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Offline wjn

Another Baviaans trip
« on: November 03, 2021, 08:14:55 pm »
So, I figured as my BIL bought a 800GSA I will invite him along on a 5-day trip to the Baviaans, his first trip…ever, zero experience on an adventure bike. How bad could it be?

The plan was to head off on the Friday midday, go via the 7 passes and Knysna, Angie’s, Uniondale, the ‘Kloof, then swing north over the Grootrivierpoort to Steylerville and then all along the Karoo and Anysberg home. The plan kind of worked out.

All went well the first day, got the Grootbrak no issues and had good supper. Hit the road early Sat via the seven passes to Knysna and then onto the R339 to Uniondale. Always a great dide past Angie’s, but Uniondale was a bit of a pain as all the ATMs (and liquor stores) had heen emptied. Everybody in town was either drunk or stoned which motivated us to get out of town sharpish. We turned right onto the Vaalwater road which drops you at the top of Nuwekloof pass, beautifull weather and riding. We very casually noted evidence of recent rain here, nothing dramatic…this would become important later.

Left our digs early Sunday morning bound for the Baviaanskloof proper. Was going to be a hot day with 35 degree max forecast, and we had to reach Steylerville that evening. The Kloof was quite wet but nothing inpossible…I did almost put the bike diwn in the first waterhole about 200m from the entrance boom. My BIL made it look as if he had been doing this for years. Took our time and stopped alot but reached Padlangs in Patensie for lunch before 12h. Met two guys in a new Defender on a warm-up run busing prepping to drive from the coast to Norway, almost 30k kays. The Landrover Transcontinental Expedition, which will kick off in Jan 2022…the British guy was cycling through the kloof, for fun. They were the only friendly cage drivers we encountered. The rest were all speeding through the Kloof and we found the 4x4 drivers quite rude in general. No other bikes were encountered that day unfortunately.

It was turning out to be a scorcher of a day in full gear…nonetheless, the decision (mutual) was made to do the Grootrivier road rather than the slog via Uitenhage to get to Steylerville. Besides, the descent  to the river from the cellphone tower is the tricky part and we had plenty of time. What we didn’t know at the time was that alot of rain had fallen in the Willowmore area on the Friday and that the Grootriver was very groot indeed…

Managed the tricky descent on loose, large rocks, interspersed with washed-out sections without much incident. BIL was getting a bit tired and put the 800 in a ditch damaging his shifter. After one of the climbs I dismounted to show him the line, and when done he parked on the left of the road ahead of me. I was on the right out of his line. A jimny came down the hill at quite a speed. Put my helmet on the left of the road aways behind his bike and ran over to push my bike back and allow him to pass…he decided to weave between the bike and in the process (purposefully?) ran OVER my helmet, and then driving off at the aforementioned speed. Helmet fucked….cracked through on both sides aft of the chinbar and at the back. Nothing to be done…I will he mad after we get to Steytlerville. I recall thinking to myself “Luckily we are doing this down, and not taking these overweight bikes up this”….then I saw the drown Amarok standing up to its windows in the swollen river. This sucks…

After long discussions with a local farmer that arrived on scene, there was no other option than to backtrack to Patensie the way we came and change our route to catch up the next day. Needless to say that the climb was hard work but these big bikes can do some climbing when the rider is motivated and stupid enough. Made it back up to the cellphone mast in half the time the descent took. If we weren’t so exhausted it would have been fun. Gunned it to Humansdorp, another place worth skipping but their bar was open so it worked. Then we reflected….was a kak idea doing two technical sections on the same day. We learn from our mistakes.

After the day in the mountains we opted to hit the R62 up till Oudtshoorn and then via Kruisrivier and Calitzdorp, back onto R62 then Seweweekspoort to Ons Karoo Plaas. Once again the weather caught us…bloody cold and raining hard we took shelter in one of the roadside overhangs before reaching the warm fire and cold drinks at our overnight stay. If you haven’t been to One Karoo Plaas, do youself a favour and spend a weekend there👍Great host and great spot. Will definitely be going back there.

On the final day we weaved past Anysberg onto Montagu via Oubergpass, for a change we had great weather and we forgot all about the sweating/swearing/freezing/sukkeling of the previous two days…

A few notes:
Never overbook your days, unless you want to have issues and have a kak day. Keep it loose and allow for the unforeseen
Never trust an approaching car to actually give a toss about you on a bike
Always have enough water and food for in case something unforeseen happens
Take the good with the bad…


Offline wjn

Re: Another Baviaans trip
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2021, 08:18:09 pm »
A few more

Offline Ri

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Re: Another Baviaans trip
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2021, 12:47:10 am »
Hectic stuff!! Glad no worse damage was done by that Jimny :(

Beautiful photo's, thanks, I'm keen to go ride there again soon.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2021, 12:47:37 am by Ri »

Offline stcomza

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Re: Another Baviaans trip
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2021, 07:15:09 am »

Thank you for sharing  :thumleft:
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Offline ETS

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Re: Another Baviaans trip
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2021, 08:34:30 am »
Great adventure with nice pics! Thank you :thumleft:
If i had to explain you would not understand anyway......

Offline wjn

Re: Another Baviaans trip
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2021, 08:49:51 am »

Note to self…don’t type a report on the phone, my fat fingers hit all the wrong letters🙈

Offline IanF

Re: Another Baviaans trip
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2021, 06:24:32 pm »
What were the dates of this trip? More specifically the day you did Grootrivierpoort?

Offline wjn

Re: Another Baviaans trip
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2021, 07:43:51 am »
What were the dates of this trip? More specifically the day you did Grootrivierpoort?

We went that way the afternoon of 31 Oct…

Offline MildlyWild

Re: Another Baviaans trip
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2021, 06:42:16 pm »
Now that is a proper trip!  :thumleft:  Thanks for the extra inspiration :biggrin:
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Offline GravelFox

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Re: Another Baviaans trip
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2021, 07:17:31 pm »
Nice trip and report.

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