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Author Topic: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES! (VIDEO UPDATE)  (Read 2058 times)

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Offline Minxy

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2019, 10:57:18 pm »
"We've come a long long way together,
Through the hard times and the good,
I have to celebrate you baby,
I have to praise you like I should"



At the start of the pass things immediately got more interesting, the terrain being much more rocky and some of the climbs being quite steep in places. Picking good lines really came into play.



We were still riding all chill, just casually going around a corner and BANG we get hit in the face with this. Whoa nelly, those are some big rocks!!!



This was undoubtedly the most difficult part of the pass, and coming from the Lesotho border side you get thrown into this gnarly section quite early on. I can just imagine how tough it must be taking a big bike up here...
Anyway, I don't stop and decide to go first, pick the absolute worst line ever and get myself stuck on a steep rock about halfway, my momentum was just not enough to get me over this one big boulder.



Great  >:( ...

I climb off and start wresting the bike out of the shitty rocks so I can get out of this mess by picking another line. I keep thinking... 'I  should have practiced those pivot turns...'



HSK gently puts his bike down and comes around to assist me. People often wonder what 'true love' is all about. I have no doubt putting your bike down to go help your loved one forms part of the equation :D



HSK helps me man handle my 500 back onto a better line and we are on our way again in no time. As we climb the views just get more and more incredible.



There are quite a few step ups, lots of loose rocks, and very uneven terrain where you really have to keep your wits about you.





People told us the pass had really deteriorated badly since last year. There were places were almost all the concrete slab had been washed away. Also huge loose rocks everywhere. It used to still be quite doable on a big adventure bike at some stage people said. Not now though, unless of course you are a super rider, with some super insurance cover in case something does go wrong. I guess it would be a good challenge, but I'm perfectly happy just riding this with the 500. I told HSK every single time we stopped for a breather just how much I love my 500. I've had a couple of bikes over the years and this is no doubt the best one I've ever owned. The 500 is just one hell of a badass machine that just handles all the tough sections with such ease and grace. I can see why there's a 100 page thread dedicated to this bikes awesomeness on the forum :P


The trail was quite tight in places. I don't think the 4x4's really come this way anymore?









We were making good time and stopped to chow some snacks and take a short break.


Mmmmm, nom noms with a view.

*              ★.`.★   "I'm in love with a strict machine"  ★.`.★               *
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Current: Husqvarna 701, KTM 500, Honda LS 125 Previous: Honda Africa Twin CRF 1000 DCT, KTM 950 SE, KTM 950 Adv, Aprilia 650 Pegaso Trail, BMW G450X, Husqvarna 350FE, KTM 690RFR
Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Old Mill Drift -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=234804.0
 

Offline CUZZY

Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2019, 06:13:51 am »
Lekker RR and pics Minxy. The condition of the pass has definitely deteriorated since last year. This route along the river and then up Old Mill.pass from the Lesotho side should be on every serious dual sport riders bucket list. I found it relatively easy going on my TTR 250, but my mates on WR 450 and XR 650 L's were definitely toiling and working hard! Fatigued pronounced ' fattygwued'  was the term used when we got to the top!  And you still get a good pounding going down towards Clarens! Well done to you and HSK 👍🍺🍺🍺
 

Offline Hondsekierie

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2019, 07:48:20 am »
Thanks for the effort in capturing our trip, this was definitely one I won't forget easily - it is just such a beautiful area and that pass really brings one closeup and personal with riding heaven - well, my take at least  :biggrin:

I must say I'm extremely glad that we did it with the 500's.  I have pretty long legs and normally don't battle too much in the rocky bits with the SE/990 when it gets gnarly but there were some sections where you would definitely smash your engine casing on the rocks if you take the wrong line.  The problem is you don't want to stop with a big bike as you will need the 'voortrekkerspan' to pull you up there or help you turn around once you get stuck.

I've always maintained that if you have need groups of people to assist you in riding your bike then you're most likely picking the wrong bike (tool for the job).  In this case Minxy would've been able to clear the obstacles herself, I just assisted because....I kinda like her  :imaposer:

Bottom line is, this is incredibly beautiful and we'll be back to explore more - with our 500's ;)



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There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more"
 

Offline Minxy

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2019, 06:14:13 pm »
We did it, we reached the top of the world! And got met by the "dreaded" gate ;) According to some ride reports this was was a problem back in the day.



No issues getting through today :)





And the view, breathtaking.






