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Author Topic: Straight to Heaven (Video Added)  (Read 2650 times)

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Offline Minxy

Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2020, 09:06:39 pm »
As I descend into the belly of the beast, I shalt have no fear, for I trust in my 500 to get me through this rocky monster. Teeth gritting, butterflies flying rapidly and that dreaded rollercoaster feeling in my stomach I ride down. It feels like the pass will never end and I keep on reminding myself to loosen my grip on the handlebars and just relax.






The road keeps winding, up and down.



When we finally make it to the bottom we stop under a beautiful tree, part of a fruit orchard of old. I immediately announce brunch break, and we sit and eat our energy bars in the cool shade. Im glad we took a short break, as we still had to cover the last rocky section of this unrelenting pass before we reached the bridge over the Olifants River.








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Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2020, 10:01:43 pm »
The road eventually leads us to Penge, an old mining village situated near the banks of the great Olifants River. There is a small Total garage here and we grab something cold to drink from the local spaza shop. The area was always known for its Andalusite, gold and platinum mining, but most of these operations have come to a standstill in recent years.













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Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2020, 10:10:45 pm »
Not far out of Penge we pass one of these large opencast mines on our way. It is apparent that it is not in use any longer as the road next to the mine is in terrible condition and there isnt a soul to be found. Here we find ourselves riding even more big boulders, any moment of hesitation sure to result in a fall.















At the end of this treacherous path we come across a gate leading towards some old mine buildings. A moment of dread hits me, what if its locked? Well have to retrace our tracks for quite a distance and time is ticking. Johan gets off his bike to look and by the devils own luck the heavy old iron gate is unlocked and we simply push it open and we make our way through.






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Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline Mikie

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Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2020, 07:49:15 am »
Dont stop now  :ricky:
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Offline Minxy

Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2020, 11:41:04 pm »
Soon we cross the Olifants River yet again following the scenic dirt road winding all along the river past the village of Ga-Mokgotho where we are met with waves from curious children and local people who probably arent used to seeing so many motorbikes coming through the area.

From here on we ascend up another rocky pass, only slightly less challenging than the one near Penge we did earlier.





















Going up the rocky track I try my best not to stop or lose momentum. Though these routes have been traversed on bigger adventure bikes before, I really do not recommend tackling these trails unless you are a VERY experienced rider. We enjoy the simplicity and lightness of the smaller adventure bikes on technical terrain, and also the ease of getting out of sticky situations. With a lighter adv bike there is much more room for error and even if you do suffer a fall, at least you only have 100kg falling on your leg, instead of 200kg plus :P .

I tried to find the name of this pass (which forms part of the African Ivory Route) without success and asked a fellow adventurer who has travelled the area before whether he knows the name. He didnt, but subsequently dubbed it, No-name Pass, or the Pass name of which shall not be spoken. Is it nearly as eerie as it sounds, well maybe a little bit?


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Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2020, 08:35:38 pm »
When we reach the southern Lekgalameetse Reserve gate again we turn west, in the opposite direction of the river road we came from in the morning. We ride under the canopy of the lush green trees down a fairly overgrown track with a couple of rocky surprises.









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Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline Sheepman

Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2020, 06:11:55 am »
Lovely area......lovely ride  :thumleft:
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2020, 09:29:40 pm »
Once we climb up from the canopies of the trees we ascend the rolling green hills going towards an area of the reserve named The Downs. Though the loop I traced on the GPS only came down to around 140km, it was by no means a short day, most of the terrain had kept us quite busy and there were still a few challenges left.











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Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2020, 09:54:32 pm »
More unnamed passes cut into the green hills were ascended and all of us started to feel weve worked quite hard today, with concentration levels slowly dwindling.









When waiting on a rocky hill Johan was nowhere to be seen, just when we wanted to turn around to see if everything is ok we heard his 500s motor grumbling along. Johan had lost focus on the road for just one moment, and nearly went over the ledge, a rude awakening which just shows there is no room for error when exploring remote trails such as these. After all, no one said climbing the staircase to heaven would be easy and we carefully navigated some of the last remaining obstacles on our path.








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Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2020, 10:09:06 pm »
Near the end of our route we stop at the ruins of Orries son, Paul Baragwanaths homestead and ruminate at how amazing it must have been living in this glamorous Garden of Eden.

































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Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2020, 10:27:17 pm »
We also visit the Baragwanath family burial site located on top of a hill near the summit of the Orrie Baragwanath Pass. Mr Orlando Orrie Baragwanath made his riches prospecting in Rhodesia and Zambia where he was known as the Copper King. Upon his return he settled down and farmed in the part of Lekgalameetse known as The Downs, where he built most of the roads, the well-known Orrie Baragwanath pass being named in his honour. Mr Baragwanath lived in the area until he passed away at the ripe old age of 101 years in 1973. His last wish was to have this piece of heaven donated back to the people and the reserve as we know it today was established in 1984.






