The Karoo is not flat, hot or dry!

stcomza

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You know that feeling when you expect something (as you were told it will be this, that or the other), but experience the opposite?

The trip my wife and I took in December 2021 did not meet certain expectations, but nevertheless turned out to be awesome. No wait, it turned out to be EPIC!
And no, we are not complaining, especially after what we were served on the shiniest silver platter known to man.

Our trusty steed for the journey is our Sym NHT 200 - more info here :https://wilddog.net.za/forum/index.php?topic=261713.0
My wife christened the bike, Thomas. This is in tribute to Thomas the Tank Engine. All I can say is, Thomas lived up to his name and showed us that he could.

My wife planned the trip - it is just better that way, trust me. My job was to get us there and back in one piece. At this point I want to thank the Wild Dogs, as the plethora of threads with do and don'ts helped with immensely with the technical part of the journey. Looking back, we were probably over prepared, but rather have something and don't need it than need something and don't have it. With all the what if's covered and our four legged children's nanny sorted, we could focus on the trip. Both of us needed this trip. To get away from it all, so to speak. With Rona flipping the world upside down, we have not had the opportunity to cut the shackles of daily life and just think of ourselves.

Both of us had one rucksack (just under 5kg each) packed inside the soft panniers with our rain suits, two smaller bags (tools etc,) strapped to the crash bars, a small cell phone carrier strapped to the handle bars and a large top box (toiletries etc). With all the lists checked and double checked, packed and re-packed, we headed out on the 20th of December.

In summary, our trip was as follows: Brackenfell - Wellington - Bain's Kloof Pass, Ceres, Bo Swaarmoed Road, Klondyke Cherrie Farm, Bo Swaarmoed gravel road - Inverdoorn - Tjol se Gat - Sutherland - Middelpos - Calvinia - Brandvlei - Kenhardt - Putsonderwater - Marydale - Prieska - Copperton - Vanwyksvlei - Carnarvon - Williston - Fraserburg - Sutherland - Matjiesfontein - N1 - Touwsrivier - Ceres - Brackenfell.  Back home on the 30th of December. We traveled a total of 1902km.

Obviously camping/glamping was not an option. We called a boutique hotel, guest houses and self catering establishments our home away from home. It turned out that we had a very selfish vacation. As an example, we had the Kenhardt Hotel dining room all to ourselves. Some of the roads we traveled we did not see any other people or traffic for long stretches. It was nice to self isolate in such a manner.

Our advise? Stop talking about doing a trip someday. Someday might not happen. Do it NOW!

Anyway, a picture says a thousand words...

 

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stcomza

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First stop was Wellington - we stopped allot, ok  :biggrin:
 

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stcomza

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My wife enjoys taking nature shots...
 

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stcomza

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The weather played along...still smiling  :biggrin:
 

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stcomza

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Quick lunch stop in Ceres - we ate like royalty  :biggrin:
 

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stcomza

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We stayed over at the Klondyke Cherrie Farm.
 

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stcomza

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More pics on the farm.

Champions snack right there... :biggrin:
 

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stcomza

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The farm is big...
 

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stcomza

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Too much too see
 

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stcomza

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End of a great day
 

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stcomza

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Finaly, the gravel travel starts. This is the Bo Swaarmoed road that link with the R46. R355 and R356. No more boring tar roads. The REAL adventure starts here.
 

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stcomza

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Getting there...
 

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stcomza

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We turn right at the famous Tankwa Padstal road sign and head way on the R356 towards Inverdoorn. This is where desolation starts, but in a good way.
 

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The absence of man made sounds is welcomed. Although it's getting warm, it's not unbearable. The road is smooth, but corrugations are getting more frequent. Thomas handles anything we through at him with a smile. Going well.

I wear a buff, sue me  :biggrin:
 

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stcomza

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The area is beautiful - If we traveled in a cage, we would have missed out, big time. Those bulbs are very interesting.
 

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stcomza

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Who says you can't hike while biking  :biggrin:

 

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