Ek gooi solo!*

Garth Hewitt's picture

Points: 16

When I bought my 1st GS in 2010 I always had this dream of traveling solo...like a true adventurer...I just never had the opportunity and I felt a bit guilty treating myself all alone and leaving the wifey behind...

As most of you know my wife also rides and I had to 1st ask permission from the mrs...laugh She agreed and I started with the planning. (although I kind of had it sorted in my mind for a long time already as I was dreaming about this for quite a while!)

The nice part of riding alone is you can stop whenever and wherever you want to. I just love taking photos, so I used this opportunity to do so.

I had a couple of places I wanted to visit. Bucketlist stuff. And I wanted to experience the Karoo.

Below my planning (yes i know...it's a map...I'm still old school and absolutely love the look and feel of a map smiley)

I wanted to pass the accident scene again outside Carnarvon where our fellow club member Russell Rathbone passed away. Loxton was another place I wanted to visit. I have all the Deon Meyer books and he has a house in Loxton which he frequently visits with his GSA. Some of the scenes from his movie, Jagveld was also shot in and around Loxton. And I also wanted to visit Gariepdam, the biggest dam in SA which covers an area of 374m². Furthermore I wanted to see the towns of Victoria West, Richmond, Hanover, Colesberg, Norvalspont, Nieu Bethesda, Middelburg...

So I set off from our house in Brackenfell on a misty Saturday morning the 8th of July. 

For the 1st 150 km until Piketberg it was so misty that I could barely top 100km/h. But hell, it was fun. I was riding my beloved GSA and I was so excited...4 days of riding over 2000km on my trusted Adventure.

My 1st stop was Kardoesie just before Citrusdal for breakfast.

Only R45 for this breakfast! Can you believe it.

MY next stop was VanRhyns Pass. Breathtakingly beautiful!

Next stop was for a refuel and lunch in Calvinia...it being a Saturday just after 12:00 I couldn't find many shops open...I opted for a skaapvleis pie and coffee. Yum!

After that I headed for Williston and Carnarvon...God was showing off in the Karoo that Saturday afternoon... I stopped at the suspected place where Russell Rathbone passed away and had a brief moment of silence.

Next stop was Carnarvon...and as custom has it...when you pass through Carnarvon, you have to stop at the (in)famous Bikkies Bar at the Hotel. I gulped down a nice ice cold Windhoek Draught.


I hit the road for the last 70km to Loxton and arrived just after 16:00.

780km done for the day. It was more than the expected 720km...but hell it was fun! The room and guest house was ridiculously cheap at R400 which included breakfast. laugh Hester was a fantastic host. 

Then it was time for dinner! Oh boy!

I opted for the lamb chops and -ribs plus a nice piece of melktert and coffee to end it off.

The next morning I woke up before sunrise to make sure I catch the break of dawn...and I was not disapointed by the Karoo...


I had to laugh at the name of the Old Age Home in Loxton...kom tot rus! laugh

I then went to breakfast. What a small world we live in. I met BJ Vosloo's mother Kobie (in the photo below), who is also the organist at the local NG Church. I also knocked into an old journalist friend, Jackie Pienaar, whom I met 15 years ago at Die Burger.

Breakfast was served! Toast with mince, egg and cheese...wow, you could literaly taste the Karoo in the mince. Best breakfast I've had in a long time.

It was time to hit the road again, my destination being Gariepdam, 350km further.

My 1st stop was Victoria West, I place I also wanted to visit and tick off the list. I couldn't find Mannetjies Roux though...sad

Unfortunately I had to ride on the N1 for a short while...the amount of trucks was insane. So was the wind and the number of people speeding past me at 160km/h plus all the cars overtaking trucks on solid barrier lines...

Next stop was Richmond, the boekedorp of the Karoo where I had coffee and refueled. It was now 13:00 on the Sunday.

I headed out to Colesberg...

I grabbed a quick bite at the Steers in Colesberg.

And then I crossed the Orange River in the Free State!

