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Offline sidetrack

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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #140 on: September 14, 2021, 09:28:26 am »
Saw plenty of those bird nests along the way. Then in Kakamas it was time to do some wine tasting  :biggrin: We bought some bottles that was good on the palate, being from Pretoria we decided on a Brandy as well.
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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #141 on: September 14, 2021, 10:12:17 am »
being from Pretoria we decided on a Brandy as well.

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Offline sidetrack

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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #142 on: September 14, 2021, 01:14:14 pm »
Between Kakamas en Springbok was quite an experience, I think we have all heard about the 8 year drought but it really hits home when you drive for about 100km and it really looks like a desert. I can only imagine how tough it must be for farmers in that area. Past Pella, Aggenys we went untill about 20km's before Springbok the veld became greener and then the first flowers started to appear.
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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #143 on: September 14, 2021, 02:03:48 pm »
Bought some food and other necessities like braaiwood at Springbok then it was off to Kamieskroon, not far to go. Well sort off, at the metropolis of Kamies it was another 25km or dirt including Kamiesberg Pass (I think) to get to out accommodation of Pedroskloof Guest Farm. Both days ended up being a full days drive, we were looking forward to get some rest and a lekker braai. On the way we found a beautiful clearing full of flowers close to Taaiboschkraal.
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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #144 on: September 14, 2021, 02:07:25 pm »
Looks like a lekker trip. You were probably wishing you had your bike there


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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #145 on: September 14, 2021, 02:17:05 pm »
Pedroskloof lies in a beautiful valley and we arrived just after 4pm and settled in. No TV or cell reception here, damn never let the folks back home we arrived when in Kamieskroon. One need to drive abouty 20km back and get to the top of Kamies Pass to get reception, luckily the owner has a Sat phone connection and they were kind enough to let me call home. Now it was time to just sit back and relax. Some other guests with Stellenbosch plates also arrived and made their way to the front garden with a coupIe of wine bottles in hand, I removed the seal from the Merlot .... hmmm cork little bit more refined than my screw tops.... shit no opener oh well we opened the Brandy. Net so lekker  :lol8: Even started reading a book that evening ! The next day it was off to Hondeklipbaai via some very nice dirt roads, where was my bike !
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 02:25:32 pm by sidetrack »
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Offline sidetrack

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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #146 on: September 14, 2021, 02:20:19 pm »
Sunset over the farm
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Offline sidetrack

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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #147 on: September 14, 2021, 02:21:16 pm »
Looks like a lekker trip. You were probably wishing you had your bike there


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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #148 on: September 14, 2021, 02:37:40 pm »
Next day (have I mentioned we had great weather all through the trip) on top of Kamies Pass looking down towards the town. Short stint on the N7 towards Garies we took a dirt turnoff towards Hondeklipbaai and travelled the Grootvlei Pass. Along the way my dad inspected Gansogies, Gousblom, Madeliefie's and I don't know what else. Not very good at identifying flowers, much better at bikes. Dad was in his element. The track stretched out before us heading towards the coast.
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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #149 on: September 14, 2021, 07:40:30 pm »
Kamieskroon is beautiful.

That is a very sweet photo of your dad peering at a flower :biggrin:
 

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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #150 on: September 15, 2021, 08:16:42 am »
We eventually made it to Hondeklipbaai. I was here in 2007 or 8 I think when we did a West Coast trip. It was good to see the ocean as it was another lovely day. We had fish and chips and went to look at the Aristea shipwreck. Unfortunately the sign with the all the info on it is long gone, not sure if it was stolen or the elements got to it. From here we would head back via the Koeingnaas road and it would later turn into a memorable trip inland indeed.
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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #151 on: September 15, 2021, 08:42:33 am »
As we headed inland the route took us through the Sandveld which was part of the Namaqua National Park. This was quite an unique area. In a way I must say it's not attractive, small ground hugging shrubs growing in the vast open spaces. In about 40km from Hondeklipbaai the only life we saw was one tortoise but at the same time there is something different about his area, I have never seen anything like it and I'm sure talking to people in the know they can explain just what makes it special. Then once we crossed the Sandveld we started climbing out of the vlaktes and headed up Wildeperdehoek se Pas, now this was a real treat. Right at the top one had a great sweeping view of the valley we crossed below and I'm told on a good day you can see all the way back to the ocean some 45km away.  Off course  the photos does not do it justice but one can see the two routes below stretching into the horizon. Vast open spaces, fantastic! Dad got out his binoculars and had a good look. Not toofar away another famous road awaited us, the Messelpad.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 08:43:34 am by sidetrack »
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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #152 on: September 15, 2021, 09:34:09 am »
Messelpad Pass links with Wildeperde and a big thank you to @DUSTRIDERS  Chris who gave me tips on places to see and drive to on our trip. One of which was the Fletcher barracks in the Buffels river valley which you pass whilst on the Messelpad. It was built in 1860's for the workers who worked on the construction of the pass. Way down below it's easy to miss. There is a track leading down to it and I'm sure the bakkie could have done it but here and there it is washed away and some big rocks so I decided to park at the top and walk down to the ruins. Temp displayed was 37 degrees in the valley and I tell you I was panting like crazy on the way back up again. Finished my bottle of water quickly. Seeing the site was like walking onto a Spaghetti Western set  :biggrin: Must have been tough living and working in this valley. I'm not sure where they got water from as the river is dry, maybe there was a well or further along the valley we did see traces of water. I really enjoyed this section.

