Day 16 – OLT Lockdown Tour SA

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Antoniesberg pass, Grootrivierpoort, one of the most extreme mountain passes to take a 4×4 on. This is not a lazy Sunday afternoon drive. (Good thing we did it on a Tuesday) This rough, steep gravel pass crosses the Grootrivier on the northern side of the Baviaanskloof Mountains via a river crossing to Patensie.

Wildly the route was plotted and today, saw the old legs tour make a detour, over it… Not around it… Baffled as to why 🤷🏻‍♀️ but clocking in another 55km and 1186m of elevation today.

As usual, it was Dave’s favourite road surfaces in the world. The corrugated type, you guessed it. His sense of humour failure was sure to peak its head at some point today. Having started at the “Little House on the prairie” we made our way to Patensie. Only 49km away… Easy right!?

With in the first 10km, the mist and rain coming in over the top of the mountain, the slippery wet roads, the steep inclines were all poking the bear. Before we knew it, Badger was having a kip half way up the pass.

And then the rain came some more. And the mist wasn’t missing out on the fun. Matambo’s reversing skill saga was quickly forgotten by he’s supremecy at maneuvering the landcruiser like a mountain goat down the pass, trailer in tow. The only thing missing!? Me. Leaving me to a meander up the gorge, alongside the badger, as he plodded on.

Needless to say, the poking of the bear reared its head, as at some point around 30km in, Deidre and Bruce arrived at the next gate, crying with laughter, so much so I couldn’t tell if it was tears or the mist off the mountain. Pulling up the rear, in pops Dave with a “This (bleep) pig road, and this (bleep) pig hill!” As he lost his humour somewhere on the pass…. And he sure as hell wasn’t going back to find it.

Badgers afternoon nap on the pass earned him a converted D.O.D, as he thought he got the better of the mountain, but alas slipping and falling smack on his back was Antonie just reassuring us, we are visitors here.

As rough and wet and cold as it was, I think the Freedom challenge (a yearly race across these mountains) would gladly add them as honorary members. At least at the end of thee day, it’s done and dusted, hugs and smiles all round. (Little do they know what’s in store tomorrow)

We are camped out at De Mist River Cabins just outside Patensie for the night, shaving off 15km from tomorrow’s ride. With 79km in thee saddle and the Baviaanskloof to conquer, I think it’s time to hit the sack. Pray to the gods it’s not raining tomorrow. If today is anything to go by, tomorrow’s going to be hell!

 

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