[W] Wolseley’s Waterval Bergpas leaves you Wanting

carelvdmerwe's picture

Points: 6

So here is a short piece of the next little town that we visited. I mostly grew up in the Boland and that is where my heart still lies, like the popular afrikaans song goes... "Dis my land, die boland vir my..." .

My father was the plantation manager at the Kluitjieskraal Forestry Plantation just outside Wolseley for many years, so basically I grew up on a farm of pine trees. Unfortunately most of the plantations are not in production anymore. Kluitjieskraal is a very historical place with evidence of the old prison buildings and even parts of a road that was build by Italian prisoners of war in the late 1800's that are still visible in some parts of the plantation. The name Kluitsjieskraal originates from the prisoners complaining that the (sous) kluitjies is maar skraal, which translates to the "souce dumplings are very little".

Like most little Boland towns Wolseley originated from the expansion ot the railway network back in the years and was named after Sir Garnet Wolseley.

Below are a sort and sweet article/ ride report of our little adventure written by my pillion, Jani.

‘So where are we heading to today?’was all I asked while putting on my chubby black batman suit again. The sound of velcro and zips closing was the only response as the words ‘Soon toe en Terug’ was mumbled for the 5thtime this morning. I didn’t ask anymore, I just found my place on the seat and huddled forward for the cold that we were about to embrace.

The sound of the engine never disappoints my ears and we left the suburbs for a day of exploring and some nostalgia. The turnoff the N1 to Wellingon and then Tulbagh was a grateful sight of rain that has fallen, and the green fields have started flourishing in this weather. A gentle sigh of relief is what happens on the inside of a warm jacket when this is what you see all around you, for this reason, we all embrace the cold at the moment, our earth needs this.

We stopped at the beautiful talented town of Tulbagh for something to warm our insides and wrapped our frozen fingers around a cup of hot chocolate at Paddasgang restaurant. This beautiful little place is hidden at the back of the town, it boasts with a beautiful little art gallery and an open air restaurant covered with old vines and creepers, which would create some form of shade in the summer, but not today. Neither one of us sat while sipping in our defrosting fluids, this was probably our silent indication to each other that we don’t plan on staying here.

We grabbed the helmets and filled up the steel horse with some juice and grabbed the picnic snacks. I should of known something epic and almost illegal was on the menu for us.

Turning off the tar just outside Tulbagh we headed past the Waterval Nature Reserve in the direction of Wolseley, the evidence of a fire and pine tree plantations are everywhere, we ended up at the Waterval berg pas entry, as I could continuously see the direction we were aiming for, mountain UP. The road has been closed as ancient trees had fallen and crossed entry to this pass, followed by a very clear sign and bunting stating no entry. We parked, got off and explored this natural obstacle on foot.  

It was definitely not an entry viable for a vehicle. We looked at each other and the smile tweaked, what is more intriguing to an adventurer than a no entry sign? Clearing a pathway to wiggle the bike through we decided this is where we need to be today.

With the baboons starting to bark from the mountains as recognition of the intruder’s presence we got back on the black machine again, I really had no idea the beauty it would show me today. I hike and have seen so many beautiful places on my explorations, but have never relied on anything else except my own feet to get there.  

With hairpin turns and lots of loose rock, we made our way up the Waterval berg pas at a very slow pace, trust me we wouldn’t of rushed it any way. Epic beauty as you look down over the Wolseley valley and the remnants of Pine forest plantations that were there many years ago, the blocks are still there and look like they have been sewn together as my Ouma’s lappies blanket. The history of this valley is evident in its natural state.

We stopped at the top of the mountain to take it all in, silence almost unknown to man. Headed to drop into the valley opposite to the town we made our way to the waterfall, speechless, not because I like keeping quiet, speechless because I am overwhelmed by this hidden treasure of Wolseley. How can I have never seen this before, and how can the residents of this town casually walk with their heads dropped when this is their legacy of living here?  Sitting with my feet hanging of this majestic cliff, I realized how small I am in the all of it? How can we boast greatness and arrogance when this roaring waterfall stays so humble living hidden away on this kloof.

With regret time was passing fast and my heart was standing still we needed to say goodbye to this beauty.

Travelling via Kluitjieskraal back into Wolseley we made our last stop for the day at Wolseley hotel where the locals were getting ready for the weekly pool tournament, with the excitement over pool cues and a green velvetie table, all I could think was, how much they are missing living here.

With a whatsapp notification of grey clouds and drops falling back in the surburbs it was time to say farewell to the waterfalls of Wolseley.

Grateful for this town, embraced the cold, and it left us wanting.

Where to next …

BackroadriderZA & YellowClarity

 

Jenski's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015/06/15

What a super write-up! Thanks for sharing yes

 

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