More ruins sighted along the way.





On our way back to the chalets I think of our journey as a pilgrimage through this place of otherworldly beauty. As someone who has travelled quite extensively through South Africa in recent years, I still hold true that this lush, green heaven is one of the countrys best kept secrets. We hope to be back soon and discover even more spectacular trails in these picturesque mountains.





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Current: KTM 950SE, 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 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2020, 08:59:29 am »
We also visit the Baragwanath family burial site located on top of a hill near the summit of the Orrie Baragwanath Pass. Mr Orlando Orrie Baragwanath made his riches prospecting in Rhodesia and Zambia where he was known as the Copper King. Upon his return he settled down and farmed in the part of Lekgalameetse known as The Downs, where he built most of the roads, the well-known Orrie Baragwanath pass being named in his honour. Mr Baragwanath lived in the area until he passed away at the ripe old age of 101 years in 1973. His last wish was to have this piece of heaven donated back to the people and the reserve as we know it today was established in 1984.






More ruins sighted along the way.





On our way back to the chalets I think of our journey as a pilgrimage through this place of otherworldly beauty. As someone who has travelled quite extensively through South Africa in recent years, I still hold true that this lush, green heaven is one of the countrys best kept secrets. We hope to be back soon and discover even more spectacular trails in these picturesque mountains.






What a great read, have always wondered about the Baragwanath family. What a site to be laid to rest !
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Offline Noneking

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Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2020, 08:11:35 am »
Penge Pass... You will not find this pass on Mountain Passes SA website and it is reserved for only the most adventurous of travelers, especially if you wish to traverse it on a bigger bike. The pass basically comprises of unrelenting, big loose rocks, with extremely steep descents, and then more and more rocky switchbacks as you travel down the mountain (ridden north to south).











We rode it other way round, i.e. South - North or 'up'
Must count as one of the toughest if not the toughest rides I've done on a big bike. Relentless rocky climbs that took everything out of me in the summer heat.

&t=14s
« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 08:12:17 am by Noneking »
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Offline Minxy

Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2020, 04:40:04 pm »
@Noneking , we'd like to ride the pass in the direction you guys did next time, but with the 500. I am absolutely in awe of how you guys rode that route on the big bikes!

We also just returned from our trip to the West Coast and where we travelled all along the Botswana border and the Orange River with the 4x4. Talking about extreme passes, you guys should really give Road to Hell a go. I don't think anyone has ever successfully completed it on a big bike? It looks badass!
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Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline BLK

Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2020, 05:06:00 pm »
Great pics and RR,thanks.
 

Offline Noneking

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Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2021, 03:56:52 pm »
@Noneking , we'd like to ride the pass in the direction you guys did next time, but with the 500. I am absolutely in awe of how you guys rode that route on the big bikes!

We also just returned from our trip to the West Coast and where we travelled all along the Botswana border and the Orange River with the 4x4. Talking about extreme passes, you guys should really give Road to Hell a go. I don't think anyone has ever successfully completed it on a big bike? It looks badass!

Big bikes actually behaved quite well, just final climb was a bit of a battle..........
What I like about the big bikes on routes like these is that they don't get thrown off line like I've experienced on small bikes. But yes.... the 500s are actually a better tool for these kind of rides
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2021, 01:10:38 am »
What a nice report and a nice ride in such an amazing place.

I used camped at The Downs and on the neck half way along the Penge pass for many years with our caving club, but not in the last 15. It is so nice to see the black whattle forests all pretty much gone. At one point they overwhelmed the areas around the farmhouse.
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Offline Minxy

Re: Straight to Heaven
« Reply #37 on: July 19, 2021, 10:12:44 pm »
Reviving this Ride Report as I finally bothered to make the video :biggrin:



Part 2 coming soon!
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Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Online 2StrokeDan

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Re: Straight to Heaven (Video Added)
« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2021, 10:33:38 pm »
I really enjoyed this again, just now, and especially after NoneKing and Chopperpilot took us to some of these areas, not Penge unfortunately, but to Orrie's pass, his old homestead, and Orlando's grave site.

Indeed some of SA's most scenic parts.
 

Offline Noneking

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Re: Straight to Heaven (Video Added)
« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2021, 11:11:12 pm »
Reviving this Ride Report as I finally bothered to make the video :biggrin:



Part 2 coming soon!
Lekker video!
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