[S] Suited up for a Star lit Sutherland*

carelvdmerwe's picture

Points: 11

So it was time for the annual club winter ride to Sutherland again this past weekend. Myself and Jani rode in group3, Relalxed gravel with Neels as our ride leader.

Please find below the ride report for our trip written by Jani.
PS: If I'm not mistaken this is probably the first ride report of a ride that was lead by Neels 

[BMW Winter ride to Sutherland – 05 & 06 August 2017]

We have had such beautiful winter days the last few weeks, that we were prepared for a no snow weekend in Sutherland, I had never visited this town before, so with or without the presence of white beauty I was in the clouds already. Although August is a popular snow month for Sutherland, nothing with regards to the change in weather patterns shock us anymore. We embrace it as we go along and once again, I am grateful my prayers were answered for a sunnier time on the back of the bike.

We met the group we chose to ride with at the BP garage in Klapmuts, as usual I hardly knew anyone, and within a few minutes I had learnt a few names and shared some common interest considering we were all there for the same reason, to have some fun. No matter your age, if you give any human being something with two wheels be it a bicycle or a motor bike, you immediately waken a child again, a sense of adventure and the naughty glint in the eyes spark. We had a quick introduction and briefing as we were all itchy feet to get going . The group we rode with, would take us to the Sutherland via gravel and dust, I was ready to be wow ‘ed again. The roadies really don’t know what they are missing. To each their own, but getting home after a weekend of adventure without a bike that needs some cleaning is almost a shame.

Reaching for the wet gravel roads, it was a quick stretch and then it started. From the Hoopenberg road we amble towards Eenzaamheid and then it was fun in the winter sun all the way through to Gouda. When we took our helmets off at Oasis restaurant and nursery in Ceres for breakfast, everyone’s faces were wrap around smiles from the ride and the beautiful roads we just took. It still blows my little city brain that within an hour from the cement jungle you reach such beauty. I however think that the bikes unsettled a few cows, they must of heard our engines droning miles away already and rolled their eyes thinking too themselves, ‘here they come again’ as they made their way to the fence for viewing of steel invaders.

After breakfast everybody was fueled – man & machine. Tankwa, ‘’ ons is nou daar !‘’

We went over Katbakkies, and headed to Tankwa padstal, this place of nothingness and and no cell phone reception is what I would imagine a trip to the moon would look like, its simplicity is what makes it absolutely mind blowing. The roads are well kept and I would imagine that this kind of beauty never gets old for a wandering soul.

We stopped at the famous Tankwa Padstal for something cold to clear the throats after a dusty ride. I was grateful when I heard this was on the menu for us. I have heard endless stories and tales of this little gem in the desert. I wasn't’t disappointed at all. If you are in a jam with your vehicle, be in a jam here. If not, you may walk outside and pierce your tyre accidently on purpose just to stay a little longer.

Disappearing back into the dust clouds, Sutherland waited for us and time ​​wasn't’t being kind to us.

One of our new friends had a tyre hiccup and we stayed back so that Carel and Wouter could play mechanic and handyman. Here this lovely couple took there piece of earth and memory of Tankwa.

We hit the tar a few kilometers outside Sutherland. Our temperature gauge was reading a warm 18.5 degrees. I stretched my right hand out so that Carel could see it and tapped it twice. By now he knows my best attempt at air traffic controller’s signals and what they mean, ‘’Gooi!’’

Within a few minutes, the temperature had dropped by at least half of what we had, as we entered Sutherland. As you ride into this town, it is like you have been teleported back in time. The year …. 1960, dress code… homemade, Crime… None, Stress levels…. As low as the current dam levels.

This town is popular for its snow and star gazing. But what an understatement. The history in this place and it’s inhabitants is amazing. We stayed at Khoi Khoi on the main road which is owned by Tannie Elise, after sharing a cup of coffee with her, I felt at home.

She told me stories of the town and the people that have visited her over the years. She is an interesting woman who smiles with beautiful wrinkles and glowing eyes under her knitted hat.

The Church is across the road from her and is known for its rather off centre tower that had to be re- erected after the AngloBoer war, where it had been shot down.

With the full moon rising fast we got ready for dinner at Jupiter, 180 of us. It was a pleasant evening and stories of the ride were exchanged. We were served with a very deserving meal and bowed our heads to say grace, giving thanks for being able to do these amazing things and see forever beauty.

Sunday morning it was time to suit up again, with a quick breakfast at Blue Moon we hit the road again. Without disappointment, we were led off the tar very quickly. Another first for me, Komsberg Pass. This was my highlight of the day. We stopped at the top of the pass so that we could all just embrace this majestic stretch of land. Jackie said something that stuck with me that is very true and I am sure at some stage we all shared the sentiment. No one, no political unrest in our country can ever take away what you see in this moment. Its peaceful, and untouched and unharmed, this place… can never be captured fully on any photo.

A quick stop for some coffee and scones in Matjiesfontein and a necessary leg stretch was gratefully received. We all had a walk about as one does when visiting this historically popular town. Stretched out in the sun outside I was more than okay if we had stayed a little longer. Neels had one more beauty to show us.

Touwsriver, through the town we missioned and over the train tracks, it was dirt and dust again. A lovely stretch of land. My mouth hung open speechless again. How do locals not appreciate what is at their doorstep.  How do these beautiful places stay undiscovered and un-appreciated by a town’s community.

We said our goodbyes at De Doorns, dusty hugs and kisses were dealt out and I was grateful for another adventure and meeting fantastic people who share our passion for life and loving the simple things.

Carel and I saddled up again, I tapped my right hand twice again and saw DuToit’s Kloof in the distance. I uttered in the interkom ‘’ over or through ‘’, and he mentioned back to me, ‘’ Over ‘’. I smiled in my helmet knowing the fast drop over the pass was the perfect way to end another epic adventure

As Neels said Saturday night : ‘’ Dankie Here, dat ons kan doen wat lekker is’’

… Grateful Heart

Where to next

* Winner of the Ruslamere Trip Report Trophy - Aug 2017

Hans Ambulans's picture
Joined: 2013/10/01

Thanks Jani. What a nice read! You just about captured everything, apart from Janice that was stung in the face  by a bee en route !


Was great riding in this group . In the end of the day its people who make or break the ride, and we were just one great bunch!

Charles Oertel's picture
Joined: 2007/04/14

Nice report Carel.

Committee: Webmaster / Ride Captain

Weedkiller - Adie's picture
Joined: 2011/06/03
Zanie's picture
Joined: 2013/11/21

Daar's hy Adie:



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

hi Zanie, haal maar af, dit wys net die helfte van die beeld.  die link op my post werk beter. 


Zanie's picture
Joined: 2013/11/21

Ek kan nie my post edit nie. Lyk my met hierdie forum werk die fotos en videos net met die eerste pos / RR - daarna word als afgesny.

Hans Ambulans's picture
Joined: 2013/10/01

Hi Adie

Sit vir ons n link op met die langer weergawe ook asb. Ek wil meer sien.

Jy het mos baie dinge afgeneem!

Joined: 2012/09/12


Ek het oor Adie se skouer geloer en gesien daar is iemand wat die droogte verlig, Julle moet die klank aansit ek hoor hy het sulke jaka jaka musiek op haha, julle lekker Clowns wink



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