The planning has been done, the supplies have been bought, the bike has been modified.
Excitement is of the charts!
The weather report seems OK. SCP and I will be leaving in fair weather on Wednesday 6/11/2007.
The planned route has changed a couple of times with the final change being that we won’t do the Baviaanskloof on the way to Hogsback, but rather on the return route. Reason being that a Karoo farm came on the market and I need to swing by there to have a look. I’ve always wanted a Karoo farm!
This is the planned route:
(Red route to Hogsback, Blue route back home)
We plan on taking it easy and really taking the scenery in. Easy riding and LOTS of photo stops. We have a rough route planned, but no accommodation is booked. We’ll see where we end up and sleep there – even in the veld if need be (I kinda hope this happens at least once). We’ve got 7 days set out for this trip and we plan to be home on Tuesday (evening) 13/11/2007.
Wednesday morning early I woke to a glorious day. Everything was packed the previous evening already and excitement was off the charts! At about 6:30am SCP showed up already having rode from Hartenbos. A few final checks and we were ready. Check how clean the bikes are.
After I’ve said my goodbyes we hit the road. Going over Montagu Pass in the fresh morning air is a treat and soon after we hit the Klein Karoo through Paarde Poort.
Originally we would have traveled through Baviaanskloof but our plans changed 2 days earlier to go look at a farm that came on the market in the Karoo, so we headed to De Rust and through Meirings Poort. Even though this is a tarred road the ride is well worth it! Simply spectacular.
Just through the Poort we turned East towards Willowmore. Now we were well and truly on our way to Hogsback!
The weather was nice with slight breeze in our backs. We were drinking in the Karoo scenery with a song in our hearts. Life is good. The new pannier system was also working well - everything was nice and sturdy and there was very little movement.
It’s spring and you could see it in the wildlife. There was movement everywhere and we saw the usual Baboons and Monkeys, Ostriches, Spring buck and Duiker. I also rode right by a Cape Cobra that must have been close to two meters long! I grabbed fistfuls of brakes and turned around to get a picture, but like with the other wildlife it got away before I could photograph it.
From Willowmore we took the Steytlerville road and then the turn-off North towards Miller. We were looking for the farm that was for sale and turned into the neighbor’s farm by mistake. He was unaware that the farm next door was for sale but he led us there and since the owner was not there he showed us around a bit. Beautiful property! I could already see many rides to and from here. I’ll definitely take it!
Things are looking up. A few km’s later we stopped in a dry riverbed for lunch. 2 minute noodles and a cold Windhoek Lager on the menu.
While here an unsuspecting bloke on a bicycle came riding by. Incredibly both SCP and I had exactly the same idea at exactly the same time and we both gave a loud bark at the same time. The poor bloke had such a fright he almost fell of his bicycle. Hell it was funny. Like two naughty boys we are.
After Lunch we headed to Klipplaat. In the next stretch my odometer clicked over to 13000km. Luckily I’m not superstitious. Klipplaat has some interesting buildings.
Next up Jansenville. We were making very good time. At this stage it seemed we’d make Somerset East on the first and not the second night. We’d be in Jansenville by 2pm and Somerset East is less than 200km from there.
10km from Jansenville we hit the first snag. SCP got a fast slow puncture in his rear tyre.
I have seen tyre fix being used and fail six times, so we did not bring any with. On a slow puncture it might work though. SCP would pump and ride, pump and ride making his way towards Jansenville, while I’ll ride ahead and buy some Tyre Fix. I got some at the first garage and got back to SCP quickly. We inflated the tyre and surprise surprise – it did not work! Seven fails out of seven tries. Bloody useless stuff!!!
SCP decided to just ride the flat in to Jansenville the last couple of km’s since the road turned into tar anyway.
In Jansenville we found that the valve tore. Extra tubes were on our list, but we never got around to buying any and neither Jansenville nor the surrounding towns had any bike tubes for sale. The closest tubes are in Uitenhage. Not good.