I reached Gariep Dam at about 15:30...I was sooooo excited to see the dam that I 1st stopped to take a lot of photos...it must be the terrible water restrictions in the Cape that caused my fascination with the water...the photos don't do justice to the size and magnitude of this dam.

I arrived at my accommodation, De Stijl Hotel in Gariep. It was previously called The Gariep Hotel and was revamped in 2010 and officially opened by Gary Player. This was a real nice and funky Hotel with all the walls being covered in modern art by Munro, the best selling local artist in SA.

For dinner, I opted for a nice burger at the bar accompanied by a couple of vuil cokes.

The next morning (I struggled to sleep) I was up early again to catch the magnificent sunrise whilst enjoying a breakfast with a view.

I left the Hotel just before 8:00 heading out to Colesberg again via Norvalspont. It was freezing as the bike told me it was 0 degrees...but...my new Rospa Cozy Ride gloves from Flying Brick helped. Thanks Chris Grinton! 

Stopped for a quick photo at the NG Church in Colesberg.

I didn't sleep too well the previous night and had to manage my energy wisely...had to stop in Middelburg for an energy boost...

Next I turned off from the main road to make a turn in Nieu Bethesda...

the last 3 km's into town was gravel and very bumpy. Regte sinkplaat! 

Had some lekker pan cakes at the farm stall and bought the wifey a nice table cloth. Had to laugh at the sign on the gate...Hang aan die hek en jy sal vrek. devil

NG Church Nieu Bethesda

Next stop was a refuel at the Engen Garage in Graaff-Reinet. Had a long chat to the owner who also rides a GS. Had to refuel myself as well.

Almost there! Next stop was the Hotel in Willowmore for a nice refreshing dop and some salami sticks. The bar is named Die Laaste Watergat! I just love the locals you meet in these bars and their interesting stories. The Barman owned the Hotel for 3 years and the new owner recently revamped the Hotel at a cost of R1m...

My destination for the day was the Schulteheim Hotel in Uniondale. I reached the hotel at 16:00 after traveling 540km for the day.


I was welcomed by the manager, Reghardt. The room was huuuuuuge and could sleep 6 people. Breakfast were included at the price of R400. What a steal!

Impressive NG Church in Uniondale.

For Dinner I went to The Hungry Ghost...a restaurant which opened 2 weeks prior. What a nice place!

A glass of wine only cost R13 and was enough to refill my glass twice! The pizza was only R65. Wow!

The next morning I woke up just before 7:00 to find it being freeeeeeezzzzzing cold! My phone said 0 degrees. Unfortunately the bike was sleeping in the open....but...with the 1st swing it started!

The same can unfortunately not be said for the car next to me...the instrument cluster read 0 degrees as well, but I was convinced it was colder.indecision

Breakfast was served and I had to start heading home...

I left at 8:00 and decided to take the more scenic route to Oudtshoorn and then head home via Route 62...

It was piss cold and the photo below was taken in the vicinity of Molen River. Minus freaking 3 degreeeees!

All along the road the farm workers were standing next to small fires waiting on their lifts.

I took the sementpad from Oudtshoorn to Calitzdorp and had to find something to warm my body...maybe it was the cold...maybe it was me becoming miserable because I was heading home...maybe it was because I had to go back to work the next day...maybe it was because my adventure was coming to an end...

Had some coffee, port and cake in Calitzdorp.wink

Next stop was Ladismith to refuel.

Stopped for coffee at Ronnies Sex Shop just before Barrydale.

Always lekker to visit and watch the people pop in...

Stopped quickly in Worcester for a leg stretch and a final bite to eat...

Reached home at 16:30 after 550km for the day. laugh

Total distance covered over the 4 days: 2 250km.

Ave speed: 96km/h

Ave fuel consumption: 6.4l/100km or 15.62km per litre.

Number of likes on my Facebook photos: 1326yes smiley


Refreshed, rejuvenated.

It is well with my soul.

PS: My son, Oliver with his little sheep I bought him in Loxton.

He approves.

*Winner of the Ruslamere Monthly Trip Report Trophy Jul 2017

Hayleyscomet's picture
Joined: 2007/06/30



Hey Garth 


Well done on an AWESOME Trip and Lekker Ride Report 

Glad you enjoyed it albeit a little cold in places 



Ride Like the Wind


David ffoulkes's picture
Joined: 2015/02/19

Wonderlik gewees om dit te lees, dankie Garth - dit is vir my lekker om in klein groepies te ry maar dit is soveel lekkerder om alleen te ry - kos vir die siel. Jy het my nou lus gemaak vir n soortgelyke trip want ek was nog nie by baie van die plekke waar jy nou gekuier het - en ja, om die mense op die dorpies te ontmoet maak dit nog meer spesiaal.

Ek ry sommer moresmiley

David ffoulkes

Committee: Treasurer / Clubs Africa / Ride Captain

Matewis's picture
Joined: 2013/08/03

Op sulke trips vind jy jouself weer. Herstel jou vertroue in die mensdom en waardeer die mooi wat elke dag daar buite is.


lekker saamgetoer!!

“Don’t go where the path my lead… Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail…” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson https://kettingsaag.wordpress.com/ https://witvosblog.wordpress.com/

Garth Hewitt's picture
Joined: 2011/02/07

Thanks Wayne! The cold was part of the adventure.

Next time i might just invite you along...hahahawink

Garth Hewitt

2010 R1200GSA


Garth Hewitt's picture
Joined: 2011/02/07

Dankie David.

Dit was vir seker nie my 1ste en laaste solo trip nie.

Eintlik hou ek maar net van ry! 

Bly jy het die verslag en foto's geniet.

Garth Hewitt

2010 R1200GSA


Garth Hewitt's picture
Joined: 2011/02/07

Inderdaad Matewis! yes smiley

Garth Hewitt

2010 R1200GSA


Jackie Wiese's picture
Joined: 2012/02/26

Die langpad is koning - "it's all about the journey and not so much the desination"!  Die ervaring van nuwe plekke verbreed die horison en die ooptes waai die spinnerakke weg! Na so wegbreek voel mens sommer soos 'n nuwe sikspens.

Dankie dat ons saam met jou kon toer Garth - "making life a ride"!!!

Warren Ellwood's picture
Joined: 2007/06/18

Nice Garth.


"Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, and does it improve on the silence?"

Garth Hewitt's picture
Joined: 2011/02/07

Netso Jackie!

Make life a Ride!laugh

Garth Hewitt

2010 R1200GSA


Joined: 2007/06/25

You missed out on a visit to Steytlerville, they have the most magnificent church there and I do believe that the Hotel is rather good as well. Whilst in that region a brief visit to Anne's Villa, Bedford and so on could have gone down well, however, Good part of the world  you passed through.

Think before you ink.

Trust is the most valuable asset.

I have the rest of my life to get old.

Garth Hewitt's picture
Joined: 2011/02/07

Thanks Rene. Good excuse for me to go back thenlaugh

Garth Hewitt

2010 R1200GSA


SauRoN's picture
Joined: 2016/07/14

Garth you don't stay in Sonkring by any chance?

Pretty sure I've seen that bike around a number of times looking at the top box stickers.

Froggy's picture
Joined: 2014/01/15

A great read Gareth.

That first solo trip is something special

Garth Hewitt's picture
Joined: 2011/02/07

Yip, indeed SauRoN.

Both myself and my wife ride a 1200. She commutes with the bike and we stay in Shiraz complex in Sonkring.

I assume you also stay there?

Garth Hewitt

2010 R1200GSA


Garth Hewitt's picture
Joined: 2011/02/07

Thanks Froggy.

Garth Hewitt

2010 R1200GSA


Geoff Russell's picture
Joined: 2007/09/25

Fantastic read Garth.

Committee: Ride Captain

SauRoN's picture
Joined: 2016/07/14



I've either seen your bike on the road, or at the Checkers or maybe even the Curro school.


The Topbox just seemed immediately familiar. Maybe even rode behind you or something.

Garth Hewitt's picture
Joined: 2011/02/07

Thanks Geoff, much appreciated.

Garth Hewitt

2010 R1200GSA


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