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Author Topic: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure  (Read 4838 times)

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Offline Minxy

Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« on: June 01, 2019, 07:51:45 pm »
Sooooo we haven't taken any real leave since we traveled through Namibia last year (which turned out to be a bit of an epic fail with my bike breaking...) and we thought this year we'd do something more easy going, just to get away. The plan is to ride down to Capetown from Pta, leave the bikes there, fly back to Pta, work for a week or two and then return to ride our bikes back up via a different route later on.

We were really busy with work which left us with extremely little time to prepare for the trip. I sold my Africa Twin a while ago when I considered getting a 790R. That didn't quite work out as intended and HSK said I could use his Super Enduro for our ADV trips. I love the 950SE which was a favourite of mine a few years ago (still regret selling it) and I was very excited to be riding one again.


HSK literally packing and preparing the bike last minute the evening before the trip.




When embarking on an extended adventure trip be sure to only pack the" essentials" :imaposer:

Day 1 - Pretoria to Red Sands Lodge


Ready to go!


And just 1km from the house where we stopped to fuel up, we realized the 990's fuel hose was not connected on the one tank. Luckily that was fixed quickly and we were finally on our way.


The first day was just over 500km tar all the way to the Red Sands Lodge near Kathu. We had limited time and thought we'd cover this boring stretch as quickly as possible. Not many photo's were taken.




The 950SE is just too sexy!!! 8)


Beautiful Kalahari sunset.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 08:16:49 pm by Minxy »
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Offline Noneking

Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2019, 07:59:00 pm »
Sub
2006 HP2 Enduro 1229
2019 KTM 790 R

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Offline VaalBaas

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Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2019, 08:02:43 pm »
Gooi :thumleft:
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Offline Offshore

Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2019, 08:31:49 pm »
 :thumleft: :ricky:
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2019, 08:53:52 pm »
Day 2 - Red Sands to Kenhardt

The first 500km of tar on day 1 was no fun task and I was grateful to have packed my riding shorts and airhawk pillow :imaposer: Yes, I know, I know... Luckily from today on wards our trip would include as much dirt as possible.


We start early morning and hit a bit more tar, stopping for fuel at Oliefantshoek. The first stretch of dirt starts on the road heading to Witsand.

When planning our route through the Karoo I looked at plotting some interesting things for us to see on the way. Now, HSK and I have a habit of always throwing ourselves into the deep end with pretty much everything we do, so I just had to spice things up by including the only proper mountain pass this side of the Karoo;

From Mountain Passes SA
Bergenaarspad Pass:
"Roughly translated, the name of this pass means road of the mountain people. It is located in the middle of nowhere, about 56 km from Postmasburg and quite close to the famous Witsand Nature Reserve. The pass statistics are not particularly impressive, with the exception of the maximum gradient, which works out in excess of 1:3; there is a 400-meter-long section of this pass which is very, very steep! The road is in a relatively poor condition, and it should not be attempted in a normal car; at the very least, a high-clearance vehicle is required. It is very easy to get lost in this part of the world, even if you are using a GPS, as many of the public roads are blocked by locked gates."

We turn from the main Witsand road onto this much less traveled gravel track which becomes rougher and rougher as we approach the pass. We stop to deflate our tyres as the bikes are a bit bouncy over the rocks with all our luggage.














Just after the rocky bits a concrete section. This just gets weirder and weirder. I love finding gems like this in the middle of nowhere.

     
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Offline Minxy

Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2019, 09:24:10 pm »
We get to the end of the pass and back onto the sandy dirt highways. A lot of our trip through the Karoo would consist of just riding hundreds of kilometers on these type of roads. There's a certain beauty about this place, the nothingness. I cannot even remember encountering traffic along the way.










Nature is weird. Plenty of these birds nests on the old telephone poles along the way.




Some of the more sandy tracks we encountered on the way. The SE being a total badass beast of a bike, didn't let up one bit and chowed them all for breakfast.


Beautiful red Kalahari dunes.

We briefly stop at Groblershoop to top up on fuel. We wanted to get a bite to eat but didn't see any obvious places and decided to push on.
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Offline Minxy

Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2019, 09:55:13 pm »

Crossing the great Orange River near Groblershoop.

We eventually make our way towards Putsonderwater, the renowned ghost town, stopping at this old abandoned house on the way. Such rich history in this area!





This place is spooky, but we just have to stop and explore a bit. Most of the places look like they've been abandoned for a long long time, but there seems to be some revival happening and some of the places look like they might be getting fixed up and made livable again.
















