24-25 February 2018
‘’Come and fly the skies where black eagles soar, and hike the paths of the leopard once more.
Come and climb the rocks where the baboon often play, and spend time at a rock pool each day.’’
The best thing about a weekend like this is the fact that very little planning is necessary, the hardest part is making place on the bike for a tent. We met for sanity sake at the Engen in Plattekloof, knowing that by now we all are au fait with this garage as a meeting point. Stefania’s bike decided to break the ice and trend for our relaxed ride and was so relaxed it just didn’t start. We ended up detouring via Vredehoek, with Carel jumping like a kangaroo on the motorbike freeing downhill in town. Here you place your hands over your eyes and remove one finger, just because you cant look, traffic in town, freeing down hill with a tempermental motorbike is a recipe for …….. after a few attempts the little ninja took, and the engine roared making its awakening presence known.
Now we were all awake, ready … from the N1, it was a quick dash through traffic to the N7 and the country side commenced just outside Durbanville turn off.
The previous nights rain had left the fresh earth smell hanging in the air, accompanied by a cool breeze which was welcomed as I rode with an open visor. It was literally a few gear changes and the dirt was under my tyres already. Admittedly a few minutes later I wasn’t feeling it. Neels says I have a Kopwurm.. I am starting to think he is right. After a few serious chats with this KopWurm, I decided that he lost and Jani won the round and put my fears and doubts in the dust behind me and just embrace the day.
I placed myself at the back with Andreas when we entered the Haaskraal road, so that I could flex my confidence muscle a bit more. Looking down my speedo was reading 90kms per hour on dirt and I was standing. KopWurm – you lose!
We took a refreshment stop at Du Vlei Padstal. The hot chocolate here is one of my favourites and shortly after stopping, the warm sweet beverage found its way into my hands.
Carel once again turned us off the tar, soon we were on Delsma Farm road that goes through to Gouda. This dirt road was a pleasure riding and we ended up coming into Gouda and then turning right towards Porterville. With the stop and go’s it wasn’t too much of a hold up and we entered the town soon enough to make the local butchery in time. We all peeled into the local butchery, the owner recognized Carel, and before we knew it half a cow was being sliced into steaks, with some complimentary braaispice for our barbi in the valley. Pitstop for cold beverages and then we headed out, exited Porterville we took the turnoff to the right, Dasklip / Cardouw road to make our way to Dasklip Pass, the one that would drop us in the valley at Beaverlac.
Some more dirt under the tyres and soon it turned to a now neatly tarred pass. The narrow pass trickles along the mountain side, making ascent quick. We stopped at the grid, to take in all the beauty below us and saw the path in the distance that we were on just a few minutes ago. We now understood why Carel made sure we had a cold beverage. Here we saluted and high five’ed each other for a good day to be alive and healthy.
The drop to Beaverlac commenced, it is a quick descent of sand, and loose rock. By now the comms had died, and the Kopwurm too. In 1st gear I spluttered down the mountain like a snail clutching to a wet rock. I got down, in one piece and so was my bike
Beaverlac is a natural heritage site in the Grootfontein Farm, it is hidden in the Olifants River Mountains and is situated in a 5000 hectare secluded valley surrounded by the Ratel and Olifants Rivers.
We all unpacked and set up camp at this beautiful camp site with in minutes bike gear was replaced with shorts, tshirts and barefoot as we made ourselves comfortable around the fire where Collen had already set up for us. With Bernie and Pi, his 2 precious bulldogs came with to be our brave body guards for the evening.
Sitting around the fire, I can say that a year ago, I didn’t know any of these people and here we are spending such a special time in such an amazing place sharing stories and dreams. We all have different careers and yet our idea of a good time is this. I have learnt that doing trips with people who enjoy what you enjoy, there is never admin.
The evening ended as we all found our way to our little cacoons for a well deserved rest
The next morning we ventured on a hike to explore the beautiful landscape followed by a refreshing swim in the rock pools of Beaverlac. The rock pools are beautiful and clean and a relief for all campers on a warm day. By lunch time the fire needed to be extinguished and the tents packed up for our route home again.
Carel didn’t hold back on the route and dirt and dust was there again. We made a few detours on a few farms, accidentally on purpose. Not one of us minded, as a good day is a good day, lost or not. We went past the Misverstand dam. And then did the long stretch of dirt before Riebeeck Kasteel. We entered the tar there for a quick trip through the pass to Malmesbury. Here we said good bye. As we hugged each other the dust lifted off our jackets as a sign of another successful day.
… when you were a child at a funfair, and you stood in the queue at the tornado, your hands used to shake as you held the ticket out to the conducter. You proceeded with caution onto the contraption that would spin you around and upside, and you would scream with exhilaration. When it would come to a dead stop you would hold onto the railing while you get off again with adrenaline pumping. And the first reaction would be.. ‘ lets do it again’ –
Monday morning when I opened my eyes… that was the words I uttered.