06 July, 2013

Bike Ride 44 - Touring Mpumalanga - Day 3

We had a long route planned for today the 2nd July 2013, but we both were a little tired from riding so much. (We are new to riding bike). So we discussed and decided that a shorter route with less travelling would suit us both better. From other people I have heard the Kaapsehoop (or Kaapschehoop as I have seen in spelt) was a must do stop, and I wanted to visit that place. So it was decided to leave the route via Barberton to Kaapsehoop and just take the N4 there.

After packing up, we headed toward Alkmaar for the BMW Club Challenge photo, as well as a qucik geocache just out of the town by the river. Beryl from the Crock Lodge gave us 4 naartjies, and since the log sheet of the geocache was wet, I opted to dry it out a bit and eat one of the fruits. Trish obviously had a lekker loooong smoke break there.
 From there we headed further west on the N4, and put petrol in at the garage by the paper mill, and then headed towards what would be the highlight of the day .... Kaapsehoop. A brief stop at Ngodwana for a photo. This time however since it had restricved access we did not drive through the town as we are now starting to get accustomed to do each time we visit one of these towns. On the way up we first saw some monkeys playing on the road, and later on some horses. Trish wondered if the horses were wild. "Can't be... they must belong to the local farmer" I replied ... only to be proven incorrect about 500 meters further by a huge big signpost.
And what a lovely little town Kaapsehoop turned out to be. Wow, wow, wow! I expected it to by much like Pilgrims Rest, and yes it is a lot the same but then also not the same. We took a slow drive through the town taking it all in, and looking for just the right place to take our challenge photo. After some deliberating it was confirmed to be on the one street corner where GPS co-ords and an old telephone booth. We also rode up the one road and saw a lovely little church at the top. We stopped at what looked like the only open restaurant in town, and ordered drinks and breakfast.
 After breakfast was consumed, Trish wanted another cup of coffee, and I decided to walk to the closest geocache just down the road by a small open field. A short search later the geocache was found, signed and returned to its hiding spot. Back at the restaurant Trish was still sipping away at her coffee, and  I could go do another geocache on the other side of town. This time I took the bike. The geocache was hidden by the old prison ruins, and close the the church we had seen earlier. As I rode around the church I saw it had a lovely darkened window, with stained glass at the doors, and just knew I had to bring Trish back to come see this. As I rode back down I saw some of the "wild" horses grazing lazily in town. As I still had some time left decided to try another geocache further up in the koppies, but I could not find that one. Pity. But I'll be back to look for that one and all the others in town sometime in the future.
Once back at Trish we paid the bill, and went back to show her the other side of the little church and after closer investigation saw the doors were open so we had a quick look inside.
Of all the towns visited so far in our BMW Club challenge this one is our top one and gets 10 stars from us. A must do one!

 From there we rode all the way through to Waterval Onder, and then to Waterfal Boven. On the way up just before the tunnel they were trapping, and I am sure I was going faster then the given speed limit, but they did not jump up to stop me or anything, and luckily motorbikes don't have a front numberplate.
Trish said this is also the road she enjoyed travelling on the most so far. It wide, smooth, and open. All these elements allowed me to go a little but faster then I usually do ... which is the part Trish liked.
Once at Waterfal Boven, we took in the town by slowly driving through it, and I must say I have never seen so many churches in one town. I am sure we counted over 8 churches ... and a mosque.
We stopped of at the bottle store for some wine, a can of beer, and sprite, and then went searching of our nights accommodation. This was just outside of town with no cellphone reception. The farm manager had some pigs, geese and ducks, which were fed just before we left back to town for dinner.
Dinner was had at what seemed the only open place. I ordered a T-Bone and Trish a burger. While we were waiting for our dinner a guy came chatting to us. His name was Dewalt. He had just moved into town from Vereeniging way, and I think we were to be his entertainment for the afternoon. Well he was also our entertainment for the afternoon. It was very interesting to chat to him.

As out food arrived he said he had to go home and start the fire. Perhaps sometime we will meet up with Dewalt again. After dinner it was back to the Trout farm. There was no working TV, so we chatted for a while and then turned into bed. Although the place lacked a few things (like a working TV) the bed was excelent and the Duvet the best we had in the last 3 days. We again slept like babies.

Total Distance for the day: 141 km
Geocaches completed: 3.
BMW Club challenges completed:4

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