Wagendrift - A gentle little adventure to the Karoo

Craig Cauvin's picture

Points: 0

 

You know it's going to be an awesome trip when there are more 800's than 1200's in the BMW pack..........just saying......
As per our final instrustions (cue opening credits.......) we headed out of a bright and sunny Cape Town towards the Winelands Engen on the N1 to refuel and 
meet for a hearty breakfast before.........(cut, cut, cut - WTF! - the Wimpy is closed for renovations....) Mmmmm, thinkng, thinking......Ahhhh! Never one to be 
daunted by such an inconsequntial detail our intrepid leader gathered the clan (of mostly 800s..........just saying) and we headed only a very short way down (or 
should that be up?) the N1 to De La Paix to take care of that all important frst meal of the day......we're flexible like that........
Once the inner man (and woman) had been soothed with an excellent breakfast (and great coffee) the troops gathered round for the pre-flight briefing and 
final flight plans - as always safety first - ATGATT, good road manners and most importantly to always ride within your own capabilities.......time to gear up and 
head out - the muted thump of the boxers all but overshadowed by the snarl of the 800's - music baby, music I tell you......
So with no further ado it was the obligatory all tar stretch up the N1, into the clouds over DuToitskloof and down into Rawsonville and the sparkling sunshine of 
Ceres to top off the tanks and stock up on supplies for the evening braai (for those of us for whom braai day is not just a distant memory - hehehe - Ai, Ai, 
every day is braai day on a GS - Smile!).....
But by now those GS's were getting fidgity - that longing to feel the Karoo dust under their tyres, so it was with a collective "Ahhhhh, finally......" that we 
stopped a short way from Ceres to adjust tyre pressures and head off onto the fun stuff.......
Now the last time most of us had been on gravel was before the 'wet' and the last time I rode that Ceres road the corruagtions were nasty - so we started off 
real nice and easy for everyone to find those gravel legs again - the extended winter seemed to have flattened out the ridges a bit and is was smooth easy 
going with the weather warming up nicely as we rode into the Karoo proper - but it was not all to be easy sailing - there was a tiny sandpit just waiting to lure 
an unsuspecting GS into its lissome embrace and Saliem was the unfortunate candidate, hurting his ankle in the process........Eish! But with the GS back where 
it belonged on two wheels and a refreshing drink of cold water to clear the head we were soon once again on our way............there are still a number of 
roadwork stop n gos' in operation on the N1 - sometimes it felt like a lot more stop than go, but anyway..... with the exception of a quick rim dance to change a 
front tube on Zack's 800 and an even shorter stop in Laingsburg for something 'frosty' to drink later that evening we arrived at Wagendrift, a peaceful oasis 
33km out of Laingsburg, where we were greeted by our host Louw and his lovely family........
A quick shower after a dusty day on the GS in the Karoo and we gathered at the lodge (at our lovely ladies insistence) for the clash of the titans - the cream of 
Southern Hemisphere rugby - the Springboks and the All Blacks in the (sic) final of the Champions Trophy...................................Now, the result didn't quite go 
the way we all hoped, but the the cameraderie was superb and that recipie doesn't seem too far from right - which one would think bodes well for the 2014 
season (and it's never too soon to start thinking about another World Cup is it? ......Hehehehe).......
And so it came to pass that the braai fires were lit and the tribe gathered around (Cut, cut, cut - aren't you forgetting something? - Mmmmm, No.............) - Are 
you sure?...................Oh! Yes indeed........ - Strafdoppies........... - so where was I ?, Yes, the tribe (and our hosts) gathered around the fire and each person 
(after all this is a democracy you know....) got to pronounce judgement upon all those unfortunates there gathered for 'offences' both real and imagined - a 
nice touch was that if the tribe thought the nominator's reason was unworthy then they got to drink too - this certainly led to some excellent creativity and 
much general hilarity........
By now, the home (errr braai) fires were burning bright and it was time to tuck into a hearty meal - South African style and swap 'fishing' stories with old and 
new friends until the wee hours.......
Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny in the magnificent quiet of the Karoo - and it was time, after coffee and rusks - to gear up, greet our gracuious hosts 
and begin our journey homeward to Cape Town - our route today promised to be something truly special as we headed out of Laingsburg on gravel highways 
toward the magnificent Seweweekspoort - of course not forgetting to take time to stop and smell the flowers along the way.......
This was your authors first time through this wonder of the Karoo - and if you've never ridden it then all I can say is - what are you still waiting for? Throw your 
leg across that GS and ride baby ride - this is something special........
Out of the poort we reluctantly turned back onto the tar toward Ladismith and the start of the ever scenic Route 62 for a welcome break and something to eat 
and drink - it was there that we had the pleasure of meeting Felix (a famous, or should that be infamous - Hehehe) local who commands his own stool in the 
memorabilia filled bar and Angus (the new kid in town........) - and these delightful new friends warmed our hearts as much as the once again excellent 
coffee........All too soon it was back onto the trusty steeds for the last strech of wonderful gravel over the Ouberg pass (Robert overcooked a corner slightly and 
took a little tumble on our approach to the pass - but no harm done) and with no ado at all we were on our way again.......At least one welcome and refreshing 
water crossing later our intrepid (and saddle weary) travellers headed down into Montagu for the final fuelstop of the day where tyres were restored to tar 
pressures and we turned for home retracing our route down the beautiful R62 through Ashton to Rawsonville and onto the final stop of the day - the 
DuToitskloof lodge for a well earned cold drink and to greet our fellow travellers at the end of another maginificent adventure......... (Roll closing 
credits........and cut) - that's a wrap......
To our wonderful hosts - Neels & Anna Marie - thank you again for a wonderful and memorable trip - too much of laughs, fun and good times with a special 
bunch of people - To all my fellow riders Neels, Anna Marie, Shaun, Saliem & Mirian, Mike & Catherine, Garth & Yolandi, Andrew, Robert, Marc & Irene, Zack & 
Zane, Carel & Ilana, Bertus and Frikkie - thanks guys - this was awesome - Yet another milestone to add to the annals of BMWMCCC history...........  

You know it's going to be an awesome trip when there are more 800's than 1200's in the BMW pack..........just saying......


As per our final instrustions (cue opening credits.......) we headed out of a bright and sunny Cape Town towards the Winelands Engen on the N1 to refuel and meet for a hearty breakfast before.........(cut, cut, cut - WTF! - the Wimpy is closed for renovations....) Mmmmm, thinkng, thinking......Ahhhh! Never one to be daunted by such an inconsequential detail our intrepid leader gathered the clan (of mostly 800s..........just saying) and we headed only a very short way down (or should that be up?) the N1 to De La Paix to take care of that all important first meal of the day......we're flexible like that........

 

Breakfast........at last

Breakfast........at last

 
Once the inner man (and woman) had been soothed with an excellent breakfast (and great coffee) the troops gathered round for the pre-flight briefing and final flight plans - as always safety first - ATGATT, good road manners and most importantly to always ride within your own capabilities.......time to gear up and head out - the muted thump of the boxers all but overshadowed by the snarl of the 800's - music to educated ears........

So with no further ado it was the obligatory all tar stretch up the N1, into the clouds over DuToitskloof and down into Rawsonville and the sparkling sunshine of Ceres to top off the tanks and stock up on supplies for the evening braai (for those of us for whom braai day is not just a distant memory - hehehe - Ai, Ai, every day is braai day on a GS - Smile!).....But by now those GS's were getting fidgity - that longing to feel the Karoo dust under their tyres, so it was with a collective "Ahhhhh, finally......" that we stopped a short way from Ceres to adjust tyre pressures and head off onto the fun stuff.......

Finally we get to play in the dirt

Finally we get to play in the dirt

Now the last time most of us had been on gravel was before the 'wet' and the last time I rode that Ceres road the corruagtions were nasty - so we started off real nice and easy for everyone to find those gravel legs again - the extended winter seemed to have flattened out the ridges a bit and is was smooth easy going with the weather warming up nicely as we rode into the Karoo proper - but it was not all to be easy sailing - there was a tiny sandpit just waiting to lure an unsuspecting GS into its lissome embrace and Saliem was the unfortunate candidate, hurting his ankle in the process........Eish! But with the GS back where it belonged on two wheels and a refreshing drink of cold water to clear the head we were soon once again on our way............there are still a number of 
roadwork stop n gos' in operation on the N1 - sometimes it felt like a lot more stop than go, but anyway..... with the exception of a quick rim dance to change a front tube on Zack's 800

Rim Dance 101

This is how we change the wheel, change the wheel, change the wheel....Zack are you paying attention........

and an even shorter stop in Laingsburg for something 'frosty' to drink later that evening we arrived at Wagendrift, a peaceful oasis 
33km out of Laingsburg, where we were greeted by our host Louw and his lovely family........

Wagendrift- Entrance

Wagendrift- Entrance

Wagendrift- Entrance 2

Wagendrift- Entrance 2

 Wagendrift - Reception

Wagendrift - Reception

 Wagendrift - Reception 2

Wagendrift - Reception 2
A quick shower after a dusty day on the GS in the Karoo and we gathered at the lodge (at our lovely ladies insistence) for the clash of the titans - the cream of Southern Hemisphere rugby - the Springboks and the All Blacks in the (sic) final of the Champions Trophy...................................

The Lodge 1

The Lodge 1

The Lodge - Pool

The Lodge - Pool

The Chalets 1

The Chalets 1

The Chalets 2

The Chalets 2

The Chalets 3The Chalets 3

Now, the result didn't quite go the way we all hoped, but the cameraderie was superb and that recipie doesn't seem too far from right - which one would think bodes well for the 2014 season (and it's never too soon to start thinking about another World Cup is it? ......Hehehehe).......

And so it came to pass that the braai fires were lit and the tribe gathered around (Cut, cut, cut - aren't you forgetting something? - Mmmmm, No.............) - Are you sure?...................Oh! Yes indeed........ - Strafdoppies........... - so where was I ?, Yes, the tribe (and our hosts) gathered around the fire and each person (after all this is a democracy you know....) got to pronounce judgement upon all those unfortunates there gathered for 'offences' both real and imagined - a nice touch was that if the tribe thought the nominator's reason was unworthy then they got to drink too - this certainly led to some excellent creativity and 
much general hilarity........

Strafdoppies....

Strafdoppies....

By now, the home (errr braai) fires were burning bright and it was time to tuck into a hearty meal - South African style and swap 'fishing' stories with old and new friends until the wee hours.......


Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny in the magnificent quiet of the Karoo - and it was time, after coffee and rusks - to gear up, greet our gracious hosts and begin our journey homeward to Cape Town - our route today promised to be something truly special as we headed out of Laingsburg on gravel highways toward the magnificent Seweweekspoort

Seweweekspoort 1

Seweweekspoort 1

- of course not forgetting to take time to stop and smell the flowers along the way.......

Take time to smell the flowers...

Take time to smell the flowers...

Take time to smell the flowers...2

Take time to smell the flowers...2

This was your authors first time through this wonder of the Karoo - and if you've never ridden it then all I can say is - what are you still waiting for? Throw your leg across that GS and ride baby ride - this is something special........

Seweweekspoort 1

Seweweekspoort 1

Seweweekspoort 2

Seweweekspoort 2

 Did he find it? Or ride it..........or whatever

Did he find it? Or ride it..........or whatever

 Seweweekspoort 3

Seweweekspoort 3

 Seweweekspoort 4

Seweweekspoort 4
Out of the poort we reluctantly turned back onto the tar toward Ladismith and the start of the ever scenic Route 62 for a welcome break and something to eat and drink - it was there that we had the pleasure of meeting Felix (a famous, or should that be infamous - Hehehe) local who commands his own stool in the memorabilia filled bar

Felix

Felix

and Angus (the new kid in town........) -

Angus - the new kid in town

Angus - the new kid in town

and these delightful new friends warmed our hearts as much as the once again excellent coffee........All too soon it was back onto the trusty steeds for the last strech of wonderful gravel over the Ouberg pass (Robert overcooked a corner slightly and took a little tumble on our approach to the pass - but no harm done) and with no ado at all we were on our way again.......At least one welcome and refreshing water crossing

Carel - I tell you it was this deep man....

Carel - I tell you it was this deep man....

later our intrepid (and saddle weary) travellers headed down into Montagu for the final fuelstop of the day where tyres were restored to tar pressures and we turned for home retracing our route down the beautiful R62 through Ashton to Rawsonville and onto the final stop of the day - the DuToitskloof lodge for a well earned cold drink and to greet our fellow travellers at the end of another maginificent adventure......... (Roll closing credits........and cut) - that's a wrap......

Our Hosts

Our Hosts
To our wonderful hosts - Neels & Anna Marie - thank you again for a wonderful and memorable trip - too much of laughs, fun and good times with a special bunch of people - To all my fellow riders Neels, Anna Marie, Shaun, Saliem & Mirian, Mike & Katherine, Garth & Yolandi, Andrew, Robert, Marc & Irene, Zack & Zane, Carel & Ilana, Bertus and Frikkie - thanks guys - this was awesome - Yet another milestone to add to the annals of BMWMCCC history...........  

This is how "Wagendrift" got its name - just add GS-power

This is how "Wagendrift" got its name - just add GS-power Smile

A trip down.......

A trip down.......

Wagendrift- Art

Wagendrift- Art 1

Wagendrift- Art 2

Wagendrift- Art 2

I know there are loads more pictures from the many of you I saw with your cameras clicking away - please feel free to add them to this or the original trip post for us all to enjoy - Keep it safe out there.......

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

Lekker man lekker!

Thanks for allowing us the slower pace at the back.

We were worried about you when you dissapeared sometimes, but looking at the photos I now realise...

 

Garth Hewitt

2010 R1200GSA

 

Offline
Joined: 2013/01/30

Great trip report Craig. 

Craig Cauvin's picture
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Joined: 2012/01/11

Yes - we were stopping to smell the flowers.....

It was a great ride thanks Garth - en ons is verskriklik jammer dat ons vir Yoli so laat stress het.......

Groete,

Craig.

Craig C

Craig Cauvin's picture
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Joined: 2012/01/11

Smile Thanks Andrew!

Craig C

Leon1ee's picture
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Joined: 2007/12/06

Nice trip report Craig

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

Craig Cauvin's picture
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Joined: 2012/01/11

High praise indeed from you my friend - Thank You Smile

Craig C

Offline
Joined: 2008/01/28

Fantastic report.  I wish that I had been there.

Mikebike's picture
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Joined: 2012/09/10

Great report, Craig. Good memories. Well done

Mike Bennet
Craig Cauvin's picture
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Joined: 2012/01/11

Thanks Geoff - Yes, unfortunately you missed out on a good ride - never mind tho' I'm sure there are going to be a lot more of these to come this summer... Smile

Craig C

Craig Cauvin's picture
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Joined: 2012/01/11

Thanks Mike... Smile

Craig C

Eric Pretorius's picture
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Joined: 2012/04/11
Excellent report.

 

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