Africa Blog

The Ride to Half a Million Miles

To the Karoo miles 490109

Today after a long wait I finally got to ride some miles in Africa.  I was to follow Tony as he had a planned route for us in the mountains known as the Karoo.  It was a 200 mile day with about 75 miles on dirt roads.   This should be a 7 day ride to warm up for the larger ride into Namibia and beyond. 

   The day was a little cold and cloudy.  As we started to climb the mountains that surround Cape Town the temperature dropped and the winds started to get stronger.  Lucky for us that this did not last for to long.   We crossed some amazing and beautiful reddish rocks that pushed themselves out of the earth millions of years ago.

   We did have a small crises when Tony stopped to inspect a loud noise coming from the front of his GS.   Tony had a new front tire installed yesterday at a local tire store,  and as they re-installed the wheel, Tony mentioned if they had torqued the bolts.   Their reply was no need to as we do this all the time. There is a reason to torque brake bolts,  its so that they don't come loose as Tony's did.   With a quick stop to an auto repair shop we were able to located the missing bolt and were back on our way.

   On our way we turned off onto a gravel road which was a nice ribbon crossing the simi desert land scape.  It looked much like west Texas at times and the at others it looked like Utah.  

   We did come to the gates of a game preserve were we had to sign a waver saying it would be at fault if we are attacked by wild game such as elephants, rhinos or lions.

We were also escorted across the preserve which is several miles from gate to gate.  Its a small preserve by African standards but I was still hoping to see some game.  The only game we did see was a herd of zebras as we were about to exit.

   Earlier in the day we did see some wild baboons along the road.  The females often had their young hanging on tight to them and the males were often just sitting along the road side.  I was warned by several not to stop to take pictures of the baboons especially the males as they are very aggressive  and dangerous.  Even our hotel has a sign saying to keep windows closed as the baboons can come in at night or day and cause problems.

  Before out stop for the night we rode Route 62, much like the old Route 66 back home.  Route 62 takes you through some small and charming towns of the Karoo.   Our stop for the night was a Cape Dutch village named Barrydale in the small Karoo.