"Messelpad is a historical gravel road built between 1867 and 1869. It is a long road, almost 17 km’s, and probably best suited to 4WD vehicles because of the corrugation, washouts and potholes however, if using a non 4WD vehicle you must at least make sure it has good ground clearance. and

The Pass is exceptionally beautiful to drive due to its dramatic scenery with towering sandstone cliffs and the almost always dry bed of the Buffels River accompanying you most of the way. In Springtime, the wildflowers are sensational, and the locals regard the Pass as one of the best places to see flowers during the season.

Messelpad was built due to the Copper boom, it took six days to transport from Okiep to Hondeklip Bay, and the Pass was built as a result. Its name, when translated from Afrikaans means “masonry road”, named so after the stone embankments that form the support for the road and built under the supervision of engineer Patrick Fletcher.

The Pass is approximately 32 km’s from Springbok, just beyond the Luiskraal Farm, where the road then follows and crosses over to the other side of the Buffels River before joining the Wildeperdehoek Pass."
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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #153 on: September 15, 2021, 01:04:15 pm »
 Fletcher barracks

I did not know they were called that, thanks for the other info regarding it too. Cool spot to have a house not so cool to be living whilst building a road!!
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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #154 on: September 17, 2021, 10:33:31 am »
The next day we headed to Garies, nice little town and the local shop was booming with all the flower watchers dropping by. Every visitor wanted to know the best routes to take. I bought some supplies at the local OK, loaded the cooler box and off we went. Just out of town we turned off on the gravel close to Groenrivier. This was a great road. We saw some Verreaux's eagle (Witkruisarend) by pure luck, just stopped a t a randon spot and looked at the cliffs with the binoculars only to notice a white cross painted on the cliff side and low and behold saw an eagle flying around the mountain top ! Must be a breeding site although not marked at the road. This route would take us to Langkloof past Bloedsmaak farm and onto Leliefontein. It was a fantastic scenic drive, oh Tenere where art thou !
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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #155 on: September 17, 2021, 10:43:05 am »
The Langkloof a scenic valley with a lot more water and greenery than most of the other parts of this area. Chris warned me about all the gates and he was right, the Langkloof road had a lot to open but we had all the time in the world so no real problem. The first picture is a steep climb past Bloedsmaak farm which one can see on the right. Beautiful part of the country this. There was even a small waterfall next to the road. After Langkloof we headed towards Karas which is where four farms converged.
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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #156 on: September 17, 2021, 10:48:46 am »
Karas had lots of flowers in fact I think if you are on a tight schedue this area would be a good bet to see flowers every year. The valley looks nice and fertile and I'm sure it has more water than most of the other places. Just be prepared to open the gates  :lol8: We stopped at Leliefontein and then headed back towards Pedroskloof passing the quiver tree "forest". The next day we would head home. All in all a great and memorable trip. What a great way to spend a week away from the hustle and bustle. Thanks for reading.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2021, 10:56:21 am by sidetrack »
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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #157 on: September 17, 2021, 11:12:19 am »
Karas.

A special place for me and would not mind having a house there.
The farmers move end of May to warmer areas/farms and come back end Sept beginning Oct because Karas gets too cold and nothing grows there in winter. Once summer comes it blooms if it had rained during the winter.

Thanks for posting spacial time spent with your dad, I think you'll be booked for next year again!! :thumleft: ;)
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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #158 on: September 17, 2021, 11:39:44 am »
Karas.

A special place for me and would not mind having a house there.
The farmers move end of May to warmer areas/farms and come back end Sept beginning Oct because Karas gets too cold and nothing grows there in winter. Once summer comes it blooms if it had rained during the winter.

Thanks for posting spacial time spent with your dad, I think you'll be booked for next year again!! :thumleft: ;)
Thanks Chris was a great trip
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Re: Sidetracking
« Reply #159 on: September 18, 2021, 02:43:20 pm »
Enjoyable read and thanks for the effort and the beautiful photo's :thumleft: