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Author Topic: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass  (Read 620 times)

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Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2021, 01:01:32 pm »
We tried the Old Mill a few years back, when it was in slightly (a lot) better condition - we made it as far as the first section of sloppy rock after the baby-head boulders and gave up and left with tails between our legs......

Well 2 of the party were happy to continue, but they were on a XR650R and a WR400...

We opted out, but we were on R1200GS Adventures......

Methinks maybe the wrong tool for the task.......?  :imaposer:

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Offline m0lt3n

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Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2021, 01:05:24 pm »
Also saw this on Facebook.

I really want to go do OMD again, seems like it should be sooner than later, and probably already postponed for to long.

Thanks for sharing
(cant believe they are asking R200 per bike! robbery)
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Offline BuRP

Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2021, 02:22:08 pm »
I really want to go do OMD again, seems like it should be sooner than later, and probably already postponed for to long.

Look m0lt3n, I see you ride a 990 - if you go down this pass, so up on the 'grassy' easier side (there's a sign somewhere, forgot what it looks like) then I reckon a good rider (I am not one!) could do this on a big bike!
Jump the steps to avoid sump-damage, possible due to enough runoff space downhill, and the rest is downhill, easier I think..... but that is only when you make that 'grassy' side's uphill!
But eh, going alone now I think is a fckng crazy idea not such a good idea (had to think of Xpat here  :P )

@Amsterdam & @2StrokeDan & Marc, no idea how handy riders you all are, but I will not risk myself or my 890 going up here - or down, it's why I have a 500 and am glad I decided on that bike for this ride :thumleft:
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Offline BuRP

Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2021, 03:03:12 pm »
By the looks of it, it is now on par with "Rear Entry" to Baviaans.

Thanks TJ, another one I've never heard of, but if it's difficult then it's no Baviaans.... which I did on my 1150Adv and didn't even fall over  :P
I'll ask Martin, he may know about it and just may be tempted  :thumleft:
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Offline m0lt3n

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Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2021, 03:52:03 pm »
I really want to go do OMD again, seems like it should be sooner than later, and probably already postponed for to long.

Look m0lt3n, I see you ride a 990 - if you go down this pass, so up on the 'grassy' easier side (there's a sign somewhere, forgot what it looks like) then I reckon a good rider (I am not one!) could do this on a big bike!
Jump the steps to avoid sump-damage, possible due to enough runoff space downhill, and the rest is downhill, easier I think..... but that is only when you make that 'grassy' side's uphill!
But eh, going alone now I think is a fckng crazy idea not such a good idea (had to think of Xpat here  :P )

@Amsterdam & @2StrokeDan & Marc, no idea how handy riders you all are, but I will not risk myself or my 890 going up here - or down, it's why I have a 500 and am glad I decided on that bike for this ride :thumleft:

please dont tell me what I cant do


I have this certain sickness....


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Offline THROTTLE JOCKEY

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Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2021, 04:05:03 pm »
By the looks of it, it is now on par with "Rear Entry" to Baviaans.

Thanks TJ, another one I've never heard of, but if it's difficult then it's no Baviaans.... which I did on my 1150Adv and didn't even fall over  :P
I'll ask Martin, he may know about it and just may be tempted  :thumleft:

Mill route there is times to rest. Rear entry you mostly rest when you fall down  :biggrin: its a lot steeper in most sections and longer. Fun to say the least. Did both with my SE admittedly though the Mill route was in better condition. Rear entry on the other had on the down hill chugging in first gear the bike ran away with me caused by the rear locking up. I used clutch then some brakes front and back till I had none from the fluid boiling. Resulting in me through some emergency quick thinking being able to choose a small path to the right and subsequently a bush to stop. That was the downhill  :biggrin: the uphill roller coaster required a bit of close eyes and hit it.

A question though, I heard that the farmer had closed it off on the Clarence side after the rocky step downhill below the top gate is that so or is there non shotgun access? I think it was locked gate close to that missionary church.
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Offline BuRP

Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2021, 06:31:59 pm »
I heard that the farmer had closed it off on the Clarence side after the rocky step downhill below the top gate is that so or is there non shotgun access?

Nothing closed off (and no gates but for the top one, see pics, but it's just an old relic and there's no fencing anymore) on the entire Old Mill Drift Pass!  :thumleft:
Would be funny too because we paid an access fee, and were told that on the other end, she mentioned after ~15km's, we'd come to a dirtroad - and we did, that grassy side.


But, perhaps your story comes from somewhere else however close by: the 'higher route' along the river, the bit we did on Sunday morning, IS closed off.
This was at 'our' end, so furthest from the Caledon Border Post.
But it's by-passable on a bike if you wing it a bit, so we did. A large bike will have a problem though, probably needs to be manhandled (several men) across with care on the trench-side.

