Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 1


Early Saturday morning I meet LGF at Engen in a cold and wet George. Well, actually I was a little late because I decided to try my Army "balsak" as a luggage alternative to make my life a little easier. Lets just say it did not work well.

Anyhow, we leave a cold and misty George and head up the magnificent Montagu Pass only to rise out of the mist and into a glorious sunny day. Just look at this!

I later heard that the mist never cleared in George that day, but we had great weather for today's ride.

We were on our way to Op-die-Plaas where we'd meet the rest of the group for the ride through the Moordenaarskaroo. Pad and Dusty had already left the day before and spent the night at Uhuru near Calitzdorp. Operator and Pmdb left from Cape Town, R-O-V-Rat from Hermanus and fatb would leave from Mosselbay after lunch today.

LGF and I ride through Herold, Paardepoort and on to the Heimersrivier cross where we turn left and start heading West:

I photographed this house near Zebra. I love photographing houses in a rural setting.

We had our first snack stop on the Paardebont road. LGF had never ridden this road before and I was happy to show it to him. The Klein Karoo is green after the recent rain and the scenery colourful. Not something you see every day.

Next stop - the Gourits river. This is the same spot we stopped at on our recent Gourits River ride.

This is a great spot! I am sure that if the farmer who owns this land made a camping spot here it would be very popular.

(Photo by LGF)

(Photo by LGF)

We continue to the Rooiberg Pass. This is a great stretch of road. This was the second time in 3 weeks I've ridden it and certainly not the last.

Rooiberg Pass:

Rooiberg Pass runs between Van Wyksdorp and Calitzdorp and is a must for any Dual Sport Rider.

We hit the Gravel Highways towards Ladismith where we run into Pad and Dusty. Dusty was very chuffed that she could still get Fanta in a glass bottle here.

From Ladismith we had several route options, but in the end the dice fell on Amalienstein where I wanted to interview Maans Fourie for my Watermeid report.

This turned out to be one of the highlights of the entire trip. We were blown away by this man's humble friendliness. He invited four bikers into his home and had such a willingness to share. Eventually we had to leave, but this was an amazing experience. This is one of the most sincere people I have met in my entire life.

Read more about the Watermeid and Maans Fourie here.

Next up the amazing Seweweekspoort:

Author and poet C Louis Leipoldt called Seweweekspoort one of ‘seven wonders’ of the former Cape Province. Seweweekspoort Pass winds through the mountains over a distance of 17 km and crosses the Seweweekspoort River 23 times, whilst the mountain slopes on both sides reach heights of 1 500 - 2 000m.

Seweweekspoort was once used as an important alcohol smugglers route between the Great and Little Karoo. In the spirit of the ride we... never mind...

(Photo by Dusty)

I can report that the mountain water tastes great.

We were less than 10km from our rendezvous point and after a quick sip we rode to our destination for the night.

Arriving at the campsite we found R-O-V-Rat already waiting and Operator and Pmdb arrived soon after, with fatb arriving barely an hour after that.

We wasted no time in pitching camp and the festivities began.

With all the contraband we smuggled here it was not an early night...

Tomorrow head for the Moordenaarskaroo / Murderer's Karoo. On top of it's murderous reputation it's also rumoured to be haunted...


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