2013-01-20 Greyton, Caledon, Kleinmond, Clarence Drive

Our first ride in 2013 and WHAT a fantastic start to our rides it was.  This will be a longer post than usual (can't help myself  blame it on the fact that I might be a closet writer) so grab a cuppa and enjoy our day's journey with us.

Like schoolchildren on our first day to school (yes believe it, some love it!), after an early  rise at 530am, we kitted up (ATTGAT - all the gear all the time), had a quick cuppa Lavazza, kissed our four legged children goodbye and excitedly set off on our journey at 6am.  We filled up at the Total garage in Tokai and braved the wind on Baden Powell as we headed out to Franschoek to meet up with our good friend Paul on his KLR.

It was quite misty and windy on the other side of the Franschoek Pass but not easily deterred by wind (thanks to our Jack Parow screens), we continued on towards Villiersdorp and took the Hermanus turnoff on route to Greyton.   

We took a left towards the Theewaterskloof Dam road and what seemed like a nice deviation from the usual gravel roads, as per the Nav's  earlier search during the week, it turned out to be a bit of 'dead end' for the KLRs as we were faced by a big metal gate only accessible to those living on the estate.  After taking in the beautiful views of the dam and agreeing that it would have  been an absolutely awesome detour on route to Greyton, we turned around and continued on our journey.  Critics would say we were "lost again".... not at all, in fact, as befits 'true and like-minded adventure riders", we were simply enjoying the detours which makes our rides such great adventures!  

We headed back to the tar road and crossed the Theewaterskloof Dam, which was surprisingly full.  After 15kms or so, we took a left turn towards Greyton passing some beautiful picturesque farms.  It felt like we were in a scene of "Heidi" and all that was missing was the snow capped hills. 

Weather-wise, we were very thankful for a cooler day, although in patches it seemed like rain was going to threaten our ride.  Thankfully it was an idle threat and the weather cleared up and presented a perfect day for riding the KLRs in the countryside.  

After far too many kilometres on tar, we finally found ourselves on a gravel road which led us into the sleepy town of Genadendal.  We passed many town folk walking with their children in tow, all dressed in their Sunday best, making their way to church.   Feeling a little guilty that I wasn't being as dedicated, my memories took me back to the days when I was a young girl walking hand in hand with my mom on our way to church every Sunday. 

I sighed with relief, as we reached our usual breakfast spot in Greyton - the Oak & Vine Cafe where you will no doubt find the best coffee in the town.  If you love Origin coffee, this is the place to go!   Breakfast as usual was a treat and we had a relaxing time catching up with Paul.

After breakfast, we set off in the direction of Caledon, exiting a lovely gravel road which comes out at the back of Boontjieskraal, turning right onto the N1 and a left at the Dassiesfontein turnoff onto a gravel road which we found out a bit later, was clearly a road 'less travelled'!  The photographs below tells the story.  Let's just say that it's no fun going downhill sliding over rocks with sand below the rocks.  Thanks to Paul and his smartphone, we have the memories to share!  

Not easily shaken, the KLRs and its riders (that's me and the Nav) dusted ourselves off and made our way towards Kleinmond on a much more pleasant gravel road meandering through farmlands, crossing the Bot River on our way to Kleinmond.  The boys swopped KLRs as Paul wanted to feel how the Nav's Jack Parow screen behaved in the wind and whether it would suit his riding style.  The jury is still out on that issue but it seems that even the Jack Parow screen isn't tall enough for our tall Paul and he would have to get a bit creative to make it work!   

We stopped for an ice-cream at a garage in Kleinmond, a treat we have become well accustomed to on our afternoon stops. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that my KLR's only damage was scratches to the right hand side of the crashbar!  Money well spent as the plastics would NO doubt have been scratched badly without the added protection.  

