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Author Topic: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)  (Read 1675 times)

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Offline Ri

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2021, 09:39:34 pm »
Heading towards Sutherland










Eventually I reach the only tar I will travel today, until I reach my destination: I have enough fuel and don't need to turn towards Sutherland. I turn right towards Verlatenkloof and Matjiesfontein...




... but very soon I turn left towards Allemanshoek Pass










Ah, a closed gate.










And another one :)




Oh wait... is that a vampire gate?!!








It's the first time I've ridden this way, and the scenery is spectacular.




















Allemanshoek is in very good condition. The steep bits are covered in concrete and I'm glad I finally made a plan to ride this way.




The last gate




More adventure lies this way... Next time, for sure :ricky:








The sun is fading, throwing longer shadows. Suddenly my phone rings in the middle of nowhere - signal has found me. It is the lady I have an arrangement with to provide me with dinner, wanting to know where I am. "I'm on a bike", I tell her, "I'll be there soon"




Merweville finally appears on the horizon.




As I ride into town, a row of motorbikes parked on the left catch my eye. A hand waves at me from the stoep of the establishment. I wave back, without clue as to who it might be, and head towards my accommodation for the night, Springbok Lodge. I'm tired and want to set up tent and wash up, and then I'll make a plan for dinner.

At the Lodge, it turns out the camping spots are geared more towards caravans than two-person tents. I'm pointed towards a pile of rubber mats, and make myself comfortable.










« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 02:44:16 pm by Ri »
 
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Online VaalBaas

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2021, 04:51:24 am »
In plaas van loop werk, sit ek nou en saamtoer.....

Gooi maar nog fotos. Ons was lanklaas in daai omtes :thumleft:
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As ek nie gister gedoen wat ek gedoen het nie, het ek nie vandag geweet wat ek weet(en ek weet nog steeds nie wat ek doen)
 
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Offline Grunder

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2021, 05:56:26 am »
Jo! Baie mooi wereld daai
the Truth will offend at first
 

Offline Ri

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2021, 02:36:47 pm »
Jo! Baie mooi wereld daai

Eiesoortig. Mens kry net nie genoeg hiervan nie...
 

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2021, 02:41:02 pm »
Daai is net nie die mooiste kampeer spot wat ek al gesien het nie  :biggrin:
Little by little, one travels far
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Offline Ri

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2021, 04:28:31 pm »
Everything is covered in a find powdery dust that clings to you like that awkward relative you accidentally smiled at at a family event.

A muted roar alerts me to more motorbikes arriving, and it turns out to be Angus (Gus? Goose?) and a few pals doing basically the opposite of my planned route, coming from Baviaanskloof and riding through the Karoo tomorrow. I met him at the CRF 300L Not-a-Honda-launch. He tells me they were sitting on the stoep of the Goedkoper, where I plan to fetch dinner soon, when the lady who runs it worriedly told them of a lady rider travelling all by herself. They were speculating about Itchy Boots when I came snoring by, and the wave from the stoep was Angus pointing and saying, "Hey, I know her!"

I'm surprised at my unexpected ... umm... fame? Notoriety?




Check Angus' perfect 5th position ;D




Was it a good trip if you have to strip your bike later in the day to fix it?




The lady who runs Springbok Lodge didn't intend to make dinner for only one guest, me, and pointed me in the direction of Angela at Goedkoper coffee shop for sustenance. When Angus and his group booked accommodation though, they asked for dinner to be provided. I'm invited to join them, as there's more than enough food, and I phone Goedkoper to cancel my dinner appointment. Angela is fine with it but asks me to please come say hi in the morning as she's dying to meet this solo biker. I agree to have breakfast at Goedkoper.

My tent is on one side of the terrain, while my ablution facilities are at the other end, past all the rooms on the right hand side and adjacent to the caretakers' cottage. After I unpack my bike and set up my tent, I grab my toiletries bag and some extra clothes and head to my little bathroom for a clean up before dinner. But woe, there are obstacles to be overcome.

