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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve been fortunate enough to have just completed a week’s leave down on the southern Cape coast. It’s an area named The Garden Route and it’s around the area where the Western & Eastern Cape Province boundaries join.

I had my holiday in a place called Nature’s Valley- the third holiday I’ve enjoyed there.

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
One of the features of the Cape is the fynbos, which literally means ‘fine bush’ and it’s used to describe the low growing indigenous vegetation that abounds, particularly on the coastal plains. It has an aromatic, pungent scent that always seems to be present in the region. This is one of the two access roads to Nature’s Valley with the fynbos prolific at the roadside.


Watsonias,

…. and proteas also grow by the roadside:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nature's Valley

It consists of a few hundred residential & holiday homes, a tidal lagoon and 2km of beach.

This pic is taken looking due South, looking at the southern Indian Ocean. It’s about 3,500km/>2,000m to Antarctica, well over 8,000km/>5,000mi East (left) to the western Australian coast & >7,000km/>4,000mi West (right) to Buenos Aires in Argentina. The southern tip of Africa is therefore just a little remote!

The southern most tip of Africa is to the South-West of where this photo was taken, at Cape Agulhas, where Ewan & Charley ended their Long Way Down.

Various pics taken in and around the place:



 

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Discussion Starter #5
The local farm stall had some unusual offerings:


We stuck with something more traditional for Christmas lunch- a turkey cooked in a kettle barbecue:


A group of youngsters playing with a rugby ball; a very common sight here.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
The five day Otter Trail walking hike http://www.antbear.co.za/information/otter-trail.htm ends in Nature’s Valley. The tree at the local pub is adorned with recently deceased footwear of those that have successfully completed the hike. Thus, though I choose to call it ‘The Tree of Pain’, it is a memorial of achievement.




What concerned me though was the one & a half (?) pairs of flip-flops hanging there. It struck me that the hiking fraternity must have a seriously underdressed squid type element in their midst :eek:.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I’d never ridden a motorcycle at the coast in this country before so this pic marks a special occasion for me :)-it was taken at Plettenberg Bay.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A Ride East

I did a day ride East, not quite as far as Port Elizabeth, the capital of the Eastern Cape Province. The N2 road is dull and mostly straight but there’s a whole mountain range & the Tsitsikamma forest alongside that relieves the boredom:


I met some dairy cattle along the way. Is this as green as Ireland I wonder?


My first destination was Cape St. Francis:


 

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Discussion Starter #9


I then travelled to the neighbouring St. Francis Bay where a strange local byelaw decrees that all properties must have white walls & black roofs. There is a canal network so that the well-heeled folks can get their speedboats & jet skis out in to the river & the sea.


 

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Discussion Starter #10
I then went along the coast to Jeffries Bay which is a venue on the pro surfing tour. It’s a very small town that was teeming with people- not my cup of tea.

This looking across Algoa Bay, with the far coastline some 32km/20mi away:


So I made a plan to leave quickly, but not before I’d had a welcomed coffee & nice prego roll.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
HiDesert's Influence

I’d started experimenting with on the move photography:


Ok, so I'm pointing the camera too low, but what the heck, I'm new at this game :).

This was to come in useful when I met a fellow traveller…
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Triumphant encounters

I recognised a pair of Trumpies, from Johannesburg, in Jeffries Bay, but the riders were nowhere to be seen so I couldn’t say hello. On my way home I wanted to stop to take pics of some mountains. I saw a sign for a roadside picnic spot and pulled in to find just one person there already- a man with an immaculate shiny Thruxton! It turned out that he was doing a many thousand-kilometre journey around the South African coast.


We chatted for a few minutes before setting off in tandem for a while before I had to pull over for fuel.


No sooner had I stopped at the service station than another Sprint pulled up that was travelling in the opposite direction.


Apart from these bikes I also saw a Tiger 955 & a Rocket III on my travels.

 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
My next day trip was to be a >400km circular route heading West along the coast, then turning North inland, then East along an inland valley & then back home. The first port of call was Knysna (pronounced ‘n-eye-z-ner’). This is the pic of The Heads where the lagoon meets the ocean.


This is a general view of the town & lagoon.


25 years ago I enjoyed a weeklong camping holiday at the Lake Brenton campsite across the lagoon from the town. I was with my parents and g/f of the time. She & I are still good friends and I hope she sees this ride report. Our campsite was very close to this tree.


Across the spit of land to the South lies Brenton-on Sea with its picture postcard bay & beach.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Further along the coast I stopped to view the lakes near Sedgefield.


Then it was on to Wilderness,


where there were some brave guys paragliding:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It was then on to the town of George where I turned North. The town is overlooked by the Outeniqua (pronounced ‘oat-an-eeka’) Mountains. If you’ve ever watched the South African leg of the IRB Sevens rugby tournament, it’s held in George with these mountains as a backdrop.


The Outeniqua Pass climbs 3,000 ft and it’s a real humdinger because of the smooth grippy surface.




The town of George nestles down below and the sea, barely discernable, is in the distance.

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Once over the pass a large fertile valley unfolds:


It carries on for miles. This is, amongst other things, an ostrich farming area.


A whole flock (or should that perhaps be herd?) of ostriches with citrus trees in the background:



 

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Discussion Starter #18
If I would ever be asked what I think is the very best motorcycling experience, I would answer that it would be on a powerful fine-handling comfortable bike, on twisty roads in nice scenery in good weather. I hope this photo, taken on the way to Uniondale, embodies some elements of that notion. Next to zero traffic helps!


Uniondale is a small remote dorp (town) and this is where I got 95RON V-Power. There’s no building, no structures, no shade and the old caravan is the garage’s office!


I made my way out of town via a gorge road. There had been a recent flash flood and much of the road had been washed away.



 

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Discussion Starter #19
I finally made it on to the road that runs West-East through the Joubertina valley that can probably be best illustrated by a pic of citrus groves with mountain backdrops.


It's scenic


and the road gets interesting in places:


This is a road cutting with unusual colours, presumably due to different mineral deposits. I saw quite a few of these sights throughout the region.

 

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Discussion Starter #20
I then took a short road South to rejoin the N2 Highway. The sea is in the distance.
 
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