Tag Archives: South Africa

Cape Town to Johannesburg by BMW R1200GS – Day 4

Cathkin Park / Champagne Valley, Drakensburg to Bryanston, Johannesburg.

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Awoke once again to the most glorious day. Not a cloud in the sky and already quite warm. The Berg was crystal clear and it was the most perfect day for riding through the Countryside.

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I decided to take the back roads once again. My route was planned to go via Winterton, Bergville – such an awesome name when you think of Smallville, and via the Sterkfontein Dam. The owner of Inkosana had provided a rough map, and on it was written “BAD ROAD” next to the Dam. Come on, I’m on a 1200GS … how BAD could BAD be? The back road from Bergville takes you to Harrismith, and means you don’t have to get on the highway. And I really wanted to avoid Highway riding as much as possible for now. So the BAD road it would be.

So I headed out on yet another adventure. The Berg was amazing this time of the morning. The R74 road through to Bergville was in good condition and just after Bergville it heads up a pass, past Little Switzerland, and when you stand on the pass and look out towards the Berg, you can see why it is called Little Switzerland. It truly could be!

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So, I stopped at the top of the pass, took a few pics, and kept on going. At this stage I was thinking the Inkosana Owner has obviously not been on this road for ages. It is in awesome condition. Recently tarred. Really good riding. Smile

There is a Eskom Hydro-Electric Scheme on the pass, and it uses water from the Sterkfontein Dam. At this stage though the local baboons had clearly decided they liked the building too, and were busy climbing all over the structure. I just hope they can’t get access to the buildings. Otherwise Eskom might be generating electricity when they don’t need. Or the dam might suddenly find itself very empty! lol

Anyway, I skirted the pass and was busy looking out over the Skerkfontein Dam, which is massive, when suddenly something flashed past me on my left hand side on the road. I looked down and … WHOA … are you serious!!!

I had just missed a POTHOLE THE SIZE OF MY BIKE!!! Surprised smile

I just had to turn around and get a picture.

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I continued on, but now at a much slower pace. And a good thing it was too. For around the corner the road literally disintegrated! I didn’t manage to get pics unfortunately as there were cars behind me and in front of me – the road was all of a sudden really busy – and I was literally using all my awesome off-road riding skills, which I had learnt between Hogsback and Cathcart 2 days ago, to stay upright! The road was in shocking condition. It is in a way explainable: the Heat of Summer and Freezing Cold of Winter has clearly trashed the tar. However the issue with this road is that they haven’t graded it. They keep trying to plug the potholes. So the tar hardens but the potholes keep getting bigger. Causing hard and soft spots, allowing for the road to create these massive holes. There were some holes that my front wheel was literally half buried in. You hit those at speed and it is game over! In my mind, what they should actually do is just grade it down to dirt and leave it that way. Then fill the dirt and forget the tar. So, all I can say is luckily I had a R1200GS! You could probably make it on most bikes, and cars, but I wouldn’t bring a S1000RR along here!

At Harrismith I hit the Engen Garage, which has like 5 different food joints! Fantastic! I was starving after NOT having my ribs the night before!

From Harrismith the road is all Highway all the way back to Johannesburg and it was a sad ending to a fantastic trip, having to do miles and miles of monotonous highway. But at least it got me home and in one piece as well.

So, after three-and-a-half days of travelling through 5 Provinces (Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, and Gauteng), I had travelled approximately 2311 kms, according to Google Maps. I forget to reset my Odo in Cape Town for the official bike mileage. Muppet! Anyway, the distance was approximately correct and that translated to about 24 hours in the saddle. No wonder I was feeling really uncomfortable by the time I got home!

CPT to JHB by 1200GS

 

So a couple of outtakes and notes from the trip:

  • Wear Padded Cycling Shorts under the biking gear
  • Get proper rain oilies for wet weather
  • Get more experience on Dirt
  • Bring a Headlamp for night time use off the bike
  • Get the extra BMW Side Lights for the bike for night riding
  • Get the extended Foot Pegs for the R1200GS
  • Possibly get a tank bag for additional goodies on the road
  • GET OUT TO THE COUNRTYSIDE MORE – ON THE BIKE IF POSSIBLE!!!
  • We truly do live in a beautiful country! Smile

 

Nunnsby

Loving Riding Life!

😉

Cape Town to Johannesburg by BMW R1200GS – Day 2

Jeffries Bay to Maclear. Via Port Elizabeth, and Grahamstown, and Fort Beaufort, and Alice, and Hogsback (for lunch), and Cathcart, and Queenstown, and Lady Frere, and Cala, and Elliot, and Ugie!

Google can’t actually allow you to customise a trip on the Mobile Version properly so I’ve split up into two sections

J Bay to Hogsback

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Hogsback to Maclear

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So firstly Big Up to my mom for the advice of taking the road less traveled! My original plan was to go via Coffee Bay, but having been there before, and wanting to travel to places I have not yet seen, she advised I had up to Hogsback

I can truly say that today I travelled what must be some of the most beautiful parts of our country!

Entering Grahamstown you are reminded that this is part of the Frontier Country of the Eastern Cape!

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The road from Grahamstown to Fort Beaufort rises up over the mountain range North of Grahamstown and winds up through the valleys through some truly remarkable scenery. Unfortunately for you reading this blog, I was too busy enjoying the passes and countryside to stop and take pics.

A very old and dilapidated Fort Beaufort! 🙁

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Amazing scenery on the way to Hogsback!

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And then Hogsback! 🙂 After a near miss with a cow on the side of the road! The road to Hogsback winds up the side of a valley where it literally becomes a single lane road with no markings covered by tree tops, but yet still serves two-way traffic. A very interesting ride in the least.

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Thanks to Google for letting me think that the road from Hogsback to Cathcart was tar! And thanks to Mother Nature for the awesome weather!

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First time ever on a dirt road in the rain on my new baby! But, she handled just fine!

A Frontier War Relic at Cathcart.

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A World War One Memorial at Queenstown. “Lest We Forget” … that we live in South Africa where people will steal anything they can get their hands on! Such as half a memorial! 🙁

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The journey to Maclear was an interesting one,  and yet even more beautiful. Another very,  very,  very close “shave” with another cow, followed shortly by a goat, and the travels were getting exciting! The road from Queenstown to Maclear is in fantastic condition with at least half of it newly tarred. There is the odd pothole or few, but nothing drastic, and easy enough avoid the bike. The trick being to ride the middle of the road where cars don’t travel. That way there has been little chance of causing potholes there.

These people have the best properties in the country!

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A valley selfie!

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My Baby!

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All in all, I arrived in Maclear, safe and sound, after an amazing day on the road.

Nunnsby

Loving Living Life!

😉

Cape Town to Johannesburg by BMW R1200GS – Prelude

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So the adventure planning is on the go. Tomorrow I leave for “JoBoet“, by bike, from “Ape Town“!

I’m going to be traveling along the East Coast, and first stop is Jeffreys Bay.

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Should be a fun route in one day on a Bike! 😮

Google says it is 682 kms, and should take just over 7 hours. 7 hours in the Saddle … Fun! Fun! Fun! 😮

Just booked the accommodation now, and in true Nunnsby fashion, left it till last minute and only thing I can get in J Bay now is a single bed in a dorm of 8! AWESOME!

Plan is to do around 600-700 kms a day. 350 odd in the morning, and 350 odd in the afternoon after lunch.

We’ll see how it goes. The bike and me that is!

Nunnsby

Loving Living Life!

😉