After having been so busy that I missed the “holiday” in holiday season, I thought a quick 2 day trip might just be the thing to get away from it all. As if it was meant to be, I received my Wild Dogs Buff the day before we left! This would be my first trip in “the colors”.
So, early Thursday morning, my brother-in-law and I left from a moist George, direction: Montagu Pass.
I have been on this pass many times, but it remains special. I wanted to take a photo on top at Amanda’s grave also, but we literally had our heads in the clouds. We headed North through Paardepoort. After the first few twists and turns we happened upon a small rockslide and, of course, did our bit for society.
Never say we haven’t rolled a stone from your path!
Paardepoort spits you out in the Klein Karoo proper.
We followed the gravel road past Dysselsdorp and on to De Rust for fuel and refreshment. The Kamanassie Dam is on this road, but access is blocked with locked gates. Pity.
From De Rust we worked our way back on the N12 for a couple of km’s to the Oude Muragie road. This route is really beautiful. It passes by the Rust en Vrede waterfall and the Koos Raubenheimer dam. Here we saw a Fish Eagle from rather close. Quite an experience. And that call!
Me sporting my new Buff.
We saw lots of birds en route…
and passed a 4x4. The lack of speed & dust convinced us that this 4x4 was not from Gauteng... Keep left, pass right.
The Oude Muragie road connects into Schoemans Poort which of course leads to the Swartberg Pass. I was really surprised by the amount of traffic on this road. Great views though.
Well, everybody knows where the road up the Swartberg Pass leads… Paved with good intentions?
Good girls go to Heaven – DS Bikers go… everywhere!
There was a snake in the road...
and some water...
After passing a dozen or so bikes (GS’s, Dakars & 2 KTM’s) we eventually got to the pass leading into the “Kloof”.
What a place.
Does the moon bother you? Noooooooo…
The next day the road out of the "Kloof" and on to Prince Albert. A nice fellow on a Dakar recognized me from me and young Andre’s trip to Attakwas kloof. He was worried that my 200cc Honda might not get my frame out of the Kloof. He apparently battled to get out of 1st gear up the pass (with 2 up). The concern was not necessary though, as the Honda not only carried me and my luggage out, but did so in 2nd gear and even 3rd in some places. This bike continues to surprise me.
Honda gives you wings…
40 Degrees Celsius!
The bikes also took a dip.
Seems like it’s been a while since Prince Albert had a fire.
What a nice ride. Let’s do it again! And so the journey back begins.
There’s nothing like a good ride to clear the head!
This was my first visit to “Die Hel”. It’s almost a spiritual journey. The nature scenes are awesome and rightfully make you feel small. I was surprised by the good condition of the road (from my perspective as a trail rider). We even saw a Daewoo Matiz in the Kloof! Hardly a hard ride... Basically it’s a gravel road with steep turns and declines. Imagine driving a Land Rover from Gauteng to visit Gamkaskloof only to find a Cape Town guy also made it with his Matiz. Hehe. Quite funny really.
What would I change? Next time I’d go out of season. They got up to 104 cars per day and that’s not counting the bikes. Also I’ll go after it’s rained – I’d like more water crossings.
I like the mountain trails and as such my bike is the perfect choice for what I do. What I did not expect was to be recognized by so many fellow bikers on the more “commercial” routes. I see lots of Dakars & GS’s on these routes, but I guess they don’t see to many huge guys doing these routes on a 200cc.
Here’s the vital statistics:
George, Motagu Pass, Paardepoort, Dysselsdorp, De Rust – 77km
De Rust, Oude Muragie, Swartberg Pass, Gamkaskloof – 110km
Gamkaskloof to Prince Albert – 84km
Prince Albert, Oudtshoorn, Heimersrivier, Paardepoort, Montagu Pass, George – 142km
Accommodation – R150
Petrol - less than R100