Look what you're missing - a trip to Gamkaskloof Dam

Michelle A's picture

Points: 24

So a trip was planned for a few friends and we ended up with a group of 16. It started at our usual rendezvous with a lekker Wimpy breakfast and leaving at 8h30, nice and relaxed. As soon as we came close to du Toits Kloof Pass I readied myself for the cold that I know is lying ahead, and when I say ‘ready’ I mean folding my arms close to my chest and ducking behind Mike. In Montague we stoped for coffee because Sian wanted some and then she only drank half a cup! Everyone was already getting geared up when my coffee came, I drank it in such a rush that my mouth burned and I got the hiccups. The ride up to the Ladismith turn-off was uneventful, except for the fact that a small buck broke its hind leg in front of Marcus when it tried to run. It did however jump the fence and dissapeared into the bush. At the next stop we waited almost half an hour for the last 4/5 members to catch up.

And so the waiting began...

And so the waiting began...

 

We found out that the reason they were taking so long was because Leon Jordaan had gotten a flat front wheel, or more like a gash, and it took them a while to enable him to continue on to the garage in Ladismith. So how did they fix it? They pressed a few( more like a lot 16 in total) of snotties into the gash and held it together with cable ties. Leon had a lot of faith in what they did and made it safely to the garage. Once there and everyone had filled up we set to work on changing the tire. The bike was placed on its centrestand and I was instructed to climb on the back to lift the front wheel so that they could take it out [so no photos of that event, sorry].  This was the perfect opportunity to test out the beadbreaker that Mike made and it worked like a charm, but according to Warren it was because we had a slightly overweight oke like Trevor doing it.  When that was said and done we headed over to the Spar for the nights wood and food.

The "fixed" tire

The "fixed" tire

Blue eyed cat

Blue eyed cat

From there we went through Seweweekspoort and let me tell you the sudden change in temperature as you enter could’ve caused whiplash, but the scenery was beautiful. I actually thought for a moment that the mountains were on fire because when I looked in the mirror all I saw was orange.  To get to Gamkas we had to use Bosch Luys Kloof and I will tell you that it’s the most amazing pass that I’ve ever seen, a bit scary but still amazing.

result of an unexpected driffie

result of an unexpected driffie

Bosh Luys Kloof

Bosh Luys Kloof

When we got to the cottages we chose our rooms, lit the fires and let the fun start. At one point Dani wanted to take a group photo and we were all there except for Sian, but she didn’t want to miss it so the next thing we know she runs out only covered in towels. Then came the time for the straf doppies which Graham was in charge off, it consisted of a bit of lemon juice, tequila and slices of chilli that Justin supplied. If you came forward with something that you know you did wrong you only had one shot, if you forgot and someone had to remind you then you got two. Warren stepped up first because from the start of the trip he kept telling Sian that she needed to go slow through the driffies but he should have used his own advise, just before we entered Bosch Luys Kloof he was caught unawares and came out of the driffie dripping with water. Since Graham handed them out you got one no matter what; if you knew him for a few weeks you got one, if you knew him for a few years you also got one. When it was time to eat I got half of Mike’s braaibroodjie that he got from Justin and those chillies were HOT! I chewed one without realising what it was until I felt my mouth burning and my eyes watering, the only thing that helped was a glass of milk. The rest of the night was spent with a lot of funny stories, especially at Grahams table.