When I pass the newly-minted mechanics, Angus asks whether I'm good and I joke about how much I'd love a beer right now. He promptly and generously fetches a 500ml Castle Lite and pushes it into my hand. I find myself wondering whether this is left over from the Not-A-Honda-Launch - there had been a LOT of beer that day :o

I carry on with my journey and pass the two gents sitting by a cozy fire on which they plan to braai tonight. They are brothers in law or friends taking a break after COVID lockdown, trekking around the Karoo with their 4x4, and are planning to sleep over in Williston Mall the next evening. The omie on the left of the two promptly falls in love with me, inviting me to join them for dinner, telling stories of past exploits and not allowing me to carry on to my longed-for shower to the point his companion rolls his eyes at me. I laugh and cut him short, and head for my shower with beer in hand. 500ml is a lot of beer ...!!




I love this small and very functional bathroom with the shower over the loo. Very hygienic :) I have to play with the taps a bit to get the hot water to do my bidding, and spend a few moments tap-dancing under the thin stream trying to avoid either freezing or scalding drops.








Refreshed, I make my way back to my tent to put away my stuff, and then walk back to join the guys for dinner. Kallie, who owns Springbok Lodge, arrives and insists on giving us a tour of the very nice venue, and we all troop after him to view all the wonders contained in the Springbok Lodge.

The mozzie breeding facility swimming pool is not up to its usual standard, but it should be really lovely when it's fixed and ready.






Fire / braai places galore - the Lodge has no shortage of these, ready to give atmosphere and ambience to any gathering. This could be nice for a family gathering or other biggish event.






For something really festive, the huge tree at the back is filled with coloured lights, adding a disco flavour to the dusty night.






My new admirer insists on taking a photo of me - with my own camera - and my expression shows how absolutely thrilled I am to be captured. I'm still holding the never-ending beer. (Sorry guys, I mislaid the can that, like the widow's jar, never emptied).




Another bathroom with a lovely tile pattern on the floor. I think this one was made from a fuel tank stood on end. I really enjoy the Karoo inventiveness.




My ablutions are in a little rondavel adjacent to this cottage, behind the "windpomp", where the light is shining.




As you may have seen or read elsewhere, there is a locust plague around the Karoo and elsewhere in Africa, brought on by a perfect storm of years of drought, a smattering of rain and other factors. The locusts are on the move and they start arriving after dark, drawn to the light like...er...locusts drawn to the sun.




I love spiders and don't usually mind goggatjies and creepy crawlies, but locusts "gril" me out like few things can, worst things being cockroaches and fish moths. One day God is going to take me to task for destroying His handiwork, slamming cockroaches with my bare hand, and I'll humbly bow my head - mea maxima culpa! - but ugh, I cannot STAND cockroaches. And I cannot slam a fish moth because it does that horrible smear thing and keep on crawling :sad2:

But I digress.

After the Lodge tour, the omies march me to their fire and press a huge glass of red wine into my hand. I have to go though, dinner is being served, and they make me promise to join them again afterwards. Thankfully they're pretty "moeg" by this stage. When I walk out much later, they'd already gone to sleep, and the next morning they are gone before I can pack my tent.

Dinner is lovely lasagne and red wine smuggled by people with more foresight - and packing space - than yours truly.




I fall into uneasy slumber with all the bright lights around me. This place could host a day-night match. I have to visit the bathroom twice during the night, courtesy of the bottomless Castle Lite. As I crunch the chilly, gravelly kilometre (it feels like) to the bathroom, I wonder whether I'm waking the caretakers. If so, I muse with chilly satisfaction, stomping with a touch more intent, they probably wish they'd given me facilities closer to me.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 06:34:48 pm by Ri »
 

Offline Ri

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2021, 04:45:15 pm »
Daai is net nie die mooiste kampeer spot wat ek al gesien het nie  :biggrin:

Jip... ??? ... en jy sal my nie glo nie maar dis goedkoper om 'n kamer te kry as om te kampeer. Oom Kallie se prysstrukture is... vreemd. En ek het nie vooraf pryse gevra nie want hoe duur kan 'n kampeerplekkie in Merweville nou eintlik wees? :eek7:
 

Online VaalBaas

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2021, 03:57:28 am »
Sooo, het Merweville nie petrol nie of hoekom wag ons :biggrin: :lol8:
2006 Hp2 # 882 #1555 #1784 - 2008 R1200 GSA -  2009 R1200 S - 1998 R1200 C - 2020 RnineT Pure
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As ek nie gister gedoen wat ek gedoen het nie, het ek nie vandag geweet wat ek weet(en ek weet nog steeds nie wat ek doen)
 

Offline Ri

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2021, 09:17:45 pm »
Sooo, het Merweville nie petrol nie of hoekom wag ons :biggrin: :lol8:

Sorry Vaalbaas moes 'n bietjie werk en ander dinge doen... soos motorfiets ry :ricky:
 

Offline Ri

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2021, 09:48:48 pm »
Today is a short riding day and I'm not in a hurry. I move in a slow daze after my restless night, and all the other guests roar off before I'm ready to roll out of the Springbok Lodge
gates.

I head over to Goedkoper to say "hi" to Angela. She is delighted to meet me, and we start chatting. I ask for a big strong coffee and she brings me a big coffee press full of coffee strong enough to power an army, and a big jug of warm milk.... bliss. I order breakfast and a steaming plate arrives, with a basket of fresh toast alongside. All of this for barely R60 :eek7:

We talk for almost 2 hours, about city life vs small town life, security, freedom, community and more. The flaming flowers growing everywhere mesmerises me and I can't stop taking photo's. I watch the locals come and go, and listen with amused compassion as they come to pay their credit, or haggle for a few cents more to celebrate a birthday. This ou tannie turns 80 yrs old and peddles around on a bicycle so tall she can barely sit on the seat, but she is deep in debt, as most of them are. I understand why Goedkoper gives credit, but I reckon she isn't really doing them a favour. They still only have their grant income to spend, but now on top of that they also owe an entire month's grant money. Sigh.










You, too, can be a landowner in this beautiful little town if you buy this prize establishment, featuring a restaurant and guest rooms.








I finally tear myself away as the day warms up, and fill up at the dodgy-looking fuel station across from the shop.




I ride towards Prince Albert Road with the intention of turning towards the road that runs between Theekloof Pass and Leeu Gamka, but I miss it because my head is in the clouds, and end up riding tar all the way to Prince Albert Road. I'm not keen to arrive in Prince Albert via tar, and turn left on the N1 towards Leeu Gamka, and after 30km I turn right onto the dirt road that runs from the N1 to Prince Albert. It is a frisky day and there isn't much traffic to bother me. Soon Prince Albert appears against a glorious backdrop.




« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 11:10:19 pm by Ri »
 

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2021, 10:03:24 pm »
I fill up again and try to withdraw cash for tonight's accommodation, but the shop owner insists that he doesn't have cash to give me. Eish... I buy a sandwich or something and stop just outside Prince Albert to eat it next to the road. Econo-riding at its cheapest best.






Then on the bike again and onwards, drawn in by the magnificent beauty of the Swartberg Pass.












The beauty and endurance of the road stone works never fails to amaze me - a sliver of human ingenuity slashing the awe inspiring majesty of these mountains.






















« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 11:41:18 pm by Ri »
 

Offline dw1

Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2021, 08:16:38 pm »
Cool RR and beautiful pics. Thnx
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Offline BMWPE

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2021, 08:40:57 pm »
As usual all ways a great ride report  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
keep it up
thank you
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Offline Ri

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2021, 10:56:38 pm »
The big moment of this trip finally arrives: I am at the Gamkaskloof turn-off. I feel excited and a little nervous at the prospect of creeping into Gamkaskloof by myself, and even more nervous at the thought of the rain that is forecast for the whole day tomorrow, when I am riding out, but I am here now and it is do or die. Hopefully do :ricky:

The board indicates that it should take me about 2 hours to reach Gamkaskloof, and I set myself a target to at least not take longer than 2 hours.






Soon after the turn off the road condition changes a little, with strips of washed out pebbles loosely covering the surface. Nothing I haven't faced before, I tell myself, and certainly nothing compared to Kareedouw Side Entry. I trundle ahead optimistically, and am rewarded with majestic views.






I unexpectedly catch up with rush hour in Gamkaskloof: there are 3 vehicles ahead of me. One is parked in the middle of the road, taking a break and some photo's. Two others are driving slightly further ahead. The front car is towing a trailer and is crawling at almost walking pace. I take photo's and then roll down the long incline to see whether there's any space to pass. The last vehicle graciously pulls aside. They seem to be waiting for the towing vehicle to catch some speed on the next downhill before they pursue. The second vehicle is on the first vehicle's trailer, but there is no space to pass... unless you are on a slender bike. I zip past in a cloud of dust, waving jauntily at the fearful driver as if he pulled over into the yellow lane for me.  They are soon little puffs of dust left far behind. I do feel a little better though. If I come to grief, these cautious crawlers will eventually catch up to me.
































My head swivels from side to side as I try to drink in the glory and the beauty of the nature surrounding me.  I'm light headed with joy and excitement. I feel like the most fortunate woman alive to be here right now, on this bike, riding this road. Despite my private travel time target, I don't want this road to end. It is spectacularly beautiful. There are folds and "klofies" in the mountain, and I wonder where they lead to.














I round a corner and catch my first glimpse of Gamkaskloof. The words "scorched earth" springs to mind. The damage from the not too long ago fire is still clearly visible.




The fleecy clouds start banding together as my descent into Gamkaskloof starts. I'm surprised by the cement strips that cover sections of the steep downhillls; I can't remember them being mentioned? I'm very grateful nonetheless. I crawl around the first corner - so far, so good. A few rain drops decide to welcome me on this steep crawl.






And then my cautiousness makes a mockery and a lie of my optimistic ride report name. On the next very off camber corner, my crawling speed is too slow and I find myself graciously tipping to meet the ground. I switch off my bike, get to my feet and assess the situation. The only damage, apart from my very bruised ego, is the X-mount holding my cell phone, which I'd managed to rip off its mounting point. I check that the bike isn't leaking fuel, and for the first time ever on a trip, I leave the bike lying on the ground and take a break.




The rain is hurrying down little more earnestly, but it is hot in the pass. I take off my helmet and my jacket and walk around taking photo's. I can see Gamkaskloof almost directly below me, a very steep and vertical drop.








Unwilling to loosen my luggage, and seeing the steep angle at which Used-to-be-Gent is lying, I try a different tack lifting him. I kick out the footrest, grab the handle bars, and grunting like Serena Williams on a serve, drag the bike upright.

I gingerly push Past-Gent over until he leans drunkenly on his footrest at a crazy angle, and now face the dual challenge of mounting and tipping him upright against the uphill camber. ATGATTed once more, I slide my leg uphill over Was-Gent's saddle. With more unladylike grunting, hopping and cursing, I slowly force Not-Gent upright, spurred on by the thought of the 4x4s appearing above and catching me in this undignified position. A last scream and HooliGent is ready to roll once more. One last turn and some last loose stones for luck and I reach the gates of Gamkaskloof. I made it!



« Last Edit: August 15, 2021, 05:12:20 pm by Ri »
 

Offline stcomza

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2021, 07:36:25 am »

Thank you for sharing  :thumleft:

Following with anticipation
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Offline M3X3Z3

Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #35 on: August 10, 2021, 09:25:59 am »
Thanks Ri for taking the time to post a great RR with with photos that make you feel you were there.  :thumleft:
Now: Honda XR250  Husqvarna SM630  KTM 690R  KTM 500
Then: XR650R  TE510  TE630  690R
 
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Offline Odd Dog

Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #36 on: August 10, 2021, 01:36:45 pm »
As usual and as we have come to expect from you, a well written ride report, thanks.  :thumleft:  Happy belated birthday young lady.  :occasion13:
If You're going through hell, keep going.
 

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #37 on: August 14, 2021, 05:08:11 pm »
As usual and as we have come to expect from you, a well written ride report, thanks.  :thumleft:  Happy belated birthday young lady.  :occasion13:

Thanks @Odd Dog ! Looking forward to seeing you at the Thumper Bash :ricky:
 

Offline Sabre

Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2021, 10:37:16 pm »
Pragtige foto's  :thumleft:
Waarmee het jy geneem ?
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Offline Ri

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Re: No Spills: Jubilee Tour (2 - 10 May 2021)
« Reply #39 on: August 15, 2021, 08:45:14 am »
Pragtige foto's  :thumleft:
Waarmee het jy geneem ?

Dankie! Dit is geneem met 'n iPhone 12 mini, wat ook die wye lens by die gewone lens het. Die skermpie is maar klein en ek kan dikwels nie sien wat ek afgeneem het nie, LOL, so ek is ook nogal be´ndruk met wat dit reggekry het. Ek moes die foto's heelwat kleiner maak ook, die foontjie se resolusie is hoog.