The power went off yesterday! The whole day!! And I have sooooo much editing work that needs to be done, all of it requiring electricity to run the computer and hard drives. (One day I’m going to install a back up power supply. One day…) Anyway, by lunch time I was so frustrated that I thought that the only way to cure it would be to head out on the Honda CRF250l and do some exploring.
My nose took me out on the P141 from Howick to the Karkloof and it was about 10km out of town that the idea of heading up to Blueberry Hill Cafe near Nottingham Road popped into my head. A left onto the D293, took me past the Goodman Household Glider Monument (read the fascinating account of the first glider flight in South Africa (some say the world) here) and up Khyber Pass with stunning views into the Karkloof Valley to the north and east. I tried a few detours into the pine forests to see if I could find a better viewpoint but failed.
Elliott’s Nek provided more wonderful views back over a very dry KwaZulu Natal – man, we could do with some rain! A local farmer walking down the road (“I gotta get some exercise you know…”) agreed, “Look at those poor cattle down there and I don’t know what the guys with centre pivot irrigation systems are going to do”.
The road up to Mount West was awful. Actually, not really. It just wasn’t the smooth dirt of the D293 and so I simply got that section out of the way and onto the tar again which was a relief. Blueberry Hill beckoned and so did the cappuccinos and cheesecake. This combo has to be tried. Absolutely delicious! There is some pretty amazing art on display at Blueberry, various blends of coffee and our African Icons book which was nice to see.
I really didn’t feel like the bad dirt again so headed down the R103 to Balgowan and left onto the P144 again, which this time took me down Elliot’s Nek and Khyber Pass, now looking just beautiful in the late afternoon light, and back along the Karkloof road to Howick.
A lovely afternoon – just about 100km of easy, very pleasant riding. I arrived to darkness but at least my head was in a better space.
Download the GPX track log here.