The last stretch of our trip took us through Betty's Bay and along Clarence Drive.  The wind picked up slightly and it warmed up considerably but thankfully being on the motorcycles along the coast ensured for a 'cooler" ride.  We stopped just before Gordon's Bay for a last photo opportunity and to our surprise, Charms and a friend, on their way to have lunch in Kleinmond, pulled up behind us in their car and came to say hello.  We all agreed that even though she's not 'out there on her bike" with us that she clearly still 'out there' with us as it was a rather strange co-incidence that we should have met up as we did!    Come on Charms, heal up girlfriend - we miss you on the rides... 

The ride through the lens of my camera.....  

The route 

The Nav on coffee duty (still dark outside - looking out of window to his left) YAWN! 

Theewaterskloof Dam entrance - residents only....  slight detour.... 
The Nav & Paul deciding which way to go...  
only to be told by this kind gentleman on the left that the road goes no further than the farmhouse at  Elandskloof ahead in the distance- we turned back and took a right....
so we turned back 500m and took a right.... 

Paul on his KLR - what intrigued me more was what the naked eye can't see clearly in the background...
and there it is.... House in TRAINing... looks suspiciously like a train that crashed through a house...
anyone know the story behind this?  and no, its NOT a station.. there are NO railroad tracks in the area!
after all the excitement of trainspotting, breakfast called and Greyton beckons in the distance 
our KLRs decided to go unda-kawa... Is it a bike?  Is it a tree? 
the boys catching up over a cuppa
The most exquisite candles and pieces of art that I have seen in a long time - once the wick has burned down, it can be used as a planter - I like it.. but not enough to spend R900 in the middle of an already cash-strapped January month!   check out www.grethaquinlan.co.za
and no... not KLRs to rent.. bicycles to rent (sign in the distance)
Oak & Vigne Cafe - www.oakandvigne.co.za

Unlike your KLR, you can't hide Paul!   Kitting up and rearing to go - Kleinmond awaits 
Picturesque village of Greyton - Main road
check out www.greytontourism.com for some history on this lovely little town. 
Paul leaving me in the wake of his dust... only because I spotted a photo op! 
A perfect photo opportunity whilst waiting for Paul's dust to settle - what a view and so worth the wait!

The gravel road turnoff next to Dassiesfontein on N2 near Caledon- definitely a road 'less travelled"

The Nav doing a post inspection

My KLR taking a breather

"Oops she did it again"... no seriously, first fall and notice that the Nav's KLR also in same horizontal position ahead of me!  Reminder to self "slow down COMPLETELY on steep downhill sand/rocky terrain" - Thanks for the pic and memories Paul!   Bet you were glad you sat this one out!

The Nav and I enjoying a good giggle at our synchronised tumble 

Paul slowly went ahead and waited for us to regroup 
The Nav slowly making his way down the slippery hill 
The boys swopping out bikes for Paul to try out the Jack Parow screen 

Ice cream stop in Kleinmond - our usual afternoon snack 
Damage inspection - scratched crashbar only - best thing we did was to fit the crashbars! 

Thanks Paul for joining us on this epic ride!  I love travelling new gravel roads, don't really like the sand/loose big stone areas much but at least I can tick that box now and gained some experience as to 'what not to do' the next time I encounter a similar road surface.  

Yvonne, sorry we missed you guys on this trip.  We had email issues at the office and only saw your email today.  We hope that you and your family will join us on our next ride.  The only tricky spot might have have been where David and I went sliding down the hill (and no renaming us Jack & Jill now please) and only because of the rocky/sandy surface of the road - nothing to do with the rider or the bike! (and we will both stick to that version)  Adventure riding is not for sissies that is for sure but I truly believe that this builds experience and character.

As we speak, the Nav is planning our next trip on Sunday and we will send out the invite to those of you already on the list.  If anyone reading this blog wants to join us on our Sunday excursions, +/- 350kms max, do send your email address and contact details to adventureridersct@gmail.com.    We will gladly add your name to the list to invite you on our next ride.  

Till next time....

Safe travels everyone

"4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul"