While everybody stayed in tents, I lived in my hammock:
On that internet pic of the campsite it seemed like a hammock might work here. I was right!
This is how I woke up:
The view to my right - cave side:
The view to my left - camp side:
Can life get better than this?
Early morning camp-life:
This picture shows the campsite well:
Izak1 had the small tent with Kaas in the circus tent next to him. I'm hanging around in the tree behind them and Gryph and Melissa is in the back. The cave is behind the trees.
After some breakfast and coffee we headed out:
When we rode to the campsite the previous evening we were tired after a long day, but this morning we were looking at this road with a sense of excitement. Riding a "new" road really is special. Pity you can only do it once (wait, I've said that before).
These roads meander down into the kloofs and up the other side, just to drop you back into a kloof again. It's like a never ending series of passes and mini-passes.
The Kouga Loop runs through farmland and every so often you ride past some farm activity, more so in the Western part than in the East.
For the most part the scenery is all natural - big wide vistas when you crest the passes and green leafy areas next to the rivers in the valleys.
This pic describes the whole experience of the area well - look at the road and the road just there on the other side:
Between here and there is a whole pass!
Look at this:
Ice cold water, ferns and green grass. Heaven.
I don't think I ever got out of 2nd gear on this whole route. Around every turn there is something to see.
And all to soon it was over.
The GPS track of this route shows how you rise and fall riding this route. You can make out 4 distinct passes. Brilliant scenic passes. And yet they don't even have names. I have ridden LOTS of passes in my time and these rank high on that list. Much lesser passes (some you can hardly even call passes) feature on lists of passes and yet these don't. I wonder why.
The GPS info:
Download to view 3D in Google Earth / Download GPX for your GPS
From here we could either double back home via the route we came, cruise down the Langkloof towards George or cross the mountain near Kareedouw and head home via the coastal route. We opted for the latter because (1) I have not ridden Kareedouw Pass yet and I could document it for my passes quest, (2) there were heat wave conditions and it would be cooler near the coast, (3) there's a gravel road from Plett to Prince Alfreds pass I have not ridden yet and (4) there were unfound geocaches (both Gryph and I are keen geocachers) on that route which would at least make things interesting.
But first... a quick ride to Klein Langkloof.
Lunch in Kareedouw at the biker friendly "Sweaty Dutchman".
(Photo by KAAS)
(Photo by KAAS)
(Photo by KAAS)
We also made a quick stop at the church. Former President Vorster is buried here.
Another tick off my list - Kareedouw Pass.
Not much of a pass really. Especially after the amazing passes we've ridden this morning!
We were running out of time. It was after lunch already so we just hightailed it home. This is one of the few advantages big DS bikes have over small bikes, when you want to get home quickly and your "just" 150km from home, it's no problem!
This was near Bloukrans (I think).
And finally home, sitting back with a cold one, looking into the fire, listening to the ocean, reflecting on a brilliant brilliant piece of road.
This is how we suffer in Africa.
I wanted to go back to Kouga to be able to do that route slowly, taking my time. But I think Gryph hit the nail on the head when he said that this area (and campsite) warrants an even longer stay. You need to book into the campsite and just stay there. Maybe do an outride in the morning or late afternoon, but for the rest of the time just relax, chill in the pool, wander around in the kloofs, whatever. It's a magnificent place. We will go back (again!).