A few obligatory poser photos :laughing4:







*              ★.`.★   "I'm in love with a strict machine"  ★.`.★               *
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Current: Husqvarna 701, KTM 500, Honda LS 125 Previous: Honda Africa Twin CRF 1000 DCT, KTM 950 SE, KTM 950 Adv, Aprilia 650 Pegaso Trail, BMW G450X, Husqvarna 350FE, KTM 690RFR
Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Old Mill Drift -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=234804.0
 

Offline Minxy

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2019, 07:08:08 pm »
Anyway, what goes up must come down :)

We descend down the "easier" side of the pass. There's some rocks and ruts, careful lines need to be picked again, but definitely easier than what we came through earlier. HSK and I decide we'd like to come back sometime soon and ride the pass in the other direction just to change things up. It is just soooooo much fun on the 500s!!!












A thumbs up, a last couple of rocks and soon we'd reach the end of the pass.




I wonder what this was?
The road gets easier and easier as we come down the mountain and pass De Ark and Bokpoort.


This sign reads: "Trespassers will be taken to the torture chamber" Kinky!... :imaposer: >:D


With the pass now behind us, we decide to stop and enjoy a milkshake. Cheers to another bucket list item ticked!!! :ricky:
Anyway, it's only like 10:30am? We did the pass quicker than expected ::) We decide we'll head out towards Golden gate and take the scenic dirt highway back to Clarens for lunch.
*              ★.`.★   "I'm in love with a strict machine"  ★.`.★               *
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Current: Husqvarna 701, KTM 500, Honda LS 125 Previous: Honda Africa Twin CRF 1000 DCT, KTM 950 SE, KTM 950 Adv, Aprilia 650 Pegaso Trail, BMW G450X, Husqvarna 350FE, KTM 690RFR
Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Old Mill Drift -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=234804.0
 

Offline wildside

Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2019, 08:30:37 pm »

Wow....some amazing riding and stunning views. Well done and thanks for sharing.
"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
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RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline Minxy

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2019, 08:44:49 pm »
We pass through Golden gate and take the first dirt road heading left.

Riding on the dirt highway soon starts getting boring and we find ourselves straying a little bit from the road.



We find some abandoned old houses in the hills.



Also an old graveyard near two broken down farmhouses. The oldest grave dated back to 1885.

Open plains eventually get met by fences and we are forced to climb back onto the main road and make our way back to Clarens, just in time for lunch :D


Back at the ranch, boots are kicked off and I'm ready for some more time in the jacuzzi  8) !

We sit back and reflect on our day. It was awesome, absolutely awesome, best ride in a while. We never explored the road heading west along the Lesotho border though. Checkout time at our lodge is 10am. We figure we'll get up really early and go explore a bit more. The alarm is set, tomorrow morning we ride west! :ricky:
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Current: Husqvarna 701, KTM 500, Honda LS 125 Previous: Honda Africa Twin CRF 1000 DCT, KTM 950 SE, KTM 950 Adv, Aprilia 650 Pegaso Trail, BMW G450X, Husqvarna 350FE, KTM 690RFR
Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Old Mill Drift -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=234804.0
 
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Offline MRK Miller

Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2019, 03:53:18 am »
We also saw the graves when we went through there. A few kids graves as well. Always wandered what happened there. There was also a rather new zozo tank up on the hill between the trees. We found this odd, as there are no other houses. The one house there by the graves looks rather a more modern house although broken down. We also saw a kipersol tree growing upside down out of the palm tree. I have the pic somewhere. Awesome report. Thank you for sharing
Op God vertrou ons vir wysheid om Sy wil te aanvaar
 

Offline DR BIG 750

Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2019, 06:06:56 am »
Do you guys trail; the 500's or are they rwc
twin shox, twin drum air cooled
 

Offline Minxy

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2019, 08:09:56 pm »
Do you guys trail; the 500's or are they rwc

We trailer to get there. I see no joy in sitting on that 500's plank seat for hours on a dirt highway / tar road just to get to the good riding :P
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Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Old Mill Drift -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=234804.0
 

Offline Minxy

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2019, 08:45:56 pm »
It's our last day and we need to check out by 10am, so we wake up real early to go for a last little ride heading west along the Caledon River.


Quick oats for breakfast and we are ready to roll.



We give ourselves 1h to get as far as we can, then 1h to get back. That will give us enough time to still take a shower, pack all our bags and load the bikes when we return.








Plenty of these little crossings into Lesotho. Some seem to be pretty well used... I don't even know why we have to bother with borders/passports when visiting anymore? Oh well.




I've already said it like 10x in this report and I'll say it again... This place is sooooo beautiful!!!!




