Monday, November 16, 2009

Riding the Burchell Route


With the bikes unloaded we hit the trails!

A Twee-spoor like this already gets me exited, especially if it leads into the mountains!

"Gal se pas" You can see the road going up the hill on the other side:

The uphill:

Looking back at the pass:

Scenery on top:

On this route the conditions, scenery and plant life changes constantly. Look at the differences in the next four photos already:

We are travelling East up this kloof.

The first water crossing. I rode through first and it was quite a bit deeper than expected!

Tok-tokkie and LGF following:

Still travelling up the kloof, going slowly respecting and enjoying nature.

This was quite an obstacle. As per usual you cannot see the gradient on a photo, but it is a very sharp descent, into mud at the bottom and a steep ascent on the other side.

I once again went first. Pop the CTX into that very low 1st gear, ride down, through the mud and up the other side. The ascent was so steep that my front wheel left the ground! I didn't panic and rode the bike up and over, basically doing a low speed "wheelie" up die other side. Man I'm so bummed we didn't get a photo of that! Tok-tokkie said that I came very close to going over backwards...

Next up: Tok-tokkie

After he put his bike down we rushed to help. But first I had to go help LGF to park his bike somewhere flat. This photo from the other side gives a better idea of the gradient. That bike is almost upright although it's lying on it's side!

With the help of a strap the three of us pulled and manhandled the bike up the other side.

LGF decided not to try going through there and opted for the escape route:

We continued towards the Pioneer's Camp in the Kloof:

Lovely indigenous forest:

At the camp we rested a while. Next time we'll bring some cold ones with to enjoy here. We certainly needed it! You get quite a workout riding over the rough terrain.

By now it was just after 3 'o clock. It took us 2 hours to travel the 8km to get here. We had to start heading back.

Have a look at the gradient in the next picture. The 4x4's find these sections difficult. It leans over to side up 32 degrees in places I wonder how the Ox-wagons managed? luckily bikes always stay upright

More water crossings:

LGF eying a steep downhill:

And more water crossings!

And more picking up of bikes. Happened quite a few times on this ride. The Honda always stayed upright though (just)

Trail riding at it's best!

Serious uphill with loose stones and little traction. The Holgat Pass in Baviaans has nothing on this baby.

The view back over Gal se Pas towards our camp:

Gal se pas:

Arriving back in camp we were knackered but in high spirits. What a day's riding!

Tok-tokkie's TW: Built for Africa

Bush showers with hot water using the eco-friendly "rocket shower" system.

And a lovely fire made with dry wood. Enough wood was provided to keep it going till late that night.

Another tough day in Africa.


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