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White Stripes
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« on: February 13, 2011, 10:37:34 PM »

This was always going to be an emotional trip. For more than one reason.

My baby followed in her dad’s footprints in more than one way, so it was predestined that this would happen one or other day. First she bought oupa’s Honda car when he gave up driving. 30k. Next was a search for a cheap bike. Bought a DR 650 for 33k. She is probably as stingy as her dad, but at least she owes nobody money.

Next step was to get the bike to Aggeneys. She is working there and lives in an area with some very nice gravel roads.

Then there was the small unfinished business of the road from Garies to Springbok over the Kamies Mountains.

The scene was set. I asked Tok-tokkie and Wolfmother to join. TT was as wise as an old dog and declined. To hot. WM, in his unpretentious youth agreed without reading the fax. Any reason to get on his bike is a good one.

We started late on Thursday morning from Langebaan and we were already feeling the heat. We took the trusted railroad from Velddrift to Lutzville. Between Velddrift and Elandsbaai it was really hot, to the point that the heat actually burned your naked flesh. Tok-Tokkie was relaxing in his living room with the aircon on.

Our first stop was at Lutzville. We filled up and bought something to eat. The local golf club provided shade and time to cool off.



Next we took the road to Brand-se-baai. A bit of tar and then on the nice farm roads to Lepelfontein and Kotzesrus.

On the way we were showered on and the heat was gone.






Kotzesrus has six families and a mall. There is a house for sale for 450k, if somebody is interested.









Cashing in on everything that is free. Wind, water, sun.







In Garies we met two guys on a 990 and a gs800 that just came the way we were planning to go. They agreed that the road is a must.

First we went up Studer pass.





Up in the mountain the climate it very different from down in Garies and even more so from Boesmanland, as you would go east.



Our destination for the night, Leliefontein.



Upon riding into town we got the reception of Charlie and Evan and were jam-packed by kiddies. I asked the one on a bicycle for directions to the campsite. “Nee, oom, die kampplek is toe, maar oom kan op my pa se plaas kamp”

We met his dad and they were very friendly people. His wife is in charge of the campsite and tourism in Leliefontein. She can be contacted for arrangements regarding tourism. Very nice woman. Vera Engelbrecht. 027 672 1972. I booked for September. Tok-tokkie and co have to come and enjoy this.



The young fellow rode with WM to the farm, with mom and dad in their car. They took us to a nice site on the farm. No facilities, but very nice. By that time it was already dark and we scrambled to get firewood for the night.





I brought two nice pieces of ox and a small box of red wine with, so we were in heaven. Without having to vote.

We spent a wonderful evening under the stars, with lightning to the distant East. It was raining in Bushmanland. The stars were just out of reach of our hands in a crystal clear sky. Tok-Tokkie was watching TV in Greenpoint.

As I settled down in my tent, I was contemplating the day and the conversations around the fire. Then to my baby, waiting for her bike to be delivered. Nudging fear came creeping under my skin again. What if she hurts herself? What if she dies on a bike that I encouraged her to get? What if?

What if she does not enjoy life out of fear?
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Rooibok
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2011, 02:53:31 PM »

Baie mooi WS...ek wonder wat maak die mense daar by Kotzesrus?  Cool
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Lemac
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2011, 02:57:22 PM »

Ongelooflike deel van die wêreld daar!!
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White Stripes
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2011, 05:04:48 PM »

We woke up to a glorious morning. We could smell the veld and the light wind brought in every hint of glorious nature that you can think of. Cleansed by the rain, everything just looked fresh and pure.



This little fellow showed up the previous night and was there as soon as we woke up.



She is definitely not a beneficiary of a animal care grouping. She was hungry and was all over us. We didn’t cater for breakfast either, so we shared bits of energy bars with her. Not  much to her delight.

We hurried to get on the bikes because there were already indications that it is still summer.

The roads we travelled the previous day were all familiar, but the short road parallel to the N-7 was what I came for. Most of it was virgin territory for me.

On the road to Kamieskroon you turn North on a single track road that connects the local farms and ends up in Springbok. As usual, words and pictures cannot do justice to the beauty and tranquillity of the area.





We had enough time to take it real slow and take in everything. It must be wonderful to do this in September. Wake up Tok-tokkie!







I was in two or three minds over what bike Elana must buy. Some part said as small a possible. Some part said something in-between, with enough power to let her enjoy the bit of speed. That one ugly part kept on telling met she is just a little girl. Well, this little girl grew up on a farm and has very little fear. She just has to learn to deal with it. The more I rode her bike, the more I felt it is the right call. The bike is very responsive and not to slow. Definitely not too heavy to pick up. Yes, it is it!

Some more Kammiesberg.





In Sprinbok we took over Wimpy and indulged in a big breakfast. Since we had a lot of time on out hands, we decided to ditch the plan to go to Loop 10 road and rather go to Aggeneys as fast as possible and then go to Pella and the Gariep. It was in flood and we were excited to see it.

You all have pictures of the RC church in Pella. Here is another one for your collection.



Road down to the river.





The river was full. Yes, full!!!








WM could not resist.



I had a better idea. R20 and you could get in the dam with your sweaty clothes and get rid of some of the smell.



The little camp site belongs to the gentleman on the left.




People farm with all kinds of stuff down here, but it is not really worth it. The distance to markets is too big and the scale obviously too small.

On the piece of land to the right they farmed with !Xhoba, or Hoodia as it is known.



The poor people. Every now and then some smart yuppie come and tell them that they can make a lots of money with some kind of scheme. Years ago it was the paprika project just downstream at Goodhouse. Millions of Rands down the drain. I was involved in project driven by a group under the “guidance” of Allan Boesak when I was still farming in the Augrabies area. What a waste!

The outcome of the !Xhoba project? There was no market. They threw everything away.

Rock climber's dream.



Pella.



Back in Aggeneys, Elana was still working. They had a handover ritual the next day. Some Indian Company bought Black Mountain and the official handover was on Saturday. Luckily Elana is still a junior engineer, so she could join our plan to go to Augrabies the next day.

Oh, on the small matter of delivery, this is how a happy face looks like!




Cousins that are like brother and sister.


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White Stripes
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2011, 06:55:07 AM »

Saturday had a huge mix of activities and emotions on offer.

We started early, because we had a jam-packed day ahead of us.

On the bikes, Elana at the back, to Kakamas. We got rained on again, not the last time. In Kakamas we borrowed a bakkie from a friend and picked up my dad to go to Augrabies.

Without going into details, I’m very glad that I have the opportunity to enjoy him in the twilight of his life. It was not always so. He suffered a lot of hardship in his life and the last year was not much better. All his money got stolen, he moved into an old age home and is losing his memory. With a little bit of wisdom, I was able to adjust my outlook and am very fortunate to be able to give back and also enjoy him for what he is.






Augrabies was spectacular, but did not lend itself to photo's. Apart from the fact that it was raining, she provided her own shroud of rain. Those who know her will know.



I know Augrabies so well, I grew up there. I did not join the kids and Pa in walking around. My dear friend Pieter lost his wife just a week earlier and we met at the restaurant. She took her life and it was just so flippen sad. Too see a strong guy so frail, is just not lekker.

Unfortunately I do not have good pictures of Augrabies. I'll try to post a little video later.

We went to see the bridge over the river where I went over almost every day when I was farming. It barely cleared the rampant river. I forgot to clean the camera.





We dropped off Pa in Kakamas and left for Aggeneys. We got rained on again. Riding in the rain and without having to talk was good at that time. Dad is 84 years old and every time I see him, I find it more difficult to leave him behind.

We had one last thing to do. Ghamsberg. It has a very interesting shape. It looks like a giant volcano, but it formed in the time when the quarts mountains were formed. The new boyfriend  :angry4: is a geologist and explained it quite good. It was a huge “bubble of mountain that turned on it’s side and left this oval range with only one small opening to the outside. The new company is going to start mining the area soon.

This is just the background. In that mountain is a little frog that you only find there. Nowhere else. This was our quest.

Once again, it is difficult to capture everything in pictures. This picture was taken from inside the dome.



The opening to the outside world. Carved during millions of years.








We were very lucky. This little stream only flows after good rains.








WM is like a klipspringer and disappeared into the little kloof. Only to come back and report a “supertube” just above the waterfall. We had to go and inspect.

He was not sure if we should go down there. The sides are very slick and there was no obvious way back. Going forward was not an option. The fall was to high and the water at the bottom to shallow to jump.



This was just to much of a temptation. Since I'm slightly older, I got the privilege to go first.




The sides were not too slick, so we could find our way up again.

WM did it in style.



After we went down a few times, we saw it. The little frog! About 3 cm long and nothing special, but definitely the one! Unfortunately the camera was too far away and the little amphibian was too skittish to give us much change to toy around. We also saw a lot of tadpoles, but only one adult. We were very lucky. Very few people have seen it.

After our wonderful swim, we made a fire and spend the evening in the dome.

Next morning it was time to go back. WM on his bike and the rest of us per cage.

A lot can be said. I hope this is the start to a lot of fun, my little one. You are a big girl now.

Koppie op, borsies uit, boudjies in!
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letsgofishing
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2011, 07:19:10 AM »

Great story and pics WS - thanks for sharing!  A1
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JC
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2011, 07:30:28 AM »

Agreed!  A1
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tok-tokkie
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Insects: busy little blighters.


« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2011, 09:41:43 AM »

Great.  Yes the nagging has worked - I would love to do that area in September.

Ghamsberg.  In Forgotten Frontier (the book which made me do my Sak River trip) it is explained that the trekboers could not understand how the San (Bushmen) could steal their sheep or cattle & just disappear.  The Ghamsberg is where they went & the trekbore did not realise that it was a cone.
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Trailrider
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Die Bergie...


WWW
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2011, 11:08:57 AM »

Very nice report WS! A1
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White Stripes
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2011, 09:54:35 PM »

Augrabies. Hope it works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoO6f-AxMkY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YY4Lvbqv0U

One last remark. You'll have to go far for a better riding buddy than Wolfmother. Thanks, it was very nice.

That footage is amazing.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 08:37:45 AM by Rustyb » Logged
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