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Offline sidetrack

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Only ridden to church on Sundays
« on: July 29, 2018, 09:14:11 pm »
It was time for a solo Sunday ride. I previously made some notes for roads heading south towards Val and around 2012 I rode some of them with Rooi as well on the way to the bash. I decided it was time to check it out again, it is not an area I rode a lot previously. Also partly inspired by Armpie's history lesson I was hoping to see some Boer War sites along the way. I only left Pta around 8:45 or so, the weather looked good though at 23 degrees. The first bit up to Delmas was all tar, from there I got onto the first dirt and promptly rode through a colliery and in the process black facing my bike  :o

The country side was rather flat and mielie fields all over. Very flat.
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 
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Offline sidetrack

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2018, 09:27:45 pm »
Along the way some abandoned farm steads, the palm trees must be a good 50 plus years old. Most likely planted when the house was built. From here I followed a winding dirt road loosely following the Wilgerivier, I was coming up to Holfontein a small farm holding on my right. I saw only Willow Trees growing in the low lying areas with Bluegums here and there almost no other trees. Wonder if it's the climate or type of soil ?
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline PiknWyn

Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2018, 09:28:44 pm »
And then and then...

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Offline sidetrack

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2018, 09:42:23 pm »
In the distance I could see two church bell towers, I was coming up to the small town of Eendracht situated on the hill. The last bit of dirt road into town was a rocky affair with plenty of evidence of wheel spinning and sump bashing for the 4 wheel kind. The town was quite small but had three churches : Gereformeerde, Nederduitse Gereformeerde and a Afrikaanse Protestant. It was now 10:30, the Gereformeerde church had a sign "dienste 10 uur Sondae". There was no soul in site, only on closer inspection I noticed no one had visited the church in quite some time. It was locked, closed up no congregation to speak of with the clock on the tower stuck at 8:25 maybe forever. Across the road the Protastant church had about 5 cars outside and the same for the NG church down the road. This might have been Eendracht but it seems everyone chooses his / her own church !
« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 09:43:34 pm by sidetrack »
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2018, 09:48:14 pm »
Leaving Eendracht towards Greylingstad, I heard it has become a ghost town so wanted to have a look. The track was nice and flowing the dirt roads being in quite good condition. Coming to a T junction I remeberd the bit from 2012, I past a row of Willow trees then up a slight hill through some Bluegums. The weather was perfect for a days ride.
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2018, 10:11:20 pm »
Greylingstad, in it's heyday a busy place as it was close to the NAZSM railway line that ran from KZN to Johannesburg. I smiled as I read up on the town with one person recalling the Natte and Sappe having frequent brawls in the Greylingstad Hotel (at the bar I would guess) whilst someone was playing his concertina in the backround. Like most towns it was now pretty run down. I wanted to ride up into the hill, there was a SR (Scottish Regiment) sign clearly visible from below built with stone and recently painted white by some local folk who are trying hard to keep things together. I had no luck with most dirt tracks being dead ends or locked gates. I would not say it's a ghost town yet but it's close.

From a M&G article :

A regiment of Scottish Rifles took several artillery pieces on to the hill overlooking the town and built themselves a warren of walled fortifications from the remains of a Stone Age settlement that had stood there, undisturbed, for thousands of years.

The action between the British and the Boers was brief and inconclusive. The Boers would hurry down off the hills opposite the British fortifications on their ponies and harass and make mischief, often to ambiguous ends, and the British dragooned the local black population into a nearby concentration camp, making them repair the damage to the railway line caused by the Boers. The graves of the black concentration camp dead number several hundred. They are tucked behind a clump of bushes not far from the town itself and have only recently become the subject of curiosity.


The town did offer one big surprise and that is the NG church built on the hill close to Willemsdall overlooking the town. It was truly beautifull and well kept, one of the best NG churches I have ever seen. The style was more like the ones normally found in English churches. Built from sandstone and completed in 1913, even the clock on the bell tower was still working. After reading up on it's history it became quite evident as it was designed by an English architect taking part in a competition overseen by Herbert Baker. I could not help but wonder for how long this lovely building would still be here in this condition, let us have faith.
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 
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Offline sidetrack

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2018, 10:20:33 pm »
I followed the track towards Val from Greylingstad. Past a family grave from the 1920's, Vermaas. Now sticking close to the railway line I had a waypoint marked that indicated some type of battle that took place, well that is what the Google earth image indicated anyway. I stopped and there it was next to the road, no signs whatsoever except for a plaque I could make out against an old small railway bridge about 40m from the road. If not for the waypoint I would have missed it completely. Well turns out every year the Val Hotel stages a Boer and Brit re enactment of the "Whisky Train" bombing. Not sure it was such a light hearted event as the plaque makes it out to be but who knows, maybe everyone was gatvol of war and just wanted to have a good time if only for a couple of hours. Besides the bridge and some ballast on top of it there were no sign of the old railway line anymore.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 10:38:31 pm by sidetrack »
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 
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Offline sidetrack

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2018, 10:23:29 pm »
Next stop Val for a well deserved beer and something to eat ! Even in the early 1900's it was a popular stop and place to rest for all. Apparently the town was called Waterval forst then shortened to Val for whatever reason.
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 
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Offline sidetrack

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2018, 10:29:37 pm »
I planned a small loop from Val heading south east then coming back to end in the town again. I crossed the railway line and followed a dirt road to the east. To my right I could see the old sandstone pillars for what I imagine was the original bridge that took the railway line accross the river and then continued to Val and eventually onto Johannesburg. The river was quite beautifull here.
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2018, 10:36:01 pm »
All to soon the loop was done and I had to head home, the idea of riding home through Leandra and Delmas in the winter with the sun setting was not very appealing. I took some tar shortcuts on the way back and arrived in time to give the bike a quick wash. In total 420 enjoyable kilometers and some history lessons along the way as well. Thanks for reading.
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2018, 12:15:23 am »
Lekker RR and good history lesson. It reads just as nice as one of ol Trailriders RR's!  :thumleft:

Love the look of your Honda Rally!  :thumleft:
 
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Offline Oubones

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2018, 05:24:28 am »
Nice ride, it is a pity that many off the small towns and churches are going to ruin.
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Offline Skim

Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2018, 06:49:34 am »
Lekker Man - dankie vir die deel.
Skim

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Offline shark_za

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2018, 07:10:53 am »
Nice one dude
 

Offline alwyn_gs

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2018, 08:14:25 am »
Lekker ride with a meaning... Thanks for sharing
RR:Sani 2013, http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=131550.0, Honeymoon 2014 http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=153612.0
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Offline FrancoisTz

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2018, 08:47:28 am »
Thanks, great reading.
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank amongst those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
 

Offline Sheepman

Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2018, 09:20:50 am »
Enjoyed your report a lot  :thumleft: Greylingstad was a busy little dorp way back, with an active community and economy.My late uncle was a bank manager there for a few years.Such a pity that all these small dorpies became randown over the last years  :-[
 

Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2018, 09:22:57 am »
Thank you for the RR - a great little ride - I must do that route again soon!

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Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2018, 09:23:34 am »
Daai kerk se deur lyk pragtig. Iemand het baie tyd aan hom spandeer :thumleft:
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Offline Fransw

Re: Only ridden to church on Sundays
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2018, 09:29:01 am »
Dis lekker sulke trippies!...maar wys meer fotos van die bike! O0