoort, a great ride through the Tankwa, taking the R356 and then the first right to the east. Following this road all the way until you end up in Lainsburg. Watch out for drifts that are full of water, they were deep on some places.
I actually took the wrong turn, as I originally intended to go to Lainsburg, and instead ended up in Matjiesfontein, which was not such a bad compromise since it was a good lunch spot. I suppose a GPS would have been good at this point.



Other obstacles one has to look out for, are sheep and the odd bokkie that jumps into the road. The landscapes were classic Karoo big sky country and the roads were surprisingly good.



From Matjiesfontein we tarred for about 20 mins on the N1 to link up with the R323 at Lainsburg. The clouds had started to build up and it started raining the moment we hit gravel. I did notice that the Tenere fairing provided a lot of protection from the rain. Riding in the rain is always tricky, with the visor misting up. I rode with the visor adjar, to let the air flow through to prevent condensation building up inside.



The R323 is a spectacular drive with the Klein Swartberg to one side. This road takes you directly to the top of the Seweweekspoort. The Seweweekspoort did not dissapoint and lived up to its reputation. Spectacular! Cogmanskloof x10. This road is to be riden slowly since there are some sharp bends and the road is narrow in places. I encountered some cyclist riding up the poort (Madness). My neck hurt comming out the other end from craning upwards at the views.
The R323 meets up with the R62 again. Turning towards Calitzdorp we crossed the Gamkariver and about 2kms thereafter, is a turnoff to Matjiesvlei. The road down to Matjiesvlei was unexpected and beautiful. It is a cul-de-sac and snakes down to the Gamkarivier valley. There you can stay at various old farm buildings that have been beautifully restored. We stayed on the old School House. It was cold so we fired up the old woodstove. Nice place and nice people and farm dogs.
So far the bike was doing well and after many hours in the saddle I was still looking forward to more.
I fitted some Mitas E07 to the bike and had no problems at this point.

From Matjiesvlei our next destination was Die Hel. We took the road that follows the Nelsrivier past the Calitzdorp dam. This is a beautiful road that runs in parts along the river. The farms also looked very fertile and productive. I had rainy conditions and had to let my tire pressure down, as the rain made for extremely slippery conditions on gravel. This made a huge difference to traction in mud and soon I regained my confidence. When conditions got really bad I stood up an accelerated my way out of trouble.
I learnt that by standing up, in general, made potentially dangerous conditions much safer, controlling the bike especially through rocky drifts, much easier.

The road eventually meets up with the Swartberg pass. A storm cloud had caught up with us but we opted to continue. The weather conditions deteriorated quickly. I was caught in a blizzard. Sleet wind and fog made the conditions unbearable. I was still warm at my core but my gloves and boots were wet and cold. I was dreaming of heated grips at that point.
We decided to travel in convoy in case either the car or bike had a breakdown.
This was tedious for me as the car travels very slowly over this terrain.  Better safe than sorry though.
The clouds had lifted at the top of Elandspas and I was met with the majestic view of Die Hel. Wow!
The road descends almost 1000meters from that point. It was an easy ride down into Die Hel. I was told by the Boplaas manager that the bigger bikes found it a lot trickier coming down and traversing the rocky drifts.



Down in the lush valley we stayed at Boplaas, Jan Eentands house. A nice place with a plunge pool fed by river water. We relaxed here for two nights exploring the area on foot and making potjies. The camp site at Boplaas looked nice as well for warmer nights. There is no fuel down there so be sure to take enough to get out.
It was time to make our way out of Die Hel and an opportunity to appreciated the beauty that denied us on our way in. The scenery is fantastic.
Reaching the top of the Swartberg again, we noticed that there had been a fire and the mountain was charred black. It really looked like a Swartberg.



We made our way down the pass and headed towards Tierkloof Eco Lodge in the Gamkaberg nature reserve.
An awesome luxury tented camp with its own boma and pool. I will come back to this place again.



Homeward bound via the Rooibergpass. A stunning pass that just goes on and on, and the views are brilliant, an increadible pass that links the Klein Karoo with the Langeberg Mountains. Interesting was to see the transition of vegetation as the micro climate changes over the pass.
Hungry and tired we stopped at Vanwyksdorp and had an incredible fry-up at the local coffee shop.

Warmwaterberg was our next overnight and we followed the backroads eventually linking up with the R62 near Barrydale. Our last night we soaked up the minerals at the spa and camp in the last site available. The lamb chops from the shop are great as are the breakfasts.

From Warmwaterberg it was a long slog home albeit still beautifull through Montagu, Ashton, Robertson and Rawsonville over DuToits pass down the N1 back to Hout Bay.

What I learnt from this trip.

Bring more chain lube. Riding in mud can really destroy your chain and I had to lube the chain daily.

Take along some synthetic oil as it is not always available. (Not that i needed it on this trip).

Bring two plastic packets to wear over your socks to keep your feet dry.

Try wearing cycling shorts under your riding gear, as they provide an extra layer of comfort.

A fleecy buff under the helmet kept me extra snug in the cold.

The DMD Kalahari riding jacket was excellent and kept me dry and warm in the worst conditions. It also has a built in water bladder which makes sense when the temperature rises.

The xt660z was great and never faltered and is a great tool that inspires confidence when the going gets tough in remote places. This bike was designed to take you safely, reliably and economically through Africa.



I needed a GPS in places where there was no cellphone reception.

Spring is a nice time in the Klein Karoo. It can be very cold but it never got too hot and unbearable. For ornithologist birds are out pairing and building nest. A treat really when time slows down.

Biltong at Calitzdorp butchery is excellent.






Happy daze - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Soul-Tonic-Motorcycle-Adventures/275198322683235
 

Offline COLES

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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2014, 03:57:02 pm »

first two photo,s of the report are amazing, great area to ride just plain wonderful

thank u for sharing
 

Offline Eazy Rider

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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2014, 08:08:29 pm »
Thanks i used an app called  Camera Awesome. For some reason the RR was duplicated.


Happy daze - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Soul-Tonic-Motorcycle-Adventures/275198322683235
 

Offline Swannie 685

Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2014, 11:00:00 pm »
THANK YOU  :thumleft:

This is what i was looking for in a RR  8) Nice pics and interesting story :biggrin:

Now that wasn`t so hard, was it ?  :lol8:

 :ricky:
Wanneer ek iets wil herstel, is dit heeltemal gef*k daarna.

Vorige bikes: Suzuki 50cc, Yamaha 185,Honda 250,Kawasaki Z650, Kawasaki Z1000, Honda CB900F en Suzuki DR500. Tans Kawasaki KLR 685
 

Offline mtr89

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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2014, 05:27:27 pm »
The first photo really grabbed my attention.The XT always looks great but even more so when dirty.
KX125-sold;DT 175-sold;XT660R-sold;VFR 800-sold;SR250-soldt;2006 YZ 250 2t sold;2009 YZ 250 2t sold; 2013 XT 660Z Tenere-current
 

Offline 4 Kays

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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2014, 06:55:16 pm »
Thanks for sharing  :thumleft:
 

Offline meteldog

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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2014, 12:48:09 pm »
Thanks for the RR. Definitely want to give Tierkloof a try sometime.
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Offline Eazy Rider

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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2016, 07:51:35 pm »
Baie mooi fotos
Dankie👍


Soul Tonic Motorcycle Adventures - Spirit of the open Road
 

Offline Eazy Rider

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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2016, 07:57:37 pm »
Thanks for sharing  :thumleft:
👍


Soul Tonic Motorcycle Adventures - Spirit of the open Road
 

Offline ALLEN I

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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2016, 07:34:35 am »
Nice RR mate thanks for the Ride  :ricky:
Biking since the age of 11 nothing beats the freedom when u out there on u baby. Been doing it over 40 years now  (that's life)
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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2016, 08:22:22 am »
Baie dankie vir die deel  :thumleft:
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2016, 08:30:47 am »
Great RR, short and sweet and to the point.

2de Tol is too close to Wellington, Paarl and even CT so all the party-gatte go there. A hool.
 

Offline MRK Miller

Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2016, 08:12:58 am »
Thank you for great share and awesome photos. That tenere lies realy close to my hart. But for now the klr is affordable and reliable.. We also hit rain on one trip and were soaked so the fact that you stayed dry says something for your outfit.
I would rather fall a thousand times, and keep riding, than to stop riding and never fall
 

Offline COLES

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Re: To Die Hel and back
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2016, 08:34:24 am »
awesome thank u for shearing a magnificent adventure