Riding in Africa…… September 16th, 2013

The night before we leave on this part of the ride….. We needed to pair our Sena Comm systems. Was funny walking around the house waiting for the process to happen.

Lily just continues with dinner

Bikes all packed, rain slowing down as we depart!

Cape Town to Swartberg Pass then“Die Hel” Excited about beginning our ride!(as always as I start off on a new phase of the ride) Went to bed fairly early, but heard the wind and rain start sometime in the night. The alarm went off at 5:30… I could hear the rain and wind. Hit the snooze which I never do. Too early to ride in the rain. Jorg and Lily did the same.

Finally got up and had breakfast before departing at 8:30 Was still cloudy, and little rain when we rode east on the N2 to get out to ride over Swartberg Pass and into “die Hel” (Gamkaskloff). It is on every South African Adventure riders list to ride someday!

no rain in the tunnel

Lily pressing the rocks apart so we can ride through

We turn off the N2 and head toward the mountains. New Animal signs and things to watch out for.

We stop in Prince Albert, which is the last town on our ride to Swartberg.

On the way, we stopped in for a nice lunch in town. Lunch for 3 people with coffee was around 220 Rand ($22USD). I had a tasty Ostrich Burger for lunch!

Nice little town

Then out to ride up the Famous Swartberg Pass.

The winding dirt road up the Swartberg was great! The view of the mountains as you ride up the pass were great!

These kind of passes never get old

Riding back up into the sky!! Beautiful. The rain was gone, and some blue sky was now around, just adding to our exciting of the first day of the 6+ week ride !!

Great vista on the top!!

We ride up to about half way on Swartberg……

And then we headed back west on the gravel road with some watercrossings, switchback all the way up the valley into Gamskastloff or commonly called “die Hel” to the Chalet that Jorg had organized. This is on all South Africa Adventure Riders List of places to ride!

We ride the 50 KM to the end of the road up this stunning valley!

Beautiful beyond what photos will share. The last set of Switchbacks heading into Gamskastloff

Some challenging rocky waterways and steep switchbacks going up and down the hills! Great!

The water cross near the end had some green moss which we both did a little dance on.

So we were glad to pull into our Chalet! at the end of the road! Great place with bedrooms and kitchen and outdoor fire area for cooking! was $750 Rand per night for 3 ($75 USD). Lido the owner came over to see if everything was alright!! Wow fantastic place with fine linens on the bed, and nice hot shower. Living it up as adventure riders after a long 460KM ride into the Hel!

What an amazing place to ride to have Lily cooked up a fantastic meal!!

Lots of history in this valley, that is far from anything else up this rough gravel road.

What a great start to our ride! Left in the rain, arrived into a beautiful remote area to warmer temps and clear blue skies! Thanks Jorg and Lily!