- On one end (I think this is the Clarens side where we exited this high-level track, our remainder was normal public farmroads and tar etc) a large and deep trench is dug across the road inbetween fencing, with the removed earth forming a wall allongside it.... so no cars can go through anymore. Bikes have two possibilities: a narrow (and hollow through some use) small 'damwall' across the trench followed by a tight 90-degree turn along that trench (precarious balancing required here!), or a banked curve at the end of it where you're supposed to hug the fence and aim it inbetween some trees, so here you just give it a bit.
If you drop it either place you'll fish your bike out of the water-filled trench though, and because of the depth you'll have a proper fishing job on your hands  :P

- On the other end, also across the road inbetween fencing, perhaps also a trench was dug .... but this is completely washed away, it's a wash now - which will stop any vehicle, it's that big! Some kind of steep earthen mountainside has a slippery dodgy track on it, perhaps for pedestrians, which for real plastics is probably doable, but we didn't like it at all, and if you drop it (likely...) you'll have a real problem. But, if you go back a bit you can ride the hill on the left, and somewhere there the fence is flat, we just rode over it, and then some downhill led us to the road again.

Sorry, no photos.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 06:57:06 pm by BuRP »
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Offline Noneking

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Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2021, 07:07:30 pm »
Lekker Bart
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Offline BuRP

Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2021, 08:12:21 pm »
Puik, sien uit na daai ding!  :thumleft:
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Offline BuRP

Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2021, 08:36:55 pm »
please dont tell me what I cant do


I have this certain sickness....

Don't do it.

Don't do it.

Don't do it..



... and post pics when you do please!  :lol8:

Seriously, I'll join you then so let me know, I'll be cheating and will take my 300  ;)
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Offline m0lt3n

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Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2021, 08:57:20 am »
please dont tell me what I cant do


I have this certain sickness....

Don't do it.

Don't do it.

Don't do it..



... and post pics when you do please!  :lol8:

Seriously, I'll join you then so let me know, I'll be cheating and will take my 300  ;)

my riding buddy is fitting new rims, new sticker kit and new indicators now...

he is refusing to join :(



I think he needs to just arrange that 990 swop with NK, and hand over his bike at the other end of OMD, then both parties are happy, myself being one of the two
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Offline THROTTLE JOCKEY

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Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2021, 09:57:20 am »
I heard that the farmer had closed it off on the Clarence side after the rocky step downhill below the top gate is that so or is there non shotgun access?

Nothing closed off (and no gates but for the top one, see pics, but it's just an old relic and there's no fencing anymore) on the entire Old Mill Drift Pass!  :thumleft:
Would be funny too because we paid an access fee, and were told that on the other end, she mentioned after ~15km's, we'd come to a dirtroad - and we did, that grassy side.


But, perhaps your story comes from somewhere else however close by: the 'higher route' along the river, the bit we did on Sunday morning, IS closed off.
This was at 'our' end, so furthest from the Caledon Border Post.
But it's by-passable on a bike if you wing it a bit, so we did. A large bike will have a problem though, probably needs to be manhandled (several men) across with care on the trench-side.

- On one end (I think this is the Clarens side where we exited this high-level track, our remainder was normal public farmroads and tar etc) a large and deep trench is dug across the road inbetween fencing, with the removed earth forming a wall allongside it.... so no cars can go through anymore. Bikes have two possibilities: a narrow (and hollow through some use) small 'damwall' across the trench followed by a tight 90-degree turn along that trench (precarious balancing required here!), or a banked curve at the end of it where you're supposed to hug the fence and aim it inbetween some trees, so here you just give it a bit.
If you drop it either place you'll fish your bike out of the water-filled trench though, and because of the depth you'll have a proper fishing job on your hands  :P

- On the other end, also across the road inbetween fencing, perhaps also a trench was dug .... but this is completely washed away, it's a wash now - which will stop any vehicle, it's that big! Some kind of steep earthen mountainside has a slippery dodgy track on it, perhaps for pedestrians, which for real plastics is probably doable, but we didn't like it at all, and if you drop it (likely...) you'll have a real problem. But, if you go back a bit you can ride the hill on the left, and somewhere there the fence is flat, we just rode over it, and then some downhill led us to the road again.

Sorry, no photos.


Thank you for this. This was clearly a  "interesting ride" well done





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Offline BuRP

Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2021, 11:31:30 am »
TJ, I just had to try find that Baviaans rear entry ride you mentioned on youtube - and found only this:



Is that a fair idea of what to expect?
Old already, 8 years, hence my question  ;)
Steep indeed...
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 11:32:42 am by BuRP »
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Offline BuRP

Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2021, 12:20:46 pm »
Forgot to mention this.
On Sunday morning we actually started first with a ride going right at Caledons Poort Border Post (we later did the left bit again and changed over to the High route) via a lodge's entry (forgot the name) - where we asked if we may go ride along the river (= border with Lesotho) over their land.
Martin has seen this place and was curious... leave it to him to find routes! :thumleft:
Very pleasant people at that (fancy, stables & all) lodge, and I hunch our matureness (lol) helped here: "Of course, but mind you, we've cleared only the first 3 kilometers so we dunno how good any of the rest it is!"
So, perfect, exactly what we wanted - this is an adventure forum after all innit?  :thumleft:

