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Author Topic: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower  (Read 2918 times)

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Offline jaybiker

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Re: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #40 on: June 16, 2019, 08:26:47 pm »
Two fantastic ride reports in one!  As if the great pictures didn't tell the story, there's wonderful writing as well.!

Definitely the best RR since your last one Ri.  :notworthy:
 

Offline Ri

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Re: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #41 on: June 16, 2019, 08:30:36 pm »
Day 6

Today we head straight down the N7 towards Kamieskroon and over Kamies Pass. This is something both Keith and I want to do very much, and I happily cut out the Richtersveld section of the trip to save us some time.  This will be a slightly longer day with over 260 km to cover, but since more than half is on tar, we reckon we can easily make it. We find a guest house in the middle of nowhere, and on enquiry they are quite happy for us to camp there.

Leaving Wilderness Camp










Did I mention how cold today is?




There is no fuel to be found in Vioolsdrift, and on the way to Steinkopf my bike stutters and chokes ominously with 360 km on the trip meter. I switch to reserve and crawl along at about 70 - 80 kph into a freezing wind, riding into another cold front that is sweeping the coast. Today's maximum is only 8 degrees. I reach Steinkopf on a gasp of fuel vapor, and fill up to find I had 1 liter of fuel left in the tank. The bike had managed 410km on a 21l tank. Not too bad, but can be improved, haha.

We also have a quick bite to eat, and a cup of coffee to warm us up.





« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 08:31:57 pm by Ri »
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Offline Ri

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Re: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #42 on: June 16, 2019, 08:32:58 pm »
Two fantastic ride reports in one!  As if the great pictures didn't tell the story, there's wonderful writing as well.!

Definitely the best RR since your last one Ri.  :notworthy:

Thanks @jaybiker, you make a girl blush :biggrin:
Tales of the Purple Turtles: Ride Reports
PROJECT SAS WILDEHOND III Contributions: R Snyman Capitec Savings Account 1545860511 Balance (2017/12/07): R3,190.23 - R1,600 for steel purchase
 
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Offline Tom van Brits

Re: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #43 on: June 16, 2019, 08:51:54 pm »
Baie dankie vir die deel, love die fotos!  :thumleft:
 

Offline cocky

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Re: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #44 on: June 16, 2019, 09:44:16 pm »
Lekker RR Ri, lees lekker saam!
Just because your past did not turn out like you wanted it to does not mean your marriage will not be better than you ever imagined it could be.
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Offline Ri

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Re: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #45 on: June 17, 2019, 10:15:16 am »
Thanks all, glad you are enjoying it!
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Offline Ri

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Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #46 on: June 17, 2019, 10:41:31 am »
The N7 to Kamieskroon feels longer than it is, and the wind bites at any exposed body parts, but I've learnt how to dress for cold riding, and I don't suffer... much. I'm wearing two buffs, one of which has a strip of polar fleece added to it, folded double over my head and face. I wear thin running gloves beneath my normal summer riding gloves, and I'm trying the trick of putting surgical gloves over the gloves. Can confirm - works like a bomb to cut wind chill on fingers. Unfortunately the thin surgical gloves I managed to score while my mom was in hospital, don't last and quickly start tearing.

I'm wearing a vest, 2 long sleeved tops, a t-shirt and a down jacket. The perk of riding in a men's riding suit - even a Small - it has lots of space for extras underneath.  Thick socks and leggings keep the lower limbs warmish. The fresh wind against my face while my body is nice and cozy is the best feeling in the world, and my head swivels from side to side as I inhale the sights of beautiful mountains surrounding us.

As we ride, I check out all the good looking gravel roads running alongside the N7. After all, I'll be back this way to check out Richtersveld.

Finally we reach the turn off to Kamieskroon and stop for a moment. It looks like a nice little town, but our sights are set on Kamiesberg and Kamies Pass, and soon we push on.










Kamies Pass is well used up to a point, and the road is in fair condition, if a little sandy, and there is a fair amount of local traffic.




