Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Touring with The Pretty One - Day 4

Bo-Kloof to Willowmore.

It was just gettin light enough to see when the Tandem and it's 2 engines took off and headed for Willowmore. It was to be our longest day of the four days in the Kloof and we wanted to beat some of the Karoo heat. Just before we got to Nuwekloofpas we stopped at a house by the roadside and were treated to roosterkoek with butter, fig jam and cheese. (Roosterkoek is a bread type dough that is baked over an open fire.) An absolute treat.

After this the engines had enough fuel to make light work of Nuwekloofpas and at the top this pass promptly deposits you in the dry and arid Karoo. After the support team refueld us again we were on our way to Willowmore where the group spent the night in luxury at the Willowmore Historical Guest House. We were treated like royalty.
Early morning departure from Bo-Kloof
Anton, Steve, The Pretty One, Myself and Gerrit enjoying roosterkoek

Anette, Froncois, Cornia and Pieter enjoying their roosterkoek.

Elaine obviously happy to be at Vero's for her roosterkoek
Gerrit at the start of Nuwekloofpas
The beauty of Nuwekloof

Some more beauty
On top of  Nuwekloof
The group having a kuier on the lawns of Willowmore Historical Guest House
The Pub...
Gavin and Bridget with their sons and supporter, Dave - Supper.

Touring with The Pretty One - Day 3

Rooihoek to Bo-Kloof

"Bo-Kloof" is Afrikaans for Upper Valley. And it is indeed quite a bit "upstream" that we cycled. There was quite a mean pass to cycle over and then the rest of the day's cycling was gently uphill. It made for another longish but hot day in the office. Not that anybody was complaining. The scenery was just so beautiful that one could not help but stop often and just be in awe.

Another feature of this day was that we started to cross smaller streams and these were quickly named "road jacuzzi". Me and The Pretty One was still doing great on the Tandem and she was taking many pictures with my new Nokia phone. On this particular day I had a cycling shirt on with back pockets and she started putting my phone into my shirt pocket in stead of my backpack. At on of these roadside dips I diligently took my backpack off and took a deep long cool down in the jacuzzi. When she wanted to take another photo some time later we both realized with a shock what happened. All I can say is that Nokia phones cannot swim. They drown and die...

Once everybody was settled at Bo-Kloof we had a late afternoon rain shower, but the evening turned out beautiful and we had a well earned rest.
The pass

The pass
Finding and fixing a slow leak on the Tandem
A Donkey Cart

Local inhabitants
A Road Jacuzzi being enjoyed by Steve

One of the water crossings

And another water crossing

The Kloof is really beautiful
Then it rained

Honeymoon Suite

Monday, April 11, 2011

Touring with The Pretty One - Day 2

Heron Cliff to Rooihoek

The tandem and Steve started as the day was about to break in the East and the moon was slowly dipping in the West. We wanted to get some riding during the cooler hours done, and towards the end of the day we surely were glad we were not cycling all the way in the heat of the day. The group got going, each at his own time as there is only one route through the kloof. The day turned into a scorcher and the added problem was that once we had the big climb behind us and were refreshed by the supporters on top of Bergplaas, we never saw them again after a few hours had passed and we were well rested and had a nice snooze at the Rooihoek Camping Site. Once these mountain bikes (and especially the tandem) get hold of a descent downhill, the support vehicles fall so far behind that it takes them ages to catch up again. We zipped down the descent after Bergplaas in a few minutes, and the support train took nearly 2 hours to get down.

But we were rewarded with a lovely spot to camp and everybody enjoyed the flood water from the Karoo that flowed right past our camp. We had a sleep, a swim, a chortel and a lovely braai. Most of us slept under the stars and our sleep was only disturbed by the baboons that was frightened by something (leopard?) in the middle of the night.

I (actually my daughter Liezl, driving my Pajero) was having some issues with the bike rack being hammerd by the rough roads in the Kloof, and it later turned out that a few of the other trailers were also having issues with the tough test that the Baviaans Kloof presented. But since we were a lot of Boere together, we made a plan or three. (Afrikaans proverb)
A very pretty part of the Kloof
And another pretty part of the kloof
With some awesome climbs...
And then we rested (half of these were supporters...)
Half of them were supporters too - hard work supporting...
Aaahh... The swim...
Camp taking shape