Past the stables onto the track, the first bit well maintained, it even has some concrete parts there where it is steepish.
Beautiful nature too, and it hugs the river sortof so nice views.
But then around a corner we found this, pics below - really a LOT of stipped, and what looked like NEW, power cables, and this lot looked very fresh!
We were the absolute first to ride over this mess, so 'fresh' took on a new meaning for me here.... and, it just bugged me that the power was off at the lodge, they were running a generator.
We carried on a bit, but during our first photo-stop I tried to phone the lodge..... 'number not in use!'  >:D
Shit, typical.... until I saw that the only network I had was Lesotho's!
Martin rode up ahead the track first but I decided to ride back, we weren't too far from the Lodge still - didn't tell Martin, sorry squire!  ;)

At the lodge the lady was unsure about this but told me they were on the genny because of Eskom's loadshedding - so we pestered the manager during him having breakfast: sorry mate!
He knew about this though, a few days old: they had informed the Police but they had not been there yet, and were unsure if they could remove it or not.
Anyone surprised here?  ???
Anyway, they were the cables from Fouriesburg's Pumping Station, obviously leaving this town high and dry!
The fggn Bastids!  >:D

Anyway, once I joined Martin again the ride was a lekker one without any real tricky bits, however if that Lodge wants to use it for 4x4's they'll have some work cut out for them  ;)
We finished it (it's not too long) and then we dove back into the 'left' side again.
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Offline Amsterdam

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Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2021, 01:28:05 pm »
I really want to go do OMD again, seems like it should be sooner than later, and probably already postponed for to long.

Look m0lt3n, I see you ride a 990 - if you go down this pass, so up on the 'grassy' easier side (there's a sign somewhere, forgot what it looks like) then I reckon a good rider (I am not one!) could do this on a big bike!
Jump the steps to avoid sump-damage, possible due to enough runoff space downhill, and the rest is downhill, easier I think..... but that is only when you make that 'grassy' side's uphill!
But eh, going alone now I think is a fckng crazy idea not such a good idea (had to think of Xpat here  :P )

@Amsterdam & @2StrokeDan & Marc, no idea how handy riders you all are, but I will not risk myself or my 890 going up here - or down, it's why I have a 500 and am glad I decided on that bike for this ride :thumleft:

That looks way too ambitious on the 890.  The 890 may on occasion feel like a small bike but the moment you have to lift/drag the thing you are reminded it weighs 200+ kgs.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 01:28:30 pm by Amsterdam »
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Offline THROTTLE JOCKEY

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Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2021, 12:38:41 pm »
TJ, I just had to try find that Baviaans rear entry ride you mentioned on youtube - and found only this:



Is that a fair idea of what to expect?
Old already, 8 years, hence my question  ;)
Steep indeed...

Thats him or her (bitch). Its is or was much worse the last time I went up. The first time (on my SE) it was like the video. Had a slight chuckle at just after 3 min in when he stops and he is out of breath. And thats on a Plastic! I will admit though going up the sheer power pulled me through in a lot of places but I payed for it with its weight on the way down. Then Escom/Telkom still went up in a Cruizer to the tower.

The last time it was much more washed with step ups on most of the concrete strips and even waist high ones on the rock outcrops that run across the track on the "flatter" sections about half way. I did it then on my CRF450f, had broken my ribs on a fall earlier that morning and it was hard work. Not because of the ribs, it was just HARD work. I heard from the farmers the day before that service crews where no longer gaining access to the tower by Cruizer but now flew in by chopper as it was not longer accessible by vehicle. This was 4 years ago!

Hope this does not deter you from doing it but rather wets the urge to conquer it. I have no idea what it is like now. Hell it might even be repaired but I doubt it. Will wait for your report back in anticipation.
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Offline THROTTLE JOCKEY

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Re: Caledons Poort river-hugging & Old Mill Drift Pass
« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2021, 12:46:12 pm »
TJ, I just had to try find that Baviaans rear entry ride you mentioned on youtube - and found only this:



Is that a fair idea of what to expect?
Old already, 8 years, hence my question  ;)
Steep indeed...

Another two things related to this video.

1. It gives you no idea on how steep that road actually is. The perception is that its rocky yes, but it is STEEP guys and rocky you will be left thinking how much more can this road go up? Unrelenting

2. No offense to the rider but he got it mostly right with momentum that you must not loose but he sat a lot. The secret here is to stand, pivot on those pegs so the hits coming from all sides do not throw you around too much forcing you off line. Attack it and keep attacking is the secret, be aggressive.
Ride it like you stole it!

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