Small town people never seize to amaze. They started phoning around to find one of the local bike owners who will take his own tube off his bike to give to us. What? The first guy they phoned told me to come over. He had a RD350 and as it happens his brother was in Uitenhage at the bike shop to get some spares for the RD. He’d buy us a tube and bring it back the same afternoon. Unfortunately he’d only be in Jansenville after 5 and we had nowhere to sleep. No problem – you guys can camp behind my Café – for free of course.
We were also invited to braai with them. How does one repay such generosity? They would not take any money. We offered to buy the meat but no, they would have none of that.
Before I continue I have to mention that these were not rich people, but they would have given there last to help us. They are generous good people. Last of a kind that you only find in the small towns anymore.
Our host had a bar dedicated to the Blue Bulls complete with a braai and swimming pool. The fire was started and it was not long before some of the locals were invited to come and meet the bikers in town.
Skaaptjops, fillet and roosterkoek was on the menu, but only much much later. First we "kuier"…
Somewhere through the evening the agent phoned me and asked what happened at the farm? I said that I love it and wanted to buy it. No such luck. The "friendly" neighbor that showed us around bought it himself right after we left. Bastard.
Nothing we can do about it now. Lets "kuier"!
…and it wasn’t long before some of the bikes in town started making an appearance.
After a late dinner it was decided to move the party to the town’s “club”. Hoe later hoe kwater…
SCP enjoyed the company of the local talent
By now we had been partying for 8 hours flat and when the shooters came out I decided to head off to bed. A long day lay ahead…
SCP is unsure of when he got to his tent. We estimate he slept about one hour that night and a hot second day lay ahead...
Stats Day 1:
Total kms traveled: 343km
Fuel consumption: 22,6km/L
Total time from start to campsite: 7 hours
Day 2: Hogsback or Bust!
With sunrise two tender riders crawled out of their tents. SCP had to be at the garage at 7am with the new tube to fix his wheel. Within half an hour the bike was fixed and by 8:30 we were ready to ride. It must have been hot already because we were very thirsty.
We took some choice roads recommended by the locals and it really is a beautiful area.
Not long after we got to the first water crossing of the trip – a definite photo opportunity. I LOVE water crossings!
Soon after I passed within centimeters of a Leguan which had a very aggressive stance. It was huge! Again I grabbed fistfuls of brakes to turn around and take a picture, but this one too got away.
Again today we saw lots of wildlife: Monkeys and baboons, Kudu, Springbuck, Duiker, some unknown antelope that looked like a bushbuck (but I doubt you find them here) and Leguans.
This poor chap must have been hit by a vehicle.
SCP would quite often see some “Bushbuck”. I only realized on day 5 that all buck he saw were “Bushbuck” including Kudu and Springbuck. ("Dis mos 'n bok. En hy staan in die bos...")
After a while the hills leveled out and the road straightened. SCP especially suffered in the heat after only having had an hours sleep the night before.
This is the road to Somerset East. It must be just over that hill…
…or not… (check out SCP - shame, he really suffered)
Once in Somerset East we looked for a Spur or Dros or something. Nothing. Somerset East is much smaller than we thought. Maybe Cookhouse has one? So we pushed on. Cookhouse turned out to be a lemon as well. There’s nothing but a bottle store. So we each bought a court Smirnoff Spin (something soft after a hard night) and headed to some trees for 2 minute noodles.
By now we were on Watty’s GPS route, so there was no need for maps anymore. We’ll just follow the route and ride to Hogsback.
I have to say at this point that I have no experience with GPS’s whatsoever.
We rode to the nearest waypoint and turned left as per instruction. The road took us into a neighborhood and a dead end. What? After consulting the map I realized we had to ride to the T and take the tar road. Cool. We turned onto a gravel road at the next waypoint and followed a beautiful road to the next town. There we turned right as per instruction. Now things got funny. We were on a tar road and getting further and further from the next waypoint. This does not make sense? We took the first dirt East and now at least we weren’t getting further from the next waypoint, but we won’t getting closer either? Weird. Luckily we found a strong flowing water crossing. Cool route Watty!
Then we saw this little fellow
And then we hit a farm gate and the road stopped. WTF? Let’s just dump the GPS and follow the map. We were over 10km of course. We rode back and took the road to Adelaide. Suddenly the GPS waypoints started coming up again. We ignored those and rode to Adelaide where we filled up. From here we took dirt through the Post Retief Conservancy. Very scenic!
After a while on the waypoints started coming up again. At waypoint C1 “Turn right” was the instruction. SCP was not keen. This road led into a game reserve and the road was not even on our map. I convinced him that we should try it. Beautiful road! We descended into a valley and wildlife abounded. Between C2 and C3 there was a huge locked gate. We tried to find a route around and ended up 35km off course. SCP was battling. It was hot and he was tired. We rode back to C1 and carried on where we turned off. I ignored the “I told you so”.
This road too was very scenic. The Eastern Cape sure has a lot to offer. I have to come back one day.
The road deteriorated and deteriorated and soon we found ourselves on Katberg pass. WOW! This must be the most beautiful pass in SA? It’s long and technical and very very scenic. WOW does not begin to describe it.
We had new life, new vigor. The beauty refreshes, inspires, makes you feel alive. We rode through the valleys and hills in awe of what we saw. I am definitely coming back here again!
Before long we saw a town in the distance. Hogsback!
We stopped for a photo and spoke to an old Xhosa out hunting with 7 dogs. There was a definite language barrier, but we did gather that the town ahead was called Wittlesea. What? We took a wrong road once again. Now daylight and petrol started to become an issue. We hit the road again and did not stop as often as I would have wanted too. I have to come back again!
After a while we started descending and we saw a town in the distance. At last…
Nope – not Hogsback. We were still 3 towns away, but Hogsback was close. Next up was Seymor - where we found this:
How bad could it be? Bad enough if you’re tired and trying to push. The sun was setting. When we rode up to this uphill I recognized it immediately from a pic on the forum. Cool! Camera out!
The 125 needed to keep momentum, but the rear wheel “hooked” behind this step and spun. Manpower was needed.
I chuckled. SCP was not happy… Then I popped my Bushlander in low range and idled up with a big smile on my face… until my wheel hooked at exactly the same place and spun. Bummer! I too needed a push. Oh well.
We rolled into Hogsback on reserve after the sun had set. I set the GPS to the last waypoint to lead us to the campsite. The waypoint stopped in the middle of the road with no instruction. There was only one turnoff so we took it. We rode and rode. I was worried because I have a small reserve. We stopped, phoned the campsite and yep – you guessed it – we were way of course.
When we stopped in camp we had spent 10 hours on our small bikes. Our hosts were very friendly and the suggested we just sleep in the Lapa and pitch camp the next day. SCP did not need to be invited twice.
Ansie – our host – made us a basket for dinner and I braaied us some skaaptjops and wors. She even supplied us with 6 beers and 2 whiskeys. When dinner was ready SCP ate and went right back to sleep. I made a bed on some of the benches.
What a day! It was tough, we were tired, but it was the best ride I’ve ever had. I will not forget Katberg Pass, ever.
I will also not be buying a GPS anytime soon...
Stats Day 2:
Total kms traveled: 406km
Fuel consumption: 22km/L
Total time from start to campsite: 10 hours
Day 3: Tall tales of the Wee folk.
We slept like logs but got up early to set up camp. We wanted to make sure that we vacated the Lapa before our hosts wanted to start preparing it for the bash. After a nice shower we were as fresh as the morning breeze and around 6am we were pitching our tents. I also decided to wash my bike as it was very dusty (yeah yeah, I know, but I believe that if you want her to look after you, you have to look after her).
Al this work makes one thirsty and we decided to have the beer from the night before. The first beers were opened at 7am…
After breakfast (more beer and Oatso Easy) we decided to ride into town for sightseeing and supplies. Hogsback is a cute little town. No tar, no traffic lights - I would move here within a heartbeat!
As it turns out sightseeing also is thirsty work… We headed back to the campsite to wait for the first Wilddogs. For the wait we broke out the good stuff and started knocking back a few. Quite a few actually, because the first Wilddogs only showed up that afternoon and we were “waiting” since before 10. By now we were “waiting” specialists.
What’s next for Michnus?
The guys needed no invitation to try and catch up to us though.
SCP did not have the staying power and he retired early.
Friday evening turned out to be a hell of a party!
Groenie LOVED my jersey and after some debate he concurred that WP is the best rugby team in the world!
I don't recall much more than that, other than me and Lihan talking about how buying a Triumph and buying a Ferrari is more or less the same thing. I also heard it rained that night. Apparently a lot of “waiting” affects your memory.
Day 4: To Bash or not to Bash. What was the question?
Despite the rain during the night Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day. LGF, Eisbein, SCP, Dieterj (now Major Tom) and I set out to explore the sights and sounds of Hogsback.
The Eco Shrine turned out to be a profound place.
The artist herself gave us some insight with regard to her works.
Next up we decided to have breakfast – we weren’t the only ones that had that idea.
After breakfast we left for a 4x4 route that Michnus told us about. First stop was the Madonna and Child waterfall. Only LGF walked down and he was rewarded with some pics of water nymphs in bikinis. If only we had known… At least there were some nice looking bikes around.
Shortly after this disaster struck. I had a flat rear wheel.
This story warrants its own thread. Suffice it to say that tyre fix again did not work (8 out of 8 times now) and it took 3 gas bombs, 6 people, 3 hours, removing the tyre 4 times, using a whole patch kit and 3 tubes and still we had a flat tyre.
Eventually KTMJedi came to the rescue. He made it look so easy and fixed the wheel in what seemed 5 minutes flat. We all felt like idiots. Well, I know I did.
Saturday night we once again had a great party. I for one took it a lot easier than the previous night. The food was great and the organization superb! A big thumbs up to all the organizers!
Also a thanks to the sponsors from my side. The tailbag I won will be put to good use.
Groenie once again was a treat. I think the moment of the bash was when the dog once again took his seat.
Every dog has his day.
To all the dogs I met and spent time with it was great to meet you. Dieterj, Lihan, Piksteel, Fullyautomatix, Ratel, LM, Oetie, Groenie, Miena Moo, Ektoknbike, Tok Tokkie, Eisbein, LGF, Adventurer, Mr & Mrs Yellowfewer, Mountainboy, Paulsky, Boertjie, Bojangles, Somewhere Els, Michnus, Wino, Kilroy, Mr & Mrs MJ, Bobnob, Geoff, Watty, BMWPE, CTD, Pad, Dusty, Shark, the whole group, ag there are to many to mention. Thanks I had a great time. With some of you I only spoke briefly, next time we’ll chat properly. It was over all too soon.
Next year Stephen, Red, McDuff, Paramed, Tobbox, Gravelmad, Operator, Marlene, Rooipoot and others better make sure they don't mis it again!
Eisbein, LGF, Tok Tokkie, SCP and I hatched a plan to ride together from Hogsback. Eisbein and LGF would split off at the N2 and the rest of us would head for Port Alfred and eventually Colchester.
When I started packing I decided to pack the GPS in the luggage as well. I did not feel like getting lost again.
As agreed, we left the campsite at 8am. The 2 days in Hogsback were great, but I must admit I was happy to be traveling again. Barely 5km from the camp I had to stop. SCP had set my chain so tight the previous day that it actually made a grinding sound. After some quick adjustments we were on our way again. We took the dirt to the Dubbel Drift Game reserve.
This could potentially be an exciting ride…
…but we never did see Lion or Rhino.
It was not long before we did not know where we were again. This time I could not blame a GPS. We took this road and that and ended up in Peddie. Not quite Grahamstown where LGF and Eisbein was headed.
After we said our goodbyes Eisbein and LGF sped off and we took the gravel roads towards the coast. At least I knew where we were on the map again.
We rode and rode and the roads got smaller and rougher.
Yep, you guessed it… Before long we were lost – AGAIN!
Where did the road go? OK. You have to admit when you have been beaten. We asked Tok Tokkie to ask "Tannie Karin van Garmin" where we were.
According to her there was no road here. No shit Sherlock.
After asking some directions we were of again. Dodging goats, sheep, cows, mules, donkeys, horses, chickens and some weird crossbred dogs we happened on a road that took us straight to the Fish River Sun. Surely from here we can find Port Alfred? We had to take the coastal road. For some reason I thought the road we T’d into ran North/South so surely we had to turn left to the coast? Turns out that road was running East/West and we were blissfully unaware that we were on our way to East London…
We even waved at some dogs passing us from the front (2 x GS’s and the Yellow Triumph). This and the fact that the ocean was on our right made me suspicious. What the hell is going on? We were crossing rivers we were not supposed to.
Tok Tokkie – what does the Zumo say? “It says you’re traveling in the wrong direction”. Geez. Thanks for telling us! “I thought you were taking us somewhere for a quick bite”.
We turned around and rode (with the wind this time) all the way to Port Alfred. We never did catch the GS’s though. What ‘n beautiful town! We went to the restaurant at the beach LM told us about. Excellent a spot!
We settled in and ordered some beer, pizza and more beer. There were lots of eye candy around and we had a great lunch. At one stage the two girls (could have been mother and daughter) at the table next to ours started flirting heavily. It was funny at first, but geez, some woman really abuse taking the initiative. (Sorry, no pics. We certainly did not want to encourage them!) Time to go.
When we got on the bikes and rode off they even waved from the balcony. Geez, a CTX sure is a babe magnet.
We refueled and hit the road to Colchester. As it turns out you cannot follow the coastal gravel road there, so we ended up taking tar. Gut wrenching, excruciating, soul torturing tar. I HATE TAR! If it weren’t for the knobblies I would have fallen asleep. The rattling must be like riding a KLR? We were going as fast as we could go. My speedo ran off clock and broke. Great. I hate TAR!
Most big bikes are tourers with off road ability. I have an off road bike that was not built for touring. I am not supposed to be on tar. The TransAlp that Mrs. TR wants me to buy so badly looked very good right about now.
Eventually we reached Colchester. The Caravan park did not look like much from the road, but I am not riding any further on tar today.
We booked in and paid – and then we rode up to this!
This is where the Sundays river flows into the ocean. It is mostly undeveloped and unspoilt. Best of all, we were the only people there!
We pitched camp and got some tjops, steaks and wors for the evening braai.
What a way to end a day. We and Tok Tokkie got along like a house on fire. Always cool to meet a fellow Wild dog that shares a love for biking and nature.
Stats Day 5:
Total kms traveled: 374km
Fuel consumption: 22,7km/L
Day 6 – Playday!
It’s Monday morning. People are going to work, getting back into the rat race, back into the daily grind.
We woke up to this:
We were close to PE and it showed. Cheap tents aren't always the best...
Tok Tokkie was going to ride to Steytlerville today, but we got along so well he decided to join us through Baviaans (this turned out to be a helluva good decision).
We hit the N2 with SCP leading. He took a wrong turnoff and we ended up in the PE morning traffic. If my bike was not built for tar, it definitely wasn’t built for rush hour city traffic! I’m waaaay down on the pecking order. Tok Tokkie asked “Tannie Karen van Garmin” and she led us out of this hell hole. GPS’s have a purpose after all…
On our way a strange thing happened. I came across another CTX – twice. Friendly folk too - both waved. Soon we were riding through the green hills of Patensie.
