Leaving Calitzdorp behind, Bruce the “Badger” Fivaz bids farewell to the “Dorp” the Fivaz clan founded. A BIG DAY in the saddle turned out to be a rather spectacular day with overcast cool weather for the most part and spots of light drizzle here and there. Well that was until we rode out the Seweweekspoort. I say “Big day” in bold as I have been hearing this almost everyday of the tour. Oh man CJ doesn’t disappoint. The most random, arbitrary routes, climbs and elevations we have traversed with the most unique overnight stops across the country. Today (Day 21) wasn’t any different with an 87.25km ride and 1562m of climbing across the Karoo.
Right out of the gate, we encountered a massive climb through the Huisrivierpas (house river pass) luckily all on tar and minimal traffic, crossing the Gamka River towards Ladismith. As luck will have it, the Klein Karoo throws a spanner in the works, sending us on a sharp right off the infamous R62 onto the inevitable gravel roads of the R323 headed straight to “kavukiland” (a word adopted on tour as to mean somewhere there but we haven’t got the faintest idea where).
Enter the Seweweekspoort that runs through the Klein Swartberg Mountains and Towerkop Nature Reserve. Founded in 1883 and peaks at 1018m above sea level. With head winds coming from the front around every corner, slow long inclines and views to bring your already ambling pace to a dead halt, we then exited the pass into the Central Karoo.
Undulating hills and decent gravel Roads that Dave himself approves of, saw the Power Couple slip into high gear and cruise across the Karoo edged on by Deidre at each slip in his pace. I couldn’t tell if Deidre was leading or Dave’s so smitten he’s been chasing Deidre for the last 40 odd years, and isn’t stopping anytime soon. Couple Goals.
When it comes to gravel roads and hills, the badger could kick start a Boeing with those legs. He is strong on the uphills and paces with Deidre while Dave chases from behind. On downhills not so much. I put it down to the views, the flowers and taking in the fresh mountain air that almost stops him in his tracks. Bush bashing Badger has now officially got a specimen of almost every plant in the Karoo.
With only 5 days left before we reach Lamberts bay we rest easy at Wagendrift lodge as tomorrow we head throgh, you guessed it, another pass or two, another “BIG” day followed by all downhills and spicing it with an epic Anysberg Nature Reserve crossing.
Just Do Epic.