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A ride into the Big 5 country

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Sanbona Wild day ride

THURSDAY Calle wanted to ride a long route to somewhere out of Cape Town.

This resulted in us meeting at 6am outside Franschhoek and riding through what looked like a ghost town at that time of the morning and then up the pass and into the dreaded rain.

And to make things even more interesting we caught up to a huge 22 wheeler and had to follow it over the pass.

We all know the feeling of being in a washing machine with nil visibility but following doggedly not wanting to stop and let the giant get ahead.

Fortunately on the flat alongside Theeswaterkloof dam we were able to get past and immediately rode into the dry and to make matters even better the sun.

Now we could enjoy the day as we rode across the dam wall and left onto the dirt headed for Greyton and hopefully a welcome cup of coffee.

Being still early we encountered most of the farmers and their staff herding cattle across the road or heading out with tractors and trailers fully loaded with fodder.

The road was also wet and badly potholed. It must have rained fairly hard the previous night and into the early hours of the morning.

On reaching Greyton we stopped at the Post House where there appeared to be some form of life as the rest of town was like a graveyard.

Ever visited the dead centre of town!

Well we got coffee but no breakfast as the kitchen staff we heard were late for work.

We rode out of town on the Riviersonderend road and made good time across to the small town where we had breakfast before heading on to Stormsvlei and over the mountains to Bonnievale, Ashton and our first petrol stop in Montagu.

Now we followed our loosely plannned route up Ouberg Pass and across towards Anysberg before turning off onto the road to Warmwaterberg and a new experience for Calle – a ride through Sanbona and a chance to see the Big Five from the saddle of a bike.

We signed in and were instructed to ride through to Dwyka and meet an escort.

Now Sanbona covers 54 000 Hectares, which gives the animals a huge area to roam around in so at any turn one can meet any one of the Big 5.

Fortunately the ride to Dwyka was predator free and here we met our escort and headed the 14kms to the East gate.

And along the way we had to stop at a Zebra crossing while many Zebra crossed the tracks including a very young one in the centre of the herd.

And then not further along Giraffe graced the landscape.

At the east gate we said our goodbyes to our escort and headed for Barrydale and well deserved lunch.

While at lunch with good friends at the Place in Time where Bev has perfected the ultimate butter chicken dish I glanced at the GPS and realised by the time we got back to Cape Town we would have clocked at least 600km.

How wrong can someone be!

From Barrydale we headed across to Montagu and again took the gravel to Talana and then from Montagu back to Bonnievale and across on the gravel to McGregor and then left again towards Worcester via Eilandia eventually exciting on the Villiersdorp Worcester Road.

To make things a little interesting the roads department have put down what looks like thick black molasses on the gravel and then soaked it with water.

Added a little bit of fun near the end of a long day.

On the way to Rawsonville Calle ran out of fuel so I ran back to Worcester topped up my tank shot back to Calle topped up his bike and at Rawsonville filled up to the brim.

We had hit a heavy head wind and his bike was chewing juice.

From Rawsonville we went over Dutoits kloof pass and into Paarl where we said our goodbyes and I headed for home.

Home was reached at 6pm and a quick glance at the GPS indicated we had ridden 706 km on a great day out in the open.

Link to video

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That looks like a great day! Makes me jealous sitting here waiting for warmer weather.

I liked the music you added to the video. Who is that? Don't hear vibes too much anymore. Ride! :lol:

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