We made a quick stop at the Spar, liquor store and petrol station. While filling up a bloke on a Yamaha AG200 rolled up. We had a long chat about my bike as he wants one too. I can really get used to all the attention. How often does it happen that people would walk up to 3 bikes, ignore the Dakar and admire the "plaasbike". It was obvious that the CTX and I were in our natural habitat.
We hit the road to Baviaans.
We stopped for lunch at this stream where we saw a small water Leguan swim by. I was full of anticipation. Today there’ll be water crossings and lots of them!
On the way up the pass I stopped for a photo. After a while SCP rolled up and then Tok Tokkie slid up. Another one for the “I ate dust” collection.
It’s a good thing he didn’t go over the edge!
We were cruising and taking photo’s when suddenly one of my bungee cords came loose, ended up in my chain and promptly popped it off. Luckily by now I was an expert with regard to anything concerning my back wheel.
I got it back on and even though it was rather loose decided to continue. 200m further it was off again. Flat tyres, speedo’s breaking, chains falling off – I wish the 13000km mark can roll over to 14000km. These nuisances aren’t major mechanical problems (it’s a Honda after all) but I’m used to trouble free riding.
Baviaans is a wondrous place. Katberg Pass is great, especially if you see it for the first time, but Baviaans is nothing to scoff at.
It’s the terrian my bike was built for. I can ride up and down whatever I want, stop when and where I want and pull off easily. The bike is like a tractor – it hardly notices the extra luggage. On the steep passes you don’t have to worry about momentum or such. You can stop where / if you want too – simply put your foot down. The bike is light and low. Not an adrenalin machine, but great if you’re there for the scenery / taking photographs.
The scenery varies and so do the road conditions. Wildlife abound. I love Baviaans.
All the traitorous thoughts I had of changing to a TA disappeared (sorry Mrs. TR). Fact is that my bike was better in the parts I loved (Katberg, Baviaans Wilderness area) and the TA would be better on the parts I hated (Tar). I don’t intend on going back to those places, so the CTX it will be. I ride this bike by choice.
Then the real fun started!!!
I did some of the water crossings several times. Tok Tokkie and SCP must have thought I’m off my rocker. Some I’d ride in, ride around in circles and exit on the other side. The deeper ones I’d do again (and again). This one I did 3 times:
This one I did 5 times:
This is the type of riding I love. Favorite road condition: Under water. Most feared road condition: Tar.
The obligatory Baviaans Paw x Paw pic:
And finally we reached our destination for the night – Bakkrans. This venue exceeded our wildest expectations! A perfect end to a wonderful day. Why can’t all Mondays be like this?
The road (trail?) to the cave:
Home sweet home for tonight:
It has everything, plates and cutlery, every possible thing you could need for a braai including wood, cups & mugs, glasses, running water, tables, chairs, everything – and I mean everything you could possible need. If, by some chance, there is something else you need, the owners also own the shop, liquor store and petrol pump.
It’s in a kloof and a smaller cave opposite has a flush toilet and hot shower. When you come here you need to bring your clothes only (and you could even wash them if you wanted). It's got clear fountain water on tap and there is even a small "pool" you can fill and sit in on the hot summer days.
The cave can sleep 10 people.
I have stayed in different venues in Baviaans. Believe me, nothing beats this. This will be where I stay in future. (Just book early as they are booked for months in advance).
We ordered braai packs and at R80 a head I thought it a bit steep at first. When our hostess came over to deliver our crate (yes crate!) full of food I was blown away. We had tjops, wors, sosaties, roosterkoek, 2 salads, a veggie dish that only had to be heated on the coals (a potato, sweet potato and pumpkin dish that was absolutely divine) and even a date pudding! Also included were coffee, fresh milk and rusks. Does life get any better than this?
Birdlife abound and we even saw some Knysna Loeries. (In Baviaans – can you believe it?)