We stop again for our tea brake, exhilarated to be in these beautiful mountains at last.












Tales of the Purple Turtles: Ride Reports
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Offline Ri

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Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #47 on: June 17, 2019, 10:51:13 am »
Then we mount our sturdy steeds again and head off to be astounded by ever growing beauty. I absolutely love mountains, and stopping at Klein Pella recalled the beauty of Kaokoland, but Kamies mountains are something else again - curve upon curve opening new vistas all the time


















I almost come to grief trying to take this photo. Keith is far ahead on the snaking uphill in the distance, and I'm waiting for the right moment to capture the scene when my bike starts rolling forward. Feet shuffling uncomfortably, unable to step on the back brake, both hands holding onto the camera, unable to reach a lever with a pinky, I teeter precariously off balance for a few moments. In my mind's eye I already see myself toppling over, when I somehow manage let go of something and somehow hit a brake - whether front or back, I honestly can't tell. Shaking with adrenaline, I breathe grateful thanks to my Maker, then pull myself towards myself and carry on.




This farm set up is so beautiful I had to capture it










During the last two days I notice a difference in Keith's riding. Instead of hitting a brake, slowing down and putting out the landing gear over rough sections, Keith instead stands up without seemingly slowing down. His general speed is slightly faster and more consistent as well. I ask him about this, and he says with the weight of his luggage becoming less he doesn't feel as unstable on the snaky sandy gravel. Instead of braking, he just gears down and carries on. I imagine our talks about momentum and loose gravel riding finding purchase, and privately I'm as proud as a mommy eagle who nudged the chick out the nest and sees it flying, although probably I had nothing to do with it. I'm just happy he is riding with more confidence now :ricky:
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Offline Herklaas

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Re: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #48 on: June 17, 2019, 10:53:07 am »
 :sip:Lees en ry lekker saam, ek sien daai Suzies het meer bagasie op as die average GA op 'n naweek trip.  :pot:
Jy skryf lekker, nerens is daar melding gemaak van 'n Skotse wyntjie so voor slaaptyd?, of het ek dit misgelees.  :bueller:
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Re: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #49 on: June 17, 2019, 10:53:49 am »
I'm so enjoying this RR. I grew up in Namaqualand. It's a special kind of place. The scenery is unique and its people are like no other.

Thank you.
 
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Offline Ri

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Re: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #50 on: June 17, 2019, 01:43:30 pm »
:sip: Lees en ry lekker saam, ek sien daai Suzies het meer bagasie op as die average GA op 'n naweek trip.  :pot:
Jy skryf lekker, nerens is daar melding gemaak van 'n Skotse wyntjie so voor slaaptyd?, of het ek dit misgelees.  :bueller:

Hei, ons was darem meer as 'n week op pad en geheel en al selfversorgend, nie net op 'n oorlaaide topbox-en-panniers naweekrit nie :deal:

Ek wou nog 'n versterkinkie inpak, maar met die verlore tyd vanweë die maagaandoening en die gejaag daarna, het dit agterweë gebly. En boonop is my metgesel 'n geheelonthouer. Ek het wel by Klein Pella 'n G&T geniet, en per ongeluk 'n "quart" by Viooldrift aangeskaf :drunken_smilie:
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 01:58:21 pm by Ri »
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Offline Ri

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Re: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #51 on: June 17, 2019, 01:57:06 pm »
I'm so enjoying this RR. I grew up in Namaqualand. It's a special kind of place. The scenery is unique and its people are like no other.

Thank you.

I downloaded and avidly studied tracks you posted on rides in the Namaqualand area. Couldn't make use of them during this trip, but a proper Richtersveld ride is already in the planning for next year. The admin lady at Klein Pella loaned me her personal book on the Richtersveld and it has fired my imagination!

The people are special. The family who hosted us at Platbakkies felt like friends after only a short time, they were so gracious and welcoming.
Tales of the Purple Turtles: Ride Reports
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Offline Ri

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Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #52 on: June 17, 2019, 02:30:26 pm »
Although the shadows are lengthening and the day is drawing to a close, I don't want this road to end. Keith is also completely bowled over by the majestic beauty of the area and thoroughly enjoying the compacted road surface.

Then, suddenly, on a forlorn corner in the middle of seemingly nowhere, we reach our destination for the night: Platbakkies Farm Retreat. It is on the corner of the R355 towards Springbok and the Kamies Pass road.










It is a gem of a place, elegantly and sparsely furnished in a type of art deco that does the neat little house justice. It boasts stylish bathrooms and bedrooms and a well appointed little kitchen, complete with kitchen cat, and honesty shop and bar with a range of beers and enticing jams. If I'd had the space, I would surely have taken home some of the jams. There is even Wifi!

Our hostess, Lizelle, has put out some KitKats and a packet of the amazing biltong to welcome us. There are also tiny fresh-baked rusks in the jar. I finish them all by morning. And since Keith is a vegetarian, the biltong is all mine :drif:

Lizelle tells us we can camp wherever we choose, and even fetches us camping mattresses, bless her! I help myself to a beer, and Keith and I relax on the stoep, unable to believe our luck in scoring this fantastic place to sleep over.

I set out my bedding and take a walk around to capture the lovely garden Lizelle has created in the past 4 years.






Some eclectic touches, but nothing overdone




How beautiful?!!




























Two young "windhond" pups being trained to hunt foxes and "rooikatte"



Tales of the Purple Turtles: Ride Reports
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Offline Ri

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Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #53 on: June 17, 2019, 02:52:09 pm »
While I'm studying the contents of the honesty fridge, deciding whether I can face the big choice cuts of vacuum-packed lamb at R100 per kilogram for dinner, and admiring the neat kitchen, Keith calls from outside to tell me one of the dogs are lying on my bed. I rush outside with the camera to take a picture, and notice that the dog's neck is bright red with blood. It scratches its ear energetically, causing more bright red droplets to fly all over my bedding. Ugh, I hate the sight of blood, and I have to sleep in that... !!!

Bloody dog




I rush the dog off my blanket and call out to the daughter of the house that her dog is hurt and bleeding, and at the same time shove my bloody blanket at her. She quickly grabs the dog to see what is going on, and reports back that it had got a nick in its ear. I'm glad nothing hectic is wrong, but still feel queasy at the red droplets all over my bivvy. Thankfully it is water - and blood- proof, and my shammy makes short work of mopping up the damp blood. I also wipe down the cement before it stains.


Kitchen cat










Lizelle kindly offers me a super soft blanket I can fold inside the down sleeping bag, as temperatures are set to reach 0 during the night.




As usual, we position our bedding for maximum sky view. The moon is only a sliver and about to disappear. Keith cooks a lovely dinner of couscous with pilchards while I let his daughter know that all is well, as he has trouble connecting to the Wifi. I chat to her on WhatsApp about our tour so far, and send her photo's of Keith cooking. When I mention our riding, she tells me her dad makes a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter look fast. Keith wryly admits that his driving speed is on par with his riding speed, due to his cautious nature.




« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 02:54:06 pm by Ri »
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Offline Ri

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Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #54 on: June 17, 2019, 03:03:00 pm »
I sleep like a baby on the camping mattress, wrapped up in the soft blanket, and only stir when Keith asks whether I'd like the customary pre-dawn cup of tea. After sipping it down, and marvelling at the meteorites still streaking across the sky, I fall asleep again. When the sun is up properly, we notice the frost on the motorbike seat. It had really been cold during the night.






Another crispy, beautiful winter day dawns






Lizelle takes us around the house to her personal garden, a welcoming and peaceful space at the back of the house, with a wind pump vane for shade over the garden table. When she hands me back my polar fleece blanket, it is soft and smells of summer.

The place has a fascinating history, and we thoroughly enjoy our chats with Lizelle and Dawie, her husband. The drought is harsh and things look bleak, but for now they are carrying on. The winter veld has gotten enough rain to carry their livestock, but the summer grazing is dry as dust.
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Offline 0012

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Re: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #55 on: June 17, 2019, 03:17:36 pm »
sjoe ry ek nou vreeslik lekker saam!!!
Sien uit na die volgende episode   :ricky:


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Offline Ri

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Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #56 on: June 17, 2019, 03:31:29 pm »
Day 7

We are sad to say goodbye, having thoroughly enjoyed our stay here at Platbakkies, but we have to reach Calvinia today, and @Hinksding had invited us for coffee when we pass through Loeriesfontein.




















Time for a tea break










I really don't know why I let Keith have the camera... ::)








We finally reach the short tar road outside Loeriesfontein, and slab it to Christoffel's place




@Hinksding has a beautiful house, and offers us a very welcome cup of coffee. We can't chat long as we still have to reach Calvinia, but it is fun to meet a far away WD whom I've only read about - thanks for having us!


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Re: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #57 on: June 17, 2019, 03:35:46 pm »
 Lizelle and Dawie, her husband.

Lizelle is die dogter van n goeie vriend van my. :thumleft:
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Offline Ri

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Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #58 on: June 17, 2019, 03:39:10 pm »
Then it's the final long stretch to Calvinia. Luckily we are travelling towards the east now, and the sun is setting to our backs, as opposed to earlier in the week when we were riding into the sun. Keith's helmet doesn't have a peak, and I felt very sorry for him during our late afternoon rides when the sun was close to the horizon.










Far off Secretary bird attacking a snake or something in the veld








Late in the afternoon we reach our final resting place for this tour (well, mine anyway) - Kleinplasie, just outside Calvinia. Keith still has to travel home for 2 more days.

I couldn't have chosen a worse spot. It is near the R355 towards Williston and there is a lot of traffic. There isn't a shred of green to be seen anywhere, and a loud taxi-load of people arrive from Eersterivier to stay in the cottages. We can't book for breakfast because it's all booked out to these people. In a huff, I head out of the gate and start collecting wood for a fire later in the evening.










Facilities are neat and clean, and the warm water has tremendous pressure, a saving grace










Keith starts chatting to the Eersterivier people and they turn out to be an interesting bunch - they're here to attend a church conference, says one lady with a sigarette hanging from her lips.

Another omie tells us he is 80 years old, and recently lost sight in his right eye and also lost 15kg weight in the last 6 months, he doesn't know why. He used to be a body builder, and had been Mr South Africa in his day and had competed against Arnold Schwarzenegger. Keith later wonders about the veracity of these statements, and I Google the omie Isaacs. True's bob, he really ways. Amazing!

David Isaacs

https://www.google.com/searchrls=en&q=david+isaacs+bodybuilder&tbm=isch&source=univ&client=safari&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjDisDMz_DiAhVIThUIHZBzA4oQsAR6BAgFEAE&biw=1280&bih=689#imgrc=A_yjKephyvCBRM:

With Arnie, back in the day https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CT1Sn8nUcAEm6r3.jpg


And this omie barely as tall as I am!!
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 03:46:39 pm by Ri »
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Offline Ri

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Re: Northern Cape Crawl (1 - 8 June 2019): Slow and Slower
« Reply #59 on: June 17, 2019, 03:40:13 pm »
Lizelle and Dawie, her husband.

Lizelle is die dogter van n goeie vriend van my. :thumleft:

Pragtige mense! Ek sal graag weer daar gaan kuier as ek geleentheid kry :thumleft:
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 03:49:40 pm by Ri »
Tales of the Purple Turtles: Ride Reports
PROJECT SAS WILDEHOND III Contributions: R Snyman Capitec Savings Account 1545860511 Balance (2017/12/07): R3,190.23 - R1,600 for steel purchase