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4000km to Clarens

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4000km to Clarens - Page 2 Empty Re: 4000km to Clarens

Post by dakardrix on 17th January 2010, 14:50

Serious, you can (and should!) print some lekker books, i.e take all your trips for 2009 and combine in 1 book - as is (make the font a writing/cursive type)

Here is an example - you download their free photobookmaker software and they print it, looks like about R300-500 for a classy book.

http://www.studio22.co.za/coffeetablebook.htm
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Post by Gemmerkat on 17th January 2010, 19:54

Just beautiful!!!!
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Post by Sias on 18th January 2010, 09:49

Next! Shocked
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Post by Corlia on 18th January 2010, 10:52

Great stuff!! Dankie Daleen, dis baie lekker om van julle avontuur te lees!!! cheers
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Post by Daleen on 18th January 2010, 12:45

Day 14 – New Year!
We decided that 2010 has to be a quieter year than 2009, so we started off 2010 sleeping late. Wink We only left Zastron at 9h30. The road was very quiet and we were almost the only people on the road; I suppose everybody was still recovering from last night. It was a nice cool morning and overcast, but no rain or wind…. perfect riding weather! Just after Wepener we had to stop to get the camera out! The scenery over to Lesotho was stunning! From here we started dancing with the bikes, not (only) because of joy, but to avoid the potholes. Exclamation I really felt like I was learning a new dance as I was showing out the potholes to Martin – left foot out, right foot out, then left, left, right, right and both feet! Very Happy Still, it was a great ride!

Some of the scenery on the way to Ladybrand. Beautiful bike! Very Happy
4000km to Clarens - Page 2 IMG_2772

4000km to Clarens - Page 2 IMG_2780

We stopped for brunch at the Wimpy in Ladybrand as we were now starving at could not wait until we get to Ficksburg as we initially planned. Being New Year, all the places except the Wimpy was closed and we had no choice but eating at a franchise. A Wimpy coffee is still the best! We made a quick detour through Ficksburg since that is still on our “Places to visit” list and we wanted to get a “voorsmakie” of what it looks like. Luckily we stopped at the Wimpy since everything in Ficksburg was closed. Arrow It is a very quaint little town and we can’t wait to go there for the cherry festival!

The scenery just got more amazing as we carried on with this road! The golden wheat fields with their flowing patterns lined with tall poplar trees and alternated with green corn fields and are any photographer’s dream!! I could easily stay here for a week and just take photos.

Stunning views.
4000km to Clarens - Page 2 IMG_2792

4000km to Clarens - Page 2 IMG_2795

The 300 odd kilometres took us just under 5 hours, mostly because we stopped for photos frequently. Martin pointed out a field full of cosmos running up the hill that I missed and we immediately turned around to have a look. This was awesome! Another car also joined us for a photo opportunity with their kids in the cosmos fields. Absolutely breathtaking!

Fields full of cosmos.
4000km to Clarens - Page 2 IMG_2811

We eventually arrived in Clarens and booked in at the Maluti Mountain Lodge as both the camping sites were fully booked. As soon as we off loaded we went to cool down in the swimming pool and enjoy a nice cold drink! We decided to go and explore Clarens today and leave Golden Gate for tomorrow. Clarens was however also sleeping off the partying from the previous night. drunken Only a couple of restaurants and one gallery were open. We had an early dinner at the Highlander and had the opportunity for an early night with a good book. Sleep

On the way to Clarens
4000km to Clarens - Page 2 IMG_2812

4000km to Clarens - Page 2 IMG_2818

Day 15 – going home
We woke up with the sound of rain on the roof. It was a blessing in disguise that the camping sites were fully booked. Clarens was covered with a rain curtain! Golden Gate was not going to realize today. We packed up and left after breakfast to go and browse the shops and galleries in Clarens. We saw a beautiful painting but decided that we didn’t want to look like Hamilton in Top Gear with the painting dragging behind us, and anyway, the painting would get wet. Smile I will just have to come back for the painting! After one last coffee and cake it was time to head home. We rode in the rain up to Tweeling. This time it was Martin’s turn to dance while showing out the potholes. As we got onto the N3 at Villiers, we rode into some rain again. After some discussions we decided to carry on and not wait. Soon however we had to change our decision as it was now raining so hard, we could hardly see the road. Luckily a bridge came up about 1km further on and we waited under the bridge for about 15min until the worse was over. From here it was straight home avoiding another thunder storm by going back via Benoni. We arrived home safe and in one piece, grateful for the safe and awesome trip we had and the wonderful places we were privileged to visit!

The good, the bad and the ugly!
First the ugly:
The Robbie Wessels wannabe in Engcobo. Scary sight! affraid

The bad (or rather lessons learnt – good and bad):
1. Test your GPS and the route before you go if you have loaded something new! Do not load it the night before you leave when you are already tired. Suspect
2. Do not just assume that you will find camping sites and an open spot somewhere, especially not in peak season. It was great to just decide every day where we wanted to go and not plan a lot, but rather plan the route and book accommodation during high season.
3. Don’t judge a hotel on how pretty the gardens are. Inspect the rooms and sheets before you pay! Suspect
4. Keep the distances reasonable. We only did between 250-400km a day and this provided us ample time to stop for photos, a quick rest and a decent meal and also coffee-and-cake breaks. We were on holiday and did not want to rush.
5. Take some refreshments and snacks with on the bike. Shops and restaurants in some of the small towns close early and you will not always be able to stop for a meal where planned to on the map. Surprised
6. The new F4 communication system was great! Very nice for the long, boring highways and also to show out something nice you have seen or to sommer just have a chat.
7. Keep your camera and a warm jacket handy!
8. Keep flops and shorts easily accessible to quickly change into something cooler once you stop so you don’t have to pitch a tent in your hot biking gear.
9. A bicycle lock worked great to chain our helmets to the bike when we wanted to go and explore or just have a meal. You then don’t have to carry everything with you.
10. Keep a chamois handy to wipe your visor, especially for when it is your turn to eat dust! Smile

The good (or in most cases, the great!):
1. The company! Thanks Martin for an awesome trip! Without you this would not have been possible and not nearly as enjoyable! I love you I love you I love you
2. The stunning, breathtaking scenery we saw!!! Very Happy cheers
3. Just relaxing and enjoying the trip and the bikes! cheers
4. Having a safe ride and being so privileged to do this trip!!! cheers cheers cheers

Places we would like to return to:
1. Hogsback – to do some of the hiking trails, visit the art galleries and other places we did not get time for, the wonderful scenery and then to have some of that cheesecake again! Wink
2. Prince Alfred pass – stunning!
3. Grahamstown for the old buildings and architecture.
4. Rhodes for the little shops and galleries.
5. Ficksburg for the cherries, scenery and buildings. cherry cherry
6. Clarens so we can go to Golden Gate with the bikes.
7. Then the best – Naude’s neck pass for the awesome beauty, the stunning ride and the breathtaking views! bounce bounce

This was an absolutely amazing, awesome trip that I would do any day again!!! Now to start planning for the next trip. Very Happy
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Post by Sias on 18th January 2010, 13:23

Great read! Thanks for sharing.
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Post by Marnus on 18th January 2010, 21:11

Awwww... and then every good story has to end 4000km to Clarens - Page 2 Icon_neutral

It was really nice to read about your adventure! Can't wait for the next chapter.

PS. I think you mis-classified the F4 comms one!
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Post by dakardrix on 18th January 2010, 21:41

Crying or Very sad Oh no, it's finished!

Dit was stunning, tx for putting it together, I know it was hard work! cheers cheers
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Post by LeRoy Olivier on 19th January 2010, 15:05

Thought you might have gotten lost on first reading the topic of the thread. Seems a worthwhile "verdwaal" to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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