Note to self.... '
when planning a trip to the Tankwa Karoo at the height of winter (between 2 and 4 degrees max during the day), preferably stay at a hot spring like The Baths in Citrusdal....".
After an unsuccessful attempt to secure a booking at The Baths due to winter school holidays, we found a cottage at
Sothemba Lodge for our planned Winter Run into the Tankwa Karoo/Cederberg area.
, accommodation secured, we set off a bit later than usual and enjoyed a hearty Wimpy breakfast at the Winelands 1 Stop where we met up with Paul and Erich before setting off in the direction of Ceres. We knew we were in for a cold weekend! planned
We took the Protea and Eenzaamheid road through the back of Durbanville and on to Du Toitskloof and Slanghoek to Ceres. A compulsory yet brief coffee stop at The Winterberg Inn was a pleasant surprise with an enormous welcoming fire in their pub. Bonus.
From Ceres we took the road over Swaarmoed pass next to the Matroosberg and on to the R355 through the Tankwa Karoo direction Calvinia. The Swaarmoed road tops out at just over 1200m and at that altitude it was already icy cold. Thankfully the rain stayed away until Saturday evening and our overnight at
Sothemba Lodge (which is about 4km from the Tankwa Padstal)
On Sunday morning, we had a superb cooked breakfast at
Sothemba Lodge (thanks Alex) and headed up Swartruggens and Katbakkies in light rain. The sun made an appearance long enough to create a wonderful rainbow and we stopped for a few minutes to enjoy nature showing off - see pics.
Our route took us to "Op die Berg" and across to Citrusdal. Very low temperatures and light rain were not enough to dampen the spirits or make the ride unpleasant as the fresh air and scenery made it 100% worthwhile. We stopped for tea and cake on the top of Piekenerskloof pass. The rain was intermittent and we decided to head home on the N7 as opposed to the gravel (now slightly muddy) route that we had initially planned.
Never again let it be said that I am a fair-weather rider or that I 'hold' up the guys...
the pics below are the only reason for me bringing up the rear and without me, these memories would be faded...
|First bit of gravel (Protea Road) in the Stellenbosch Winelands|
|The Nav, all smiles as he gets to lead his pack again after a long absence from riding|
|My first time back at the newly rebuilt Tankwa Padstal after the place was burnt to the ground in Sept 2014|
|Amen to that!|
|"Hello Megan, |
|Next stop - Sothemba Lodge|
|The Adventure Riders also explore on foot..|
|Check out the flickers on this |
|Erich's 'other baby'|
|Erich's pot of gold at the end of this rainbow|
|This spectacular rainbow, one of nature's most splendid masterpieces, welcomed us into the Cederberg|
|The Nav and Eish descending into the valley below (Citrusdal)|
|Erich hot on their wheels|
The Tankwa Karoo is a magical place that should be on everyone's bucket list. We are addicted to the beauty and serenity of the great expanses and amazing gravel roads and find ourselves drawn back to explore the roads less travelled on our trusted steeds time and time again.
For more info on the Tankwa read
Safe travels everyone
"4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul"