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Author Topic: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala  (Read 687 times)

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Offline Minxy

Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« on: July 12, 2019, 11:30:20 am »
Sooooo HSK and I have really been on a bucket list high this year! :ricky: On our recent Cape Trip I got to tick The Old Postal route and a bit before that, the notorious Old Mill Drift Pass.

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=237656.20
Trans Karoo

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=234804.0
Old Mill Drift

The 23 Rivers happened somewhere in-between those two trips in early May and I can finally report on our epic experience. I've got some incredible video footage which I cannot wait to put together.

If you google 23 Rivers literally nothing pops up. I only came to learn of this magical route right here on the forum. A couple of brave adventure riders have undertaken this route before and I read all their ride reports in complete wonder and awe. Such a mysterious and wonderful route through one of the most beautiful places in our country and nobody knows about it! I like to place this in the 'niche' adventure bracket which includes forgotten/obscure old passes/roads, really bordering on 'extreme adventure', so I guess it only appeals to a certain type of adv rider.

As we love exploring and riding off the beaten track, we have actually eyed this for a while, but never had an opportunity to undertake it, as we felt it was a bit dangerous to go on our own due to the remote location and extreme difficulty to get a 4x4 vehicle in for emergency recovery (as we'd find out later on). Lucky for us, we met @malmens gerrit on our Xmas Xtreme ride http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.msg4191457#msg4191457 ,where we slept over at Oppie Oewer. Gerrit mentioned that he knows the 23 Rivers route extremely well and has recently been offering this as a guided trip. Yay, no more excuses, lets go!? :D :) :D

We get a couple of friends on board, commit to a date, get our bikes ready (the totally badass 500s of course) and Gerrit sends us a couple of photos of the route just to get our excitement levels up.


This is Orrie Baragwanath Pass, we'll be going down this time to the starting point of 23 Rivers.






This is on the actual 23 Rivers route, some nice rocky terrain to navigate. On this part of the route we'll be doing 23 River crossings over the Mohlapitse River and one over the errrr (help me with the name please Gerrit) :P After we navigate the rivers we ride through the beautiful Wolkberg and forest surroundings. Can't wait!!!
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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
 

Online MonkeyNot

Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 11:34:27 am »
Sub!

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Online malmens gerrit

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Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 12:14:45 pm »
The Ashton river Minx
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Online Noneking

Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2019, 06:28:30 am »
Fantastic trip indeed. Fortunate to have been on two 23 Rivers trips with Gerrit and we arrived at Gerrits Oppi Oewer in Tzaneen last night for a Serala/Wokberg reserve ride today.

Looking forward to your report!
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NONEKING'S RIDE REPORTS - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=226099.0
 

Offline Zanie

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Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2019, 10:04:52 pm »
Sub. Looks 'interesting'...  :biggrin:
 

Offline OomD

Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2019, 08:57:35 am »
sub Sub SUB! :ricky:
 

Online Black_Hawk

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Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 01:52:58 pm »
Ek loer ook hier  :sip:
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Offline Hondsekierie

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Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2019, 06:31:15 pm »
Fantastic trip indeed. Fortunate to have been on two 23 Rivers trips with Gerrit and we arrived at Gerrits Oppi Oewer in Tzaneen last night for a Serala/Wokberg reserve ride today.

Looking forward to your report!

I think few people realize what an incredible experience it is to go on Gerrit's trips (his local knowledge is endless and so the riding).  He has no pretense and is just a passionate biker, a genuine guy that spare no effort catering for all and last, but not least, a complete fuckin hooligan on his bike - kortbroek and all  :ricky:

All I can say is, fellow bikers, book yourself a trip to Oppie Oewer and go ride some of his trips - anything from green to black routes available, but all beautiful, scenic and fun.

@ Minxy - once you're out of the kitchen I need to see you getting on with this RR  :peepwall:
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
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"
 

Online MonkeyNot

Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2019, 06:56:28 pm »
Fantastic trip indeed. Fortunate to have been on two 23 Rivers trips with Gerrit and we arrived at Gerrits Oppi Oewer in Tzaneen last night for a Serala/Wokberg reserve ride today.

Looking forward to your report!

I think few people realize what an incredible experience it is to go on Gerrit's trips (his local knowledge is endless and so the riding).  He has no pretense and is just a passionate biker, a genuine guy that spare no effort catering for all and last, but not least, a complete fuckin hooligan on his bike - kortbroek and all  :ricky:

All I can say is, fellow bikers, book yourself a trip to Oppie Oewer and go ride some of his trips - anything from green to black routes available, but all beautiful, scenic and fun.

@ Minxy - once you're out of the kitchen I need to see you getting on with this RR  :peepwall:

Ditto on Gerrit and Oppie Oewer!
and @Minxy you better not forget his damn sandwich  :pot: :peepwall:
Current: KTM 950 Super Enduro R,  KTM 500 XCW-F
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Offline Minxy

Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2019, 07:09:19 pm »
 :peepwall:
*              ★.`.★   "I'm in love with a strict machine"  ★.`.★               *
www.facebook.com/barbara.muszynski/ Hit follow!
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

Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2019, 08:19:00 pm »
So excited, and a little bit nervous (water crossings are not my strong point haha) :imaposer: We'd be riding the mighty 5 liters, the best bikes for this type of terrain no doubt.

We packed everything, got the bikes on the trailer, and made our way to Tzaneen on the shortest route possible the Thursday afternoon. The original plan was to have a warm-up first by doing the Serala/Wolkberg route on Friday, then the 23 Rivers on Saturday. Gerrit let us know though, that forestry would be busy on the Serala route Friday and we'd have to swap our plans around. Ok lets get thrown into the deep end head first with no warm up, right :D :ricky:




We are a fairly small group, ideal for this type of ride where there isn't much time to waste. Myself, HSK, Monkeynot and Anton are riding the 5 liters. Dave is on the 690 and Louwrens (whose bike broke down before this trip) was going to use Gerrits BMW 450. Gerrit, our guide would be riding the 990,I know, I know! 8)
*              ★.`.★   "I'm in love with a strict machine"  ★.`.★               *
www.facebook.com/barbara.muszynski/ Hit follow!
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 Roadhawg

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Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2019, 08:40:17 pm »
Just for clarity, 500cc is half a litre, not 5L  :biggrin:
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 08:48:41 pm by Roadhawg »
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Offline Minxy

Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2019, 08:44:33 pm »
Just for clarity, 500cc is half a litre, not 500L  :biggrin:

Shhhhhhhhh, 5 liter sounds so much better than point 5L :P :imaposer: :pot: :spitcoffee:
*              ★.`.★   "I'm in love with a strict machine"  ★.`.★               *
www.facebook.com/barbara.muszynski/ Hit follow!
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 Roadhawg

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Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2019, 08:49:05 pm »
Just for clarity, 500cc is half a litre, not 500L  :biggrin:

Shhhhhhhhh, 5 liter sounds so much better than point 5L :P :imaposer: :pot: :spitcoffee:

:imaposer: :thumleft: Fair enough

Stu
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Offline Minxy

Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2019, 09:48:11 pm »
We wake up early, have breakfast, and get ready to go. We have 30km or so on tar before we start hitting dirt and it is a fairly chilly ride, I'm just too glad I packed my rally jacket for this stretch. We stop at the garage and all get fuel.
Gerrit Juniors bike unfortunately gives up on us before we even begin our ride and refuses to start. It seems the spark plug was the problem and unfortunately we didn't have a spare :( I felt really sorry for him as he wanted to join us sooooo badly. Unfortunately this is not the type of route you can pillion on so Gerrit Junior has to return home with mum.



We got going and followed the dirt highways to the Lekgalameetse Nature Reserve where we had to sign in and pay a visitors fee. Lekgalameetse means "Place of Water", a fitting name for this place where many of the prominent rivers of the Lowveld originate from.




The first part that makes up Orrie Baragwanath Pass is tar. Beautiful and twisty going up through the mountains.


We stop to look at the waterfall situated in The Downs part of the reserve.


HSK, Louwrens and myself.


HSK and Anton

We don't have too much time to stop and take photos when we reached the beautiful plateau as we took a bit longer than expected to get going in the morning. I think this is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen (so far :) ).

The first time we did this pass on bikes I was on the Africa Twin and HSK on the 990. We did it from the other direction heading towards Tzaneen which means you get to do the difficult part going up. We rode the steep loose rocky pass and as we reached the top the dense forest just opened up and we were met with what was one of the most breathtaking views ever. We had the drone with us that time and I'd like to share these pics so you get an idea of how wonderful this place is. I will literally just pitch a gazebo and get married here, that's how much I love this place. Special, unspoiled wilderness.






*              ★.`.★   "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 McSack

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Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2019, 09:09:51 am »
*added to my list of rides to do.
It is like I am going to be following you and HSK around the country like a delayed-reaction stertjie over the next year :)
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Offline Minxy

Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2019, 10:14:32 pm »
We get to the gate. The rocky descent down the OB pass starts here. No pressure.


This is what it looks like.

This is what it feels like.


Ok, ok it's not that bad haha!  :imaposer:

This is also what it feels like when you finally reach the gate if you do the pass in the other direction :P


« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 10:15:45 pm by Minxy »
*              ★.`.★   "I'm in love with a strict machine"  ★.`.★               *
www.facebook.com/barbara.muszynski/ Hit follow!
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

Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2019, 10:37:16 pm »
The descent of the pass actually goes well. Really well. There's a lot of rocks, loose rocks, but they 500's float over them with ease. I do remember having one scary moment when the back wheel kicked out a little bit more than I was comfortable with, but luckily managed to save it just in time. Love it, the lighter bike is so much more forgiving.

We all get down the pass in one piece. This was just the warm up lol. I hug my beautiful 500. The other option was to bring the 701, but even that would have been hard work. The 500 really just makes the "afkak" rides into "fun" rides ;D



The pass is tough yes, but the fact that you are constantly riding so near the edge of the cliff just adds an extra level of "oh shit" to things. The best line, also happens to be on the blood side most of the time...

     

     
Myself & HSK


The natural beauty of this place...



As we couldn't keep stopping and taking photos all day I did record most of it on my video cam. Busy sorting through the video footage still and will add some more shots of OB pass tomorrow.
*              ★.`.★   "I'm in love with a strict machine"  ★.`.★               *
www.facebook.com/barbara.muszynski/ Hit follow!
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
 

Online MonkeyNot

Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 11:57:09 am »
This trip was so much fun  :ricky: :ricky: :ricky:
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Offline Zanie

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Re: Bucket List Ride - 23 Rivers, Wolkberg, Serala
« Reply #19 on: Yesterday at 10:18:13 pm »
Love it, the lighter bike is so much more forgiving.
The 500 really just makes the "afkak" rides into "fun" rides

This. The small bikes really changed my enjoyment of the rougher roads. It really does become a funduro.  :biggrin:

Beautiful pictures.