Dispatches from Afar #3

Bruce is riding around South Africa on his BMW 1200LC. No one is too sure of the actual route and destination, least of all Bruce. This is the third dispatch (See dispatch #1 here and #2 here) that arrived by WhatsApp this morning:

It was about 10h00 when we rode out of Burgersdorp into the crisp winter air. There were some whispy clouds about but they proved to be of no consequence, thank goodness! A few kilometers out of town we swung right onto more brilliant gravel. It must be said that we’ve been well blessed so far with fantastic gravel! The road was taking us towards some mountainous terrain and we started to look forward to expansive views. We weren’t disappointed – cresting the Kwagga Pass we enjoyed brilliant views of the distant hills. The pass itself was short and sharp but presented no problems for the bikes or their riders… Some way further on we arrived at Jamestown, a fair sized village. We had no need to stop and rode on towards the tiny settlement of Rossouw. To get there we had to go down the the Killian Pass – this was quite tricky in places and due caution had to be exercised. The track was badly rutted and there were many loose stones to add spice to mix! The climb out of Rossouw took us over the Swartnek Pass. We stopped at the crest to take in the views: fantastic vistas towards the hamlet of Rhodes and the snow covered mountains of the Eastern Cape Highlands! This was certainly one of the highlights of the day!

The next goal was Barkly East to top up the tanks before the last 60km into Rhodes. Don’t underestimate this ride… The road is very twisty and there were many vehicles using the road due to the recent snowfalls and the fact that it was a long weekend – we had to take extra care. The views also got more impressive the nearer we got to Rhodes – we stopped often to take it all in… It was a quick check in at Walkerbouts Inn and it wasn’t long before we were settled in our digs – a quaint rondavel out back. And for dinner there’s not much to beat a home cooked stew with fresh vegetables and malva pudding for desert, shared with some friends who had travelled up from Pietermaritzburg.

All in all we had enjoyed a long day on the bikes and the call for bed was strong!

An update on the bikes: Both the Honda Africa Twin and the BMW 1200 GS performed faultlessly, returning fuel consumption figures of around 4l/100km. Both bikes are on the standard issue tyres with tyre pressures set to manufacturer’s specifications.

So, with the remainder of the day at leisure, I say over and out from Rhodes.

Many thanks for the update Bruce – sounds awesome!

Roger de la Harpe

This is why we take our bikes on adventures!
This is why we take our bikes on adventures!
The stark beauty of the wintry Eastern Cape Highlands
The stark beauty of the wintry Eastern Cape Highlands
Just about in Rhodes!
Just about in Rhodes!
Chilly winter evening in RhodesChilly winter evening in Rhodes
Chilly winter evening in Rhodes
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