There are a few rough/rocky/rutted/washed away sections of road, nothing super technical though, just fun.


Anyway, I'll let the photos do the talking, I stopped every so often and took plenty. The order is a bit mixed up, but you guys get the idea :D
























This just about marked the halfway point, we turned around not toooooo far after this old broken down house and slowly made our way back to the lodge.




















All done and dusted, just wish we had more time to explore this awesome area. Guess we'll have to come back soon :)


Time to leave already!? :'(

Hope you guys enjoyed the pics. I'm still putting together the video of Old Mill Drift Pass, will share as soon as it is done :ricky:
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Current: Husqvarna 701, KTM 500, Honda LS 125 Previous: Honda Africa Twin CRF 1000 DCT, KTM 950 SE, KTM 950 Adv, Aprilia 650 Pegaso Trail, BMW G450X, Husqvarna 350FE, KTM 690RFR
Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Old Mill Drift -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=234804.0
 

Offline BiG DoM

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2019, 10:09:56 pm »
Great stuff - thanks  :ricky: :ricky:
"Love is the feeling you get when you like something as much as your motorcycle" - Hunter S. Thompson

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Offline DR BIG 750

Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #32 on: March 15, 2019, 05:19:15 am »
Great weekend, well done,
where did you get the mirrors u have fitted  on your bikes
twin shox, twin drum air cooled
 

Offline Minxy

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2019, 10:11:38 am »
Great weekend, well done,
where did you get the mirrors u have fitted  on your bikes

Folding mirrors you can get from Offroad Cycles in Pretoria :) Alternatively you can speak to Chris from Flying Brick.
*              ★.`.★   "I'm in love with a strict machine"  ★.`.★               *
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Current: Husqvarna 701, KTM 500, Honda LS 125 Previous: Honda Africa Twin CRF 1000 DCT, KTM 950 SE, KTM 950 Adv, Aprilia 650 Pegaso Trail, BMW G450X, Husqvarna 350FE, KTM 690RFR
Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Old Mill Drift -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=234804.0
 

Offline DR BIG 750

Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2019, 06:56:28 am »
 :thumleft:
twin shox, twin drum air cooled
 

Offline Minxy

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES! (Video Update)
« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2019, 08:03:40 am »
Finally had time to wrap up the video. It switches between me and HSK's cams a few times to get different perspective. Enjoy! :)



« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 01:08:18 pm by Minxy »
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Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Old Mill Drift -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=234804.0
 
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Offline JonW

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #36 on: April 04, 2019, 08:13:57 am »
Nice  :thumleft:
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Offline husky

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2019, 10:08:32 am »
Great report and wonderful weather and photos; thank you. Agree on the 500's.

The dinosaur sign is interesting - I have priced two versions of a Dino Park for SanParks at "Golden Gate" over the last two years - I never found out the exact site. As far as I know nothing has happened.
 

Offline OomD

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #38 on: April 04, 2019, 10:55:32 am »
Geez, got a few heart palpitations and flutterings watching that! Well done, and awesome report and vid. :thumleft:
 

Offline Minxy

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Re: Bucket List Item - Old Mill Drift Pass YES!
« Reply #39 on: April 04, 2019, 01:16:58 pm »
Thanks for the comments guys! :)

I've put the video on the front page as well so it doesn't get lost in the report.

Great report and wonderful weather and photos; thank you. Agree on the 500's.

The dinosaur sign is interesting - I have priced two versions of a Dino Park for SanParks at "Golden Gate" over the last two years - I never found out the exact site. As far as I know nothing has happened.

And regarding the dinosaur park, I think they've done a thing where you can view the fossils? I'm not sure, we just took a photo at the sign, but didn't really have the time to go look. We'll go explore a bit more next time :D This is definitely an area I can see myself coming to much more often. Next time we'll change things up and ride the pass from the other side.

And mmmm, need to go back soon! The 500's no doubt are the most enjoyable way to see this part of the world. As Johan and I were riding alone as a couple we really couldn't risk taking anything bigger anyway. But it all worked out for the best, the 500 adv's are the perfect weapon for this type of riding!
*              ★.`.★   "I'm in love with a strict machine"  ★.`.★               *
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Current: Husqvarna 701, KTM 500, Honda LS 125 Previous: Honda Africa Twin CRF 1000 DCT, KTM 950 SE, KTM 950 Adv, Aprilia 650 Pegaso Trail, BMW G450X, Husqvarna 350FE, KTM 690RFR
Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Old Mill Drift -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=234804.0