Just a tree

Just a tree

Morning view

Morning view

Just a bit of frost

Just a bit of frost

And we slept in a bed, a warm comfy bed. Morning came and the sun rising over the dam was picture perfect. After a nice warm cup of coffee and some rusks Mike and I set out about 5 min ahead of the others so that we could find a good spot to get action shots. On our way out we came over a rise and there was a kudu in the middle of the road. Once we found a nice spot the wait began. First Mike took a bathroom break, then we amused ourselves with echo’s before he started braking the rock wall apart. After I got my photos we caught up to the group and set out again. As we were a bit behind on schedule we decided to take the Matjiesfontein dirt road. On our way back we came to a water crossing, there was a car waiting with some Germans and when we pulled up they asked if we thought their car would be able to make it across, Warren replied by saying that he would go across and if he disappears then they know it’s to deep. When Warren got half way I started walking on a small ridge to get to the other side and take pictures, but when I slipped a bit I decided that instead of risking a bigger fall that I would just walk trough the water, besides it kept my boots from getting stuck in the mud. One by one they came over, a few hitting a rather big rock, Mike also took Trevor back over to fetch Sian’s bike while she came across with Mike. So we waited again for a few guys and they just don’t pitch up, Mike being so eager to cross AGAIN, went to go look for them. Turned out Leon had another puncture, this time in his rear wheel, so after he crossed his bike was loaded onto the back-up. While that was happening another small group of Kawasakis arrived and made it across even with the Bransgroves trying to lead them astray. The funny thing I notices when the Kawasakis crossed was that they all came out soaking wet from head to toe, were as our group only got wet from the knees down. And even though I walked trough the water my feet were dry, that was until Dani came with the bakkie and created such a wave that the water actually flowed over and into my boots, giving me wet and cold feet for the rest of the trip! But its okay Dani, I forgive you. Because of all the waiting we had to cut the trip short a bit and went back on the all too familiar Gatsrivier road. When we got to Ceres everybody sort of split and went their own way home. Mike and I rode back with the Versfelds and good thing to because we ran into a slight problem. Just as we finished du Tiots Kloof before turning onto the N1, we felt the bike making weird scraping noises, so we stoped but we couldn’t find anything wrong. Trevor said it could be the chain so we started again and not even 5 meters later the back wheel kinda wobbled so we stopped again. As they looked again Mike grabbed the back wheel and it was actually a bit loose, turned out the back bearing broke. So I climbed onto the back of Trevors bike and rode slowly back home and made it safely. I just want to thank everyone that made this trip great and the best so far, hope there are more to come.   

 

just a small puddle

just a small puddle

Mike bringing Sian over

Mike bringing Sian over

 

Leon1ee's picture
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Joined: 2007/12/06

Nice report

Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle

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Joined: 2011/02/09

Thanks for writing and uploading all your photographs, not only on the forum, but on your fb page too.

Until the next adventure...

Sian.

"When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane".

Tony's picture
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Joined: 2008/08/24

Thanks Michelle. 

Another one to add to the"old age home" collection Tongue Out.

A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn. ~Author Unknown

SilverFox's picture
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Joined: 2010/07/15

Thanks Michelle for the report and thanks to Warren/Mike for organising this ride. It was AWESOME. Can't wait for the next one.

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

I have to ask why anyone, would give any ride report, a thumbs down.

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

Kevin Charleston's picture
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Joined: 2011/09/09

Interesting question Warren. 

A charitable explanation might be that it was an accident.  But the report page clearly tells you what you voted right under the thumbs.  

Does a negative vote by a committee member carry any extra meaning?  

I'm not sure this voting thing is a good idea at all, or that there is any beneffit in a down-vote (Facebook manages just fine without).  The problem with a simple up/down vote is that it is context-free.  There is no way to know if the vote is for the report, the trip, the author or for personal/petty reasons.  

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Joined: 2009/06/02

Why beat around the bush,let ask Dave why he felt that it should get a thumbs DOWN vote.There must be a plausible reason.

Michelle your trip report gets my thumbs up!Keep up the good work.

It was a GREAT trip.

PeterG's picture
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Joined: 2014/04/21

I loved the report. Sounds like a great trip!!

Ive been through Seweweekspoort a couple of times- but aleays on a bicycle and always flipping cold ....

Thx a mil

Pete

Tony's picture
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Joined: 2008/08/24

Slip of the thumb perhaps?

A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn. ~Author Unknown

MeganV's picture
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Joined: 2011/03/23

Wow...sad I missed this trip! What amazing photo's. Thank you for taking the time to upload them. 

A BIG thumbs UP from me, Michelle. 

 

 

Andyman's picture
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Joined: 2007/06/22

It was a lovely trip report Michelle, well done and thanks for uploading the photos.

 

Andyman
Anyone can ride a bike fast....   But can you ride your bike real slow???

Weedkiller - Adie's picture
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Joined: 2011/06/03

Dit is tyd dat ek weer by die huis moet wees.  Mis nou al die lekker trippe.

Lekker dat julle my op hoogte hou.

Andyman's picture
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Joined: 2007/06/22

Ja ons mis vir jou Adie, kom maar liewers huistoe.

Andyman
Anyone can ride a bike fast....   But can you ride your bike real slow???

PeterO's picture
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Joined: 2007/09/11

Hey M ... loved the report.  I could easily picture what was going on ... even without the pictures :-)  Thanks and hopefully I'll be on the next one!

 

If you can dream it you can do it!

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Joined: 2009/12/30

Nice!

Bumble Bee - Mandarin Yellow 1150GS
YZ250WR
TTR230(wife)
Ex - XR650R,950se,950advs,2x Africa Twin

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