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Author Topic: West to East and back again (Cape to Knysna) An alternative to the Garden Route  (Read 3239 times)

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Offline LuckyStriker

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Friday, 30 July 2010

Scorch Performance Exhausts. That lovely hooligan sound reverberated through the suburb an hour before first light. I blipped the throttle once, twice. It was Friday morning, the last day of the working week for my neighbours. I passed over this last tile of the rat race, avoiding the false promise of Free Parking, the jade sweatshops of Musgrave Road, the ruby skyscrapers of Eloff Street and advanced straight to GO to collect my R300.00. So long suckers!

No stopping for pictures as I headed toward the Huguenot Tunnel. I passed through that mile long, smelly intestine and got squeezed out in the dark, cold and clammy Du Toitskloof valley.
A glacial wind tore over the absolutely level Breede River Valley.


Day 1 – Leg 1 (Fuel stop)
Route: Bellville, Paarl, Rawsonville, Nuy, Robertson
Departure time from home: 06h35
Arrival time at Robertson: 08h04
Total travel time: 1hour 29minutes
Distance: 138km
Average total speed: 93km/h
Fuel consumed: 8.37litres @ R68.20 (8.15 R/l)
Fuel economy:  16.48km/l (6.07l/100km)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 08:47:40 am by LuckyStriker »
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Friday, 30 July 2010

I fuelled my bike up in Robertson. I savoured my cup of steaming hot coffee, a chicken pie reminded me of trips past and I wished my regular riding buddies were with me.
Outside Bonnievale, the Langeberg offered shelter against the wind. Here a creeping mist poured relentlessly over the peaks. It wasn’t as cold here among the orchards and I posed the bike near some blossoming apricot trees, promising a magnificent spring.

S33 52 18.2 E20 00 04.4

But the run-down station told a sadder story. Neglect.

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My route took me nearer the Langeberg and soon I was enveloped by the wintry fog. The green hills rolled away into the grey. I pushed my hands against the engine, it comforted but the cold had already penetrated down to the bone.

S34 00 34.0 E20 15 28.9

I hit the N2 highway near Swellendam. The sun was well on its way to its apex. The cold was slowly being replaced by welcome warmth.


Day 1 – Leg 2 (Fuel stop)
Route: Robertson, Bonnievale, Swellendam, Buffeljagsrivier
Departure time from Robertson: 08h18
Arrival time at Buffeljagsrivier: 09h27
Total travel time: 1hour 9minutes
Distance: 80km
Average total speed: 59km/h
Fuel consumed: 3.33litres @ R27.12 (8.15 R/l)
Fuel economy:  17.71km/l (5.64l/100km)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 08:51:49 am by LuckyStriker »
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Friday, 30 July 2010

In my mind the town of Suurbraak will always be associated with KiLRoy. He once dragged Sot and I through the streets for hours, trying to find a holiday house for himself and his family. The townspeople didn’t seem that impressed with a white man wanting in on their familiar society. They didn’t deny him his will (indeed who can?) but we left there without lucrative property all the same. I put it down to another one of his hair brained schemes ;D ;) .

I posed the bike once more, this time down by the buffeljags river. Some residents of Suurbraak looked on with suspicion.


I inspected their camp grounds, beautifully kept lawns thanks to the mowing prowess of a couple of horses. I admit the sign on the gate was something of a mystery to me.

S34 00 08.0 E20 39 07.2

This house intrigued me. From the road it looked like an average sized home and yet something appeared wrong. After some staring at it I realised that everything was scaled down by a few percent below industry standard. The tops of the door frames only reached my shoulder. The windows were hip height and smaller than usual. The door to the attic was only large enough to poke your head through. The satellite dish appeared enormous by comparison.
It was the weirdest thing. What kind of midgets built this place?

S34 00 15.3 E20 39 17.2

The cloud cover remained despite the slowly increasing temperature. I made a detour to see Moodlieshoogte Pass; hardly worth the honour of being called a pass but nevertheless picturesque.

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Even though I was officially in the Klein Karoo, the landscapes looked more like the Overberg.

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This grove was particularly beautiful to me. All it lacked were some hedgerows and I would be transported to England, weather and all.

S33 58 27.4 E21 00 06.9

As attractive as the vistas were, my backside was beginning to make itself heard. I had invested in an Oskava sheepskin which does wonders but it’s not a complete fix.
I desperately started looking for roadside attractions to divert my attention away from the growing discomfort.

S34 00 00.6 E21 06 05.8

I even composed a song in my head. Sung to the tune of Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon:

Tailpipe is roaring, a roaring Scorch sound
I know they're watching, they're watching
All the commotion, the kiddies like wave
Has people talking, talking

Ooohhhhhhhhhhhoo, my ass is on fire

The dark of the valley, the breaking of day
The head while I'm riding, I'm riding
Visor is open, knuckles are pale
Feels like I’m flying, I’m flying

Ooohhhhhhhhhhhoo, my ass is on fire
Need some heat to perspire

Hot as a fever, rattling shocks
I could just race it, race it
It’s not an HP, but it is just right
Oh, it's still the greatest, the greatest, the greatest

Ooohhhhhhhhhhhoo, my ass is on fire
oooh, my ass is on fire
Need some heat to perspire


I rode on some private land, asking permission where I could. Unfortunately I won’t be supplying coordinates because I don’t want to inconvenience the landowners. Don’t PM me for the tracks, I will gracefully decline.


This road was one such ‘secret’ route. I looked it up on GoogleEarth but I never expected it to be as spectacular as it turned out.




Crossing the river: fortunately the level was quite low and the water never rose higher than the axles.


Aloes



Day 1 – Leg 3 (Fuel stop)
Route: Buffeljagsrivier, Suurbraak, Grootvadersbosch, Korinte Vetdam, Riversdale, Herbertsdale
Departure time: 09h31
Arrival time: 12h52
Total time: 3hours 21minutes
Distance: 167km
Average total speed: 50km/h
Fuel consumed: 7.05litres @ R56.73 (8.04 R/l)
Fuel economy:  23.68km/l (4.22l/100km)
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 09:41:23 am by LuckyStriker »
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Friday, 30 July 2010

The clouds were letting sunlight through here and there. The undulating hills showed off their emerald wall-to-wall carpeting.


Time for another pose! this time where the Brandwag and Klein Brak rivers met. “I’m a Water sign, you’re an Earth sign. Baby, together we make mud”


A striking road follows the Moordkuil river north. Nestled between the river and some woods, it runs past Botlierskop with its peculiar rocky crown.

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The road soon passed through a gate with warning signs telling you to behave OR ELSE...
The private game reserve spared no expense in making sure everyone understood that this was big money area. The magnificent lodge with its large log cabins looked well out of my price range. A black man standing guard at the gate leered at me, his eyes telling me to pocket my camera. I marvelled at his dedication to an institution that will probably never allow him to sleep between their satin sheets nor drink cocktails with the foreign clientele.

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The road was a delight. I have no doubt that it is perfectly maintained to remain in this condition, meant to thrill the well heeled in their Range Rovers. A road that looks tricky but is actually a piece of cake is exactly what one needs to justify owning a vastly overpriced 4x4 ;) .

S34 01 00.0 E22 08 22.9

Nice to ride though!



Day 1 – Leg 4 (Fuel stop)
Route: Herbertsdale, Palmietrivier, Klein Brak, Blanco
Departure time: 13h01
Arrival time: 14h44
Total time: 1hour 43minutes
Distance: 96km
Average total speed: 55km/h
Fuel consumed: 3.85litres @ R31.18 (8.09 R/l)
Fuel economy:  24.93km/l (4.01l/100km)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 08:38:28 am by LuckyStriker »
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Friday, 30 July 2010

Next up was the gorgeous Montagu pass. I won’t even try to tell you more of this pass. All you need do is read anything written by Trailrider regarding the subject. He is honestly something of an expert on the pass.

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S33 53 23.3 E22 25 39.1


S33 53 23.3 E22 25 39.1

With the pass behind me it was time to open her up. Burn the ports clear of carbon. Loosen up the valves a bit. Stretch her legs.
The road from Harold to Nolls was planned with a ruler. Straight as an arrow. Positively homophobic!

Day 1 – Leg 5 (Fuel stop)
Route: Blanco, Harold, Noll’s Halt
Departure time: 15h01
Arrival time: 15h53
Total time: 52minutes
Distance: 58km
Average total speed: 52km/h
Fuel consumed: 2.88litres @ R23.44 (8.13 R/l)
Fuel economy:  20.13km/l (4.97l/100km)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 08:39:34 am by LuckyStriker »
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Friday, 30 July 2010

I was invited to participate in the inaugural HP2 Jamboree. A group of owners were to assemble at Angie’s G-spot near De Vlugt. The event was organised by Jacko and assisted by other Wild Dog members. A job well done and I dare say it probably went more or less exactly as planned.
Due to my winding route, I expected to arrive last (or nearly) but I was apparently fourth to turn up.

One wonders about the name. Were the owners struggling to make ends meet? Did someone mention that there was this bloke name Ronnie on the R62 who had the same problem until a mate painted SEX on his shop wall?
Angie is a real live person and although she appeared in the August 1986 copy of scope, she wasn’t THAT kind of girl. The article in said magazine showed a fully dressed blonde, armed with a revolver and lots and lots of text next to the picture.
So the G-spot moniker was a gimmick then. It fooled a lot of grown men with identical motorcycles into coming here, so it obviously works.

Most of us were dog tired, warming up next to the fire pit.

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Day 1 – Leg 6 (End of Day 1)
Route: Noll’s Halt, De Vlugt
Departure time: 16h10
Arrival time: 16h46
Total time: 36minutes
Distance: 34km
Average total speed: 40km/h

 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Saturday, 31 July 2010

My mind wouldn’t allow me to fall in line with the group thing. While everyone went down the mountain to get brunch in Knysna, I rode to the plantation in search of some solitude. Weird. Antisocial? Perhaps I just hadn’t gotten enough me-time yet...


The woods were marvellous as always. Here and there some real forest growth was pushing against the artificial pine plantation. It looked like a hopeless task but I knew that even though the cloned pines were many, the gnarly old indigenous trees would eventually win, given enough time.






But the pines weren’t all bad. I followed one gully down to a clearing, to discover a small lake.
It looked for all the world like a scene from a Canadian movie. I expected an enormous grizzly bear to crash out of the tree line any second.
I was tempted to remove my clothes and take a swim in the clear waters but other movies came to mind. Piranha! Lake Placid! Take your pic.


Instead I found a muddy knoll to park on and take the time to quietly appreciate the splendour.


Back at Angie’s, the lads were returning one by one from their outrides and pub lunches. Harold and Peter were already hard at work browning the crucified lamb. We looked forward to partaking of its flesh. I was hoping we would feast on wine that night but most of the guys went to bed early. FenderBender wanted me to put on some music and join him for a drink but my heart wasn’t in it.
I was looking forward to returning to the road the next day.

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Day 2 – (Explore)
Route: De Vlugt, Plantation, De Vlugt
Departure time: 11h22
Arrival time: 13h23
Total time: 2hours 1minute
Distance: 50km
Average total speed: 5km/h
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Sunday, 1 August 2010

Early morning and the guys paraded their bikes and posed for memorable keepsake pictures. I greeted them farewell, a little sorry that I didn’t feel any camaraderie here. My fault.
I get along well with most of them on the forum, this kind of thing just wasn’t my bag. It’s the same reason why I despised the GS Challenge. Still, I’m happy I went. I met some faces behind the forum names that I looked forward to knowing.

What do I find along Kom se Pad? A parasitic fungus flower. Black flies love it. It smells like honey to them. It looks pretty awesome to me too but a sense of revulsion prevents me from touching it. The absolutely shit smell is an extra incentive not to touch it. Weird thing.



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Day 3 – Leg 1 (Fuel stop)
Route: De Vlugt, Diepwalle, Gouna, Knysna
Departure time: 07h27
Arrival time: 09h01
Total time: 1hours 34minutes
Distance: 59km
Average total speed: 12km/h
Fuel consumed: 5.47litres @ R44.36 (8.11 R/l)
Fuel economy:  26.14km/l (3.83l/100km)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 08:41:19 am by LuckyStriker »
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Sunday, 1 August 2010

I’m on the road. My mind is occupied by random trains of thought. Eventually I stop thinking for long periods of time, everything runs on automatic. My mind takes a break.
It was a relaxing experience.

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Day 3 – Leg 2 (Fuel stop)
Route: Knysna, Keurhoek, Karatara, George, Grootbrak
Departure time: 09h07
Arrival time: 10h58
Total time: 1hours 50minutes
Distance: 112km
Average total speed: 50km/h
Fuel consumed: 4.59litres @ R36.85 (8.03 R/l)
Fuel economy:  24.40km/l (4.10l/100km)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 08:42:24 am by LuckyStriker »
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Sunday, 1 August 2010

Du Plessis Pass

S34 04 25.6 E21 45 57.4

I see several other DS bikes on the road, mostly BMW’s.

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Gouritz River

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S33 53 35.6 E21 06 15.0


Day 3 – Leg 3 (Fuel stop)
Route: Grootbrak, Hartenbos, Herbertsdale, Barrydale
Departure time: 11h14
Arrival time: 14h01
Total time: 2hours 47minutes
Distance: 191km
Average total speed: 63km/h
Fuel consumed: 7.94litres @ R65.05 (8.19 R/l)
Fuel economy:  24.05km/l (4.16l/100km)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 08:43:28 am by LuckyStriker »
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Sunday, 1 August 2010

The second last leg of my journey was less pleasant than when I passed by this way two days before. I was on a mission to get home, I forced myself to take every detour, to prolong my time on the road but all I really wanted was to get home.

Day 3 – Leg 4 (Fuel stop)
Route: Barrydale, Montagu, Robertson
Departure time: 14h06
Arrival time: 15h10
Total time: 1hours 4minutes
Distance: 92km
Average total speed: 81km/h
Fuel consumed: 4.06litres @ R33.10 (8.15 R/l)
Fuel economy:  22.66km/l (4.41l/100km)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 08:44:26 am by LuckyStriker »
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Sunday, 1 August 2010

I promised I wouldn’t take the tunnel on my way back to Bellville. But I gave in to the relentless sense of urgency growing inside me. I stopped in the tunnel to take a pic of the passing traffic. It was warm in there and the air was surprisingly clean (relatively at least). I lingered a while, inspecting doors and shit written on the walls. A disembodied voice crackled from a hidden speaker. It told me to move along. I complied.



Day 3 – Leg 5 (Fuel stop, End of Trip)
Route: Robertson, Nuy, Rawsonville, Paarl, Bellville
Departure time: 15h13
Arrival time: 16h47
Total time: 1hours 34minutes
Distance: 140km
Average total speed: 87km/h
Fuel consumed: 6.60litres @ R53.00 (8.03 R/l)
Fuel economy:  21.21km/l (4.71l/100km)

Total trip distance: 1217km
Fuel cost: ±R450.00
Max speed: 137km/h
Total Moving time: 17hours 17minutes
Total Stopped Time: 4hours 3 minutes
Total Moving Average speed: 70.3km/h
Total Overall average speed: 57km/h


Thank you. I am LuckyStriker and I think that jam isn’t the root word for Jamboree.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 09:55:43 am by LuckyStriker »
 

Offline lonerider

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Kewl! Lekka write-up, and some nice photos. Just a reminder to me that there are still so many roads for me to explore in the Karoos... Not enough time, not enough time...

Fuel economy:  12.45litres/100km (8.03km/l)

Surely your units should be the other way round, i.e. 12.45 km/l (8.03 litre/100km)? Or is the X-Challenge really that thirsty?
[snip]
I do not think that dying is a good idea.
Living doing something that you love is a good idea.
Living until you die is a good idea. If living happens to kill you it means you made a mistake, but we are human, and humans make mistakes, so go for it, enjoy it, live until you die, rather than not living for your whole life.
 

Offline Stofdonkie

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Brilliant trip!

We went there two weeks ago on basically the same route. A puncture outside Herbertsdale (and the riders lack of anything to fix it with) put an abrupt stop to procedings and we missed one whole day of riding in the forests.  >:(  After reading your report I need to get back there asap.

Great report !  :thumleft:
Carpe BM.
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Fuel economy:  12.45litres/100km (8.03km/l)

Surely your units should be the other way round, i.e. 12.45 km/l (8.03 litre/100km)? Or is the X-Challenge really that thirsty?

Eish. I typed this up late last night and didn't concentrate on my sums. Thanks for the heads up. Will correct
 

Offline Tr0jan

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Fuel economy:  12.45litres/100km (8.03km/l)

Surely your units should be the other way round, i.e. 12.45 km/l (8.03 litre/100km)? Or is the X-Challenge really that thirsty?

Eish. I typed this up late last night and didn't concentrate on my sums. Thanks for the heads up. Will correct

fork, seems my bmx is a hybrid... much lighter on fuel than yours...  :biggrin:

lekke ride! :ricky:
KTM 990 - Wiff twee pype and loud A-F!

I'm not a hooligan, my throttle grip got stuck! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Offline Laban

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 Thanks LS! :thumleft:
..."sometimes the people around you won't understand your journey, they don't need to, it's not for them"...Joubert Botha

...tie my own bootlaces…
 

Offline Ama ride ride

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Aha

A LS original RR. :thumleft:
Gewoontlik n@@i ek reguit aan op fyndraai.

 

Offline letsgofishing

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Nice meeting you LS - would like to have a chat next time.
Great RR and pics  :thumleft:

A couple of questions:
Along your route there are little labels with pic. numbers - how do you do that?
On long trips, I sometimes forget where I took a certain pic.

Can you post the route of your forest exploration - I thought I knew the area, but have no idea where that is.
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

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Offline Sir Rat

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Awesome pics and report.  :thumleft:  Everyone should do a solo at least once a year.  :deal:

Thanks