We chatted and chatted till we fell asleep under the stars. Our lives truly were perfect.
I was woken in fresh air by birds chirping away around us. This is the life!
After an open air shower I returned to make my mates some coffee in bed. They were still sound asleep.
This was day 7 on the road, but only day 3 since we’ve started riding again. Day 3 is always the best. This is the day when you get into your routine and everybody enjoys the ride and company. We certainly were in a cheerful mood.
By 8am we were packed and on our way. Our hostess prepared breakfast (R40 / head) and again it exceeded my wildest expectations.
Fresh juice, cereal, muesli and Yogurt. This was followed by bacon, eggs, toast, fried tomato and Crumbed Gemsbok steaks. Absolutely divine.
With big smiles and full tummies we were on the road again. We stopped at the Monument to the Campbell family.
1916 was a tough year in the Baviaans kloof. After a 18 month drought farmers were at their last. Fountains dried up, livestock died, crops failed. Poverty was imminent. On the evening of 3 May, at long last, the first rain started to fall. By the next morning it had rained a 100mm and during the day of 4 May the heavens opened. That night at 10 people were caught by surprise by the flood. Some tried to save their houses but it was not long before they realized that all was lost. People fled into attics, trees and the mountains. The water rose still. Those in the attics decided to try and make it to the mountains before it was too late. The Campbell family decided to wait it out. All the buildings were taken by the water that night. Their bodies were found days later 6 miles from where their house stood.
The Monument to the Campbell family was put up by the people of Baviaans kloof in 1999.
The Monument to the Campbell family was put up by the people of Baviaans kloof in 1999.
The road through the western side of Baviaans is good and scenic.
Then it’s the road to Uniondale…
…and finally the road to Prins Alfreds pass.
Tok Tokkie could not believe that I rated the Katberg pass above this pass. Prince Alfred sure is scenic. Maybe it’s a case of “somewhere else is always better”, but to compare them is unfair. Each has its attributes. Maybe I like Katberg because there is less tourists and more technical road.
Descending on the South Cape side we rode into a magical forest. The fires near Karatara were still raging and the sunlight through the smoke was red, turning the forest into the most amazing shades of green.
Since we rode into the beach campsite at Colchester it’s just been one awe inspiring scene after the other. This is the best ride ever! Total sensory overload.
We truly are rich men. We do not have to ride here from somewhere else, this is just the scenery on our way home!
Eventually the forest’s embrace loses its grip and it opens up to the lovely scenery of Knysna.
Next up were Phantom pass, Homtini pass and the rest of the 7 passes road. I’ve seen adders and cobra’s on this trip and finally I was treated to a tree snake.
At first I thought it was hit by a car, but actually it was shedding its skin. These snakes are very well camouflaged and rarely seen. To find one in the open like this and seeing this is a rare find.
An added bonus was the fact that the 13th thousand km was over.
And so the trip drew to a close. Tok Tokkie had a quick beer at my place before continuing on his ride. Thanks man. I hope to ride with you again some time. It was great!
We covered a total amount of just over 1700km. We had no problems apart from flat tyres, a chain coming off and a permanent very optimistic speedo. The new panniers system worked well and the extra petrol tank is a huge bonus. The weight in front makes the bike feel more stable and sure footed. I have learned that the only limit to where this bike can go is the rider and the end of the gravel road. It did not go down once and takes everything in it's stride. I am truly impressed. The minimalist touring bug definitely has bitten.
The bash was great and it was nice to meet all the Wild dogs and put faces to the names.
Thanks again Tok Tokkie for great company. You get to know a person better on a ride than on a quick kuier. We shall ride again.
Final thought: We should make more time to ride and see our country. There is so much to see.
"We're coming to the end of a hundred years or more of devices we invented to save time. What has become of this? Nobody has enough time anymore... We are a time-impoverished society. We have lots of material things, but we have no time left. It is the time of mechanical devices... It is the new poverty." Needleman - 1999
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