An early start at 06h00 leaving Tokai to meet up with the group at Tableview beachfront at 06h45. The weather was perfect, cool to start off with and misty closer to the coastal areas. We had a few new riders join our group being Yvonne & her hubby Budds each on their BMW 1200 GS’s and their daughter Caylee on her Vstrom 650. Budds brought along Cato, an exchange student from Holland to join them on the ride. Two other usuals from the KLR clan, Paul, George and his wife also joined us on our last excursion for 2012.
The route took us through Darling onto gravel for about 20km up to the R45, past Langebaanweg on to the R27 and again left to St Helena Bay. This included two stretches of gravel road which was pretty sandy, slippery and challenging. Well done to both Yvonne and her daughter Caylee for sitting it out on the bigger bikes. It was Yvonne’s first ride on gravel since she got her 1200 and she handled it like a pro. Well done Yvonne! After the adrenaline rush, we stopped at the Paternoster Hotel for a well-deserved cup of coffee followed by a hearty breakfast. We shared some stories and got to know each other a bit better and it was interesting to watch the holiday action – quite a busy little spot on the West Coast by the looks of it.
A holiday atmosphere exists at this quaint former fishing village which seems to have escaped the industrial feel of St Helena Bay. Paternoster is a picturesque fishing town, 15km north-west of Vredenburg, and is one of the oldest coastal towns along the West Coast, famous for its crayfish. There are many white-washed fishermen's cottages dotted along a long, white beach. In the town some of the atmosphere of a fishing community of a bygone era is preserved.
After breakfast we went along the coast as far as the entrance to the Cape Columbine reserve where we turned around and headed back through Paternoster onto Vredenburg. Onward to Langebaan to refuel and a welcoming ice-cream as it was getting hotter at this stage of the day.
We entered the West Coast National Park from Langebaan (we really MUST get a wild card!) and stopped at a beautiful lookout spot which presented stunning views of the lagoon on a perfect day! Caylee had tempted a horizontal parking on the Vstrom but the Nav was quick at hand to help her right it back onto its wheels. After a welcome drink of water, lots of photographs and soaking up the views, the group exited the reserve. We only saw a total of 3 ostriches!
We headed back to Cape Town on the R27 and stopped at the Total garage in Melkbos for a leg stretch and to get rid of all the tingling in our hands from the vibrations. It was a longer ride than usual, and 90% tar, quite unusual for the KLRs but quite enjoyable as it was my first trip to Paternoster. The Nav got it right, yet again, as the weather was quite a lot cooler on the coast as opposed to inland where my friend Bossies literally got sunburnt on their cruisers riding out to Wellington and surrounds.
|The group taking a breather in Darling - has anyone noticed that the big tree in front of the garage on main road has been removed - so sad!|
|Budds (GS1200) ahead of Caylee (Vstrom) and Yvonne (GS1200) following in the distance|
|Caylee finding her feet on the gravel|
|Regrouping on route to Velddrif/Saldahna|
|just before St Helena Bay|
|Breakfast at the Paternoster Hotel - Budds, Yvonne, Cato & Caylee|
|George, his wife, David and Paul|
|Leaving Paternoster hotel on route to WCNP|
|Caylee mounting her steed as dad keeps a beady eye|
|The group entering the WCNP - what a glorious day!|
|George and his wife on their KLR|
|Budds & Yvonne on their GS'1200's|
|Beautiful viewpoint in the WCNP - just another glorious day in the Cape|
|The boys kitting up as we head back home|
|Cato, Yvonne and Budds packing up before heading back to CT|
A big thank you to everyone who joined us on our adventures in 2012. We have discovered some awesome places, from Baviaans to corbelled houses in Carnarvon to the remote wilderness of Gamkaskloof (Die Hel). We look forward to many scenic, interesting, challenging, easy, fun, enjoyable, relaxing and stress-free miles in 2013 and hope that you will all join us again to explore what our beautiful Cape Town and surrounds has to offer.
Till next time....
Safe travels everyone
"4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul"