Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 6 - Plett to Baviaanskloof - 502 km


Nature’s Valley was closed for repairs to the bridge but I wanted to have a look at it anyway.

I was bright & early so had a look to see if I could sneak past but they had a security guard there. I said to him that I would have tried to get across if he was not there; he said no problem I will give you a hand.

We put a plank across to the formwork at the end of the bridge in the photo & walked the bike up it under power.

View downstream from the bridge. Reflections on the Coca Cola river water. Our river water is special – would it make good whiskey I wonder.

It is a lovely road down & up the other side.

It seems to still be a relatively unspoiled place – like Plett was before electricity came there.

Bloukrans was also closed but I went to have a look at it also. In fact about half the width of the road has slipped away in quite a few places but there is still plenty of space for a bike or car to use the pass and about 5 cars came through while I went the opposite way – it is a bypass for the toll road.

Also pretty much like the Nature’s Valley pass. The old bridge.

The toll road. This bridge is rather different to the old one.

Then I went across to Kareedouw on the R62. The main road to Patensie then goes via Humansdorp but I cut onto gravel roads towards those hills but joined the main R322 to get through to Patensie where I filled up and bought some beer.


This is the route I followed. Very pretty countryside on the way to Patensie.

I have been through Baviaans a few times before but it remains a special place to me.


The obligatory Smitskraal watercrossing photos.

And the passes.

Here is the river.

As I got out of Baviaans I came across a group of houses like this. I am interested in vernacular architecture (houses that people build for themselves). No doubt buildings like this are familiar to many of you from the Highveld, Lowveld & Kwazulu but they are unusual in the Cape. In Europe such buildings are called wattle and daub. I will make a separate post about them some day.

As you leave Baviaans there is this lovely red hillside before Nuwekloof Pass.

There are many fields of onions in seed on the way to De Rust. I know much of it is for China. The Chinese want pure onion seed that has no cross pollination.

A Victorian ‘Ostrich Feather Palace’. The cast iron was selected from a catalogue and ordered from Scotland. Some of the ‘Palaces’ were complete kit houses that were sent out from Britain.

Had a beer at Herrie se Plek (Biker Friendly) and spent the night at the adjoining Olivier’s Rust self catering although I had supper at Herrie’s also. Look for the purple elephant.


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