Sunday, September 14, 2014

A shorty to Cape Point

Another weekend, another Sunday, another beautiful day in the Cape. Aren't we blessed? What to do on such a day. Many thing come to mind, many options to ponder about.

I haven't been able to do any biking the past week. Why? Sold my helmet with the Honda Transalp last weekend, it took me sometime to find a replacement.

Anyhow, discussed the route with Maryke, we ended up doing an outing to Cape Point Nature reserve. Being a holder of a wildcard, having a full tank available on the Pig, it turned out to be a non-expence day alltogether (does that make sense...?)

Anyhow, first pit stop just before entering the reserve

Evidence to proof I was a the most southern point in Africa. Well.... at least that is what is cliamed on the billboard.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My first solo trip - the last day (Aug 31, 2014)

Today was all about getting home. It was a bright Sunday, sunny skies, the wind was cold. Just after the 8th bell of the morning, I hit the road again. I had it all for myself, it seemed everything was having a slow morning. In no time the 100 odd kays to Matjiesfontein was done and dusted. I was ready for breakfast in this lovely little touristy location.

I hit final stage going home. The N1 south was quiet, it made for easy riding. Mountains tops still showing evidence of the cold we had the previous week. The Matroosberg advertised the evidence in very certain terms.

Distance covered on this trip was ~1,500 km in total. Not bad for a rookie me thinks.
I enjoyed this exercise more than what the photos and comment portray. Be that be known.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My first solo trip - day 2 (Aug 30, 2014)

I had a good night in Stilbay. I felt rested, I was ready for a new day of riding. I was looking forward to another day on the gravels in the Western Cape.

It was shortly after 08h00 I left the comfort of my overnight stay. On the way out of Stilbay one would cross the Goukou River.

Just out of town there is a turnoff to the right, a gravel road that would take you all the way to Gouritsmond, my intended next destination. The road was long, the road was straight. I had it all for myself. Many would call this bliss. I am in agreement with this call. I was in gravel heaven.

All to soon, I was at my next port of call.

The tide was out. I did the same. The town was smaller than expected, I couldn't find a place to have a breakfast. After a quick look around the place I hit the road again, I was hungry. I didn't mind the tar, it made for speedy transport. However, nature was created beautiful by the Creator, I had to stop and smell the roses (so to speak).

Had a quick breakfast near Mosselbay at the Engen petrol station, then hit the road again. Next stop was to be Oudtshoorn. I would go via Robinson pass. I can highly recommend for its sweeping corners when going by bike. Halfway one would find this memorial......

In Oudtshoorn I filled the pig to the brim, had a humungous cuppa, accompanied by a likewise piece of carrot cake. I was looking forward to the next stretch. It would be the so called dangerous Swartberg pass.

Mountaintops were all covered in snow. It was cold but sunny.

I got the top of the pass, some sleet still lying around.

I didn't stay long at the top, the temperature was a long way off summer thresholds. I decided to speed ahead to the next town, Prince Albert. Shortly after, Merweville and then Sutherland were the targeted towns.

My overnighting shed was at the Cosmos B&B

Hanging out with friendly people of Sutherland. I have not met such elsewhere in South Africa in such a grandiose scale.

Monday, September 1, 2014

My first solo trip - day 1 (Aug 29, 2014)

Life, they say, sometime is full of surprises. Or maybe I should rather use the word opportunity. Yeah, that does sound better. It is a truer reflection of a sequence of events of the previous week.

Janneke was to go away for nearly a week, including the weekend. She went visiting some of the kids, whom either work or study up country. Another goal was for her to visit her parents who recently moved into a home for the elder.

I, on the other hand, saw an opportunity to do a bike trip. I arranged to take the day off from  office and thus my first ever multi-day solo trip materialized. I planned a rough route to follow for the Friday and Saturday. Objective was to do gravel roads as far as possible. Sunday would have to be easy, it would have to be tar all the way home. I would be traveling east from Cape Town. As for overnight stays I decided to sleep where I was at the end of the day.

So, I left home around 08h30 Friday morning. First goal was to savely negotiate Sir Lowry's pass. The road was wet. It was misty at the top. Traffic wasn't to bad on a Friday morning.

Soon, it took the turnoff to Viljoenshoop. Next goal was to travel the gravel road from Grabouw to Kleinmond. The road went via Highlands.

Up and up the road went.

Then, down she went again.

I safely got to Hermanus. I had to make sure the pig had enough juice on board.

The sea was quiet, not showing any evidence from a couple of stormy days we had in the Cape.

After a cup of coffee across the road from "Frans se klip", off to Stanford I went. En-route one would pass the Klein River Lagoon.

I hit some serious gravel road shortly after turning left on the R43. It was bliss!

On the way to Napier

On the way to Elim, I had some minor challenges to negotiate.

At Struisbaai I stopped for a lunch, I chose a healthy one at that.

Next goal was to cross the Brieƫ River at Malgas pont.

The road continues to Witsand, a little sleepy town where the Breƫ River mouths into the Atlantic Ocean.

The last stretch of the day was all the way to Stilbay.
I stayed for the night