The Southern Cape is flooded!
My dad is stuck on the farm and my friend Spook is stuck in George and he cannot return to PE. We decided to take the bikes out and see if we can reach the farm.
This is quite embarrassing but we could not even get off the tar. The bridge next to Fancourt is washed away and we could not even get out of Blanco. Luckily I know of a backroad… NOT!
We’re not even going to get out of town this way. What now? Montagu Pass? Yeah!
I’ve been over Montagu Pass in a storm before. It’s spectacular! Waterfalls everywhere.
The little river in the Kloof:
We all know Spook… By now he was thirsty. No shooters just yet…
This is normal:
This is today:
The view from Amanda’s grave:
The view today:
Montagu Pass is closed… but we did it!!!
The way down:
The Keurtjie River:
What a ride! Spook and I aren’t just fair-weather riders.
<Fast Forward 1 Week>
There are certain roads in the Southern Cape that will always be washed away in case of a flood. The trick is to know where these roads are and to go ride them as soon as possible after the rains.
Sir Gravellot even has a tour he takes through one particular road after floods. We call it the Moordkuyl Extreme.
15 months ago this is what it looked like – long stretches of “coconut stones:
Getting over this is quite a workout.
They have fixed the road since, but luckily a new flood came. When I woke to an amazing day on Sunday morning I knew that that road was calling. If I was lucky I’d even have some water crossings! I LOVE water crossings.
This was a spur of the moment thing and unfortunately Sir Gravellot, Sweeper, Wingman and Letsgofishing could not go. It was just going to be me and Snap Crackle Pop.
We followed several gravel roads towards Groot Brak and Mosselbay but everything has been fixed already. Damn. It is nice to live in an area where infrastructure is maintained and improved though. At least our local government are on the ball.
We rode through Hartenbos and Mosselbay. Already the holidaymakers (and bikinis) are out in full force! We stopped at the point in Mosselbay for some lunch.
The Moordkuyl route was on the menu for the ride back. We could not do it on the way here because sweaty dirty riders aren’t allowed into restaurants…
Sure enough the flood damage was evident even just at the beginning of this route.
Nothing serious yet – you can get around most of the stuff on a bike. We could also see that some bikes have already passed here (or two bikes went in and had to come back ).
Then it became evident why the road was closed:
The first proper watercrossing – Whooohooo!
(About knee deep at the deepest point. Surface and traction good)
The exit point had some VERY soft river sand though…
LGF you would have had a ball with that DRZ on this trip.
27 degrees, a tummy full of beer and food, this turned out to be some work getting the bikes through. Still fun though!
Next up the road was washed away and getting into and out of this ditch was very steep. We could see the previous bikes battled heavily here and probably got pushed. This is the spot were I had my last off last year and I was not planning on coming off again…
Down the washed out wall and straight into soft sand I went. No speed, no momentum and an almost vertical exit. I got up halfway before I had to get off and help the bike. Not even my knobblies offered any traction. Working the bike up the embankment without falling over is hard work. Man I’m glad I have a light bike. We repeated the exercise with the 125 – revving, spinning and sweating. Where’s a cold beer when you need one?
The road travels up to a nice vantage point from where we saw that all the time we were sukkeling with the bikes there was an Elephant just around the corner not more than 50 meters from us!
We seemed to have forgotten that we were in a game farm with washed away fences… We’ll have to keep an eye out for the Rhinos.
A lot of water came through here:
Another little water crossing. At this stage SCP was still trying to keep as dry as possible. Why do some riders have such a thing about getting their feet wet?
Then the road stopped.
This is the section where we had to ride over the “coconut” stones last year. This year we had the added bonus of the “coconuts” being under water.
The water depth was waist high in places so choosing the correct line was paramount. The riding surface underneath was not really conducive to keeping that line either. This was going to be HUGE fun. Choose you line and GO!!!
What a rush!
The “road” ahead:
We need to get to what’s left of that road on the other side:
Where’s that line TR took again???
That road had an interesting entry point
We had to go up the bank because the river was to deep to get to the “coconuts” on the left.
In the end we got up easier than I thought we would. This is now officially the longest and most technical river crossing I’ve done. Hopefully I can do it again before the water gets to low.
From here to George everything seemed tame in comparison. We did see some more wildlife – Zebra, Wildebeest and various other antelope. The mountain in the fair weather also was special for a change.
What a great outing. We just have to go do that again!
The day was ended with a lekke wash for my trusty Honda and a braai with the family. Can life get any better than this?