And just outside the town, an old church with its doors shut tight.



I was curious as to the history of this ghost town and found this info online:

"The early history of the small settlement is not entirely clear but it appears that in the 1880s a man possibly David Ockhuis set himself up in the area then known as Klippan. When other thirsty trekboers arrived in the area with their stock, David would exclaim that he had dug a well but it had no water.

When the area was eventually split into two, one part was named Putsonderwater and the other Middelkla.

When John Connan took over the farm, his two daughters ran the farm shop and when they married, ones husband farmed sheep and the other became the station master.

Now John Connans great grandson, Michael Loubser, is the official owner of Putsonderwater, and as his forefathers did, he still farms sheep.

Michael Loubser and his son, now a fifth-generation inhabitant of the area, hope they can restore the village and attract more visitors.

An attractive interdenominational church built outside the village in 1957, as well as a huge kraal, point to a time when the trains stopped to pick up cattle.

The villages decline began when drought after drought brought t he cattle trade to an end and the passenger trains also stopped.

Then the police station and post office closed, followed by the hotel and general dealer, as people left the village, many going to Marydale.

Finally, the freight trains had no need to stop at the station.

However, the primary school kept going up until 2004, thanks to the efforts of Ena Hough, but it also closed.

She went on pension and because there was no electricity, no water and no housing, and no one was prepared to travel from Marydale, the village finally died.

As a final act of hope, she had the school painted and put signs in the windows asking people not to break the glass, but by that time, vandals had stripped the buildings, broken all the windows and the floors had all been removed."



We leave Putsonderwater and continue towards the town of Kenhardt where we'll spend the night.
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Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2019, 10:26:12 pm »
Lekke!!! :thumleft: :drif:
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Offline Minxy

Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2019, 11:26:28 pm »
At Kenhardt we book ourselves into a guesthouse which used to be the towns local school hostel. Of course, as KTM riders we get the orange room by default.



The guesthouse only serves breakfast the following day and we are starving, having skipped lunch at Groblershoop. We snack on our last tankbag munchies until the Kenhardt Hotel opens for dinner. I hop on the back of the 990 and we pop into town. All is quiet except for a couple of rowdy locals walking from the shebeen. We pull into the hotel and order some Karoo lamb chops. The food is absolutely delicious! I neglected to take photos, but there's many names on the wall and we spot Doctor KLR from the KLR Clan's riding shirt. It seems many a Wilddog has come past here! :D


Anyway, time to get some sleep. Verneukpan awaits!
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Offline katana

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Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2019, 06:03:45 pm »
I am along for the ride.  Lekker.
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Offline Lem

Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2019, 08:05:29 pm »
Hierdie lyk belowend . Gooi  :deal:
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2019, 09:40:47 pm »
Lekker!!

Shout if you need a room for a night or 3 in Stellenbosch.
 

Offline ETS

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Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2019, 09:09:32 am »
Sorry you 2 missed us on this one. However, the invitation remain open :thumleft:
If i had to explain you would not understand anyway......
 

Online Firecoast

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Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2019, 09:29:43 am »
Ek loer graag!
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Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2019, 09:48:53 am »
Awesome!
that pass looks brilliant - I will be heading that way at some point....

AND I know about a 950SE coming up for sale if there is an interest.......  8)
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Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2019, 10:59:25 am »
I'm also keeping an hawk's eye on this report

Thanks for sharing  :thumleft:

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Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2019, 11:49:33 am »
Groblershoop KLK has absolutely brilliant dagwoods with great milkshakes! My mond water sommer nou weer. Good on you for finding that pass, I only found it on our last trip after about 7 trips in the area
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Offline Minxy

Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2019, 01:05:23 pm »
Lekker!!

Shout if you need a room for a night or 3 in Stellenbosch.

Maybe on our return trip. Dates are not set in stone yet. Our bikes are being serviced in the Cape as we speak. We actually slept at another friends place in Stellenbosch, Sandrot on the forum. Would be nice! Let's keep in touch :thumleft:

Sorry you 2 missed us on this one. However, the invitation remain open :thumleft:

Yes, we also just missed you! Hope your leg is healing well? Can't believe those pesky kudu's!!! We had a springbokkie run in front of us just after Verneukpan and I couldn't help but think of you :O
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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 Thunderlinde

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Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2019, 02:17:14 pm »
Nice report so far!

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Re: Trans Karoo, Going Postal and a Return Adventure
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2019, 02:20:11 pm »
lekker lekker   :ricky:

gooi, ons ry saam


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