Magoebaskloof Ride Report – weekend of 24/25 June 2017
And so it was on cold Saturday morning Anton, Peter, Pete, Wentzel and Karin, Robert, Alan and Amanda met at Engen Long Meadow.
The customary coffee enjoyed we set off 20 minutes behind schedule towards Groblersdal. At the Bapsfontein Caltex, Marc Russell joined the convoy and we enjoyed good roads, scenery and riding all the way into Groblersdal. With a grouping of machines varying from a 650cc step through, 1600 GTL, 800GS and the GSAs with their enormous range,we all decided to fill up before enjoying a Wimpy breakfast.
Cold oats spoilt the occasion for those who ordered it, but we soon left for Midas Groblersdal to get some chain lube for the 800. A minor issue but makes one appreciate the maintenance free shaft drives on most of our bikes!
From Groblersdal we followed the N11 to Marble Hall past miles of grapes and citrus under shade cloth. Well manicured and productive farms makes it great to see commercial agriculture in such good shape. Entering Roedtan the group turned right off the N11 towards Lebowakgomo, place of the baboon!! A striking feature for me on this leg of the trip was the absence of litter, no shacks but proper houses, and that every house had a car parked outside. Middle class settlements are happening in rural SA.
From Lebowakgomo we passed through Chuenespoort off to Moria, headquarters of the Zion Christian Church. This intersected the R71 joining Polokwane with Tzaneen. Hooking a right onto the R71 saw the speeds escalate a bit for some, and a lot for some others (no names will be mentioned) and we enjoyed the twisties and rolling Soutpansberg Mountains all the way to Haernetsberg where we stopped at the Red Plate for a light lunch.
By 15h00 the group was back on the road to the Magoebaskloof Hotel where we met up with Johan and his good wife on their 1200RT. They had travelled via Lydenberg on the Friday and reported that the road between Lydenberg and Ohrigstad has been resurfaced and is in excellent condition. A sad note was that the hotel got most of our bookings, deposits and dates wrong. The restaurant was substandard and the buffet ran out of food forcing some of us to have to eat A la Carte. Hopefully the management will sort the issues out as it is a well located venue but we felt let down after all the rave revues on the travel blogs.
Wentzel admiring Magoebaskloof Dam
As a sundowner circular route we rode from the hotel to Tzaneen, back through George’s Valley and home again. This was done with a stop at Ebenezer Dam.
Marc, Rob and Pete
On return to the hotel, the Springbok France rugby encounter was watched in the pub with great atmosphere. Dinner followed and then to bed.
Sunday morning based on temperatures only getting respectable after 09h00, a latish breakfast was decided upon, and by 09h20 we were on the road.
Alan and Amanda through George’s Valley
Magoebaskloof Pