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Motorcycle Paradise

South Africa Motorcycle Ride part four

Day nine I depart Oudtshoorn and ride route 62 which seems like the route 66 of South Africa featuring in most ride reports.

First up is the excellent Huisrivier pass.

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Then I stopped like everyone seems to at Ronnies Sex Shop. Its a bar with a story and seems uninterested in tourists.

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It’s nice scenery down into historic Barrydale.

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Praise the coffee! alas this church now worshiping the bean was closed today.

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So I went to another route 62 icon, Diesel and Creme.

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A rider there suggested I turn off route 62 just out of town for a good road and what a great tip. Tradouw pass was fantastic winding through a scenic gorge.

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I rode on via Swellendam and some small villages which had a very British look to them before rejoining route 62.

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Rugged peaks all around me, I could stop every 10 minutes to take a photo it’s real pretty.

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Above looking forward, below in my rear view mirror.

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I drop into South Africa’s wine district and the vineyards go forever.

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Then when least expecting it another great road, the Franschhoek pass.

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Leading me to the town of same name where I am staying, set in an European looking valley surrounded by wineries.

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There is a wine tram here that takes people to the wineries, I was tempted but it is all a bit snooty for me. I spent that money instead on quality wine from the region and a pub meal at the train station bar which is great place.

Day 10.

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I got away early, my last day looks beautiful. How lucky am I to have fine weather for this all important day of my tour.

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I detour through some wineries and minor roads before I start my ride to the cape, and it is amazing.

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I cannot capture the scale of these mountains that rise up from the ocean, the scenery is much grander than my photos suggest and the ride along those cliffs superb.

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I skirt past suburbia via the wind swept dunes where lies the biggest shanty town I have seen yet of the many found on the outskirts of towns in South Africa.

You never read about it but there is an expensive toll to get to the Cape of Good Hope. I queued for 30 minutes in traffic and there were 100’s of cars inside the park. I waited but had no chance to take the usual bike in front of sign selfie photo. As four buses of Chinese tourists arrived I remounted.

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Instead here is photo from Chapman peak drive looking south. A slightly more evocative image for the lower tip of Africa.

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Fantastic road all the way into the city that is situated in an incredible location.

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I made it! Ride completed.

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Post ride notes. Despite the issues I’m glad I made the effort. I recommend coming here however acknowledge a tour might be better for some.

Tours here are little pricey which is shame because nothing here is expensive. 1/2 the price of Australia for meals and most hotels. Alcohol is fraction of cost.

Cape Town is so nice in the beach suburbs but downtown is sketchy by day and like that movie Escape from New York at night. I tried to leave hotel after sunset and immediately had guys coming at me so quickly retreated. 

I will write a small review of the G310 in coming weeks.

Regards,

Warren.

6 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing the trip Warren. Would you say that staying in the smaller country towns is a better/safer option or was it sketchy in all of the towns? I take it being out on the road alone was pretty safe as you didn't mention any encounters out of town? If that is the case, staying away from the larger population centres might be the answer?

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    1. It really seems to vary Dave but for sure the small towns first few nights were fine, but then small towns after that had an edge to them.

      I posted on rider forums asking about how dangerous it was and got told many times that it is much better now and not to be overly concerned. Both that and the safe first few days contributed to my guard being down arriving PE.

      It makes me question how safe a couple of other places I want to ride are that people say are now safe and not to be worried.

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  2. Superb write up Warren and you left the very best for last. South Africa has some stunning scenery no doubt about that. Thanks for sharing it with us. A true account of how the country actually is. I did fear for your safety being on your own and all, but luckily nothing too bad happened and you finished your tour safe and sound. On to the next one then eh?

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    1. Thanks Steve, that section with the cliffs looks small but they soar into the sky. One of the most impressive sights I have seen after the Rockies in Canada.

      I hopped off and did a small side trip on way home to try get more value of the airfares. I shall post that soon but yes I also have one more adventure planned. That is truly the last big one, the final item on my bucket list, after which I have to try find a way to return to normal life and full time work.

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  3. It can be hard to judge how safe a place is from opinions on the net as everyone’s view is a bit relative. Also, I guess if you had no bad interactions then one would say it is perfectly safe.
    Thanks again for the write up, it looks like one hell of a trip with great scenery.

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    1. Yes and I mainly had responses from people from South Africa who when saying it is much better now are being honest and to whom perhaps not being able to walk the streets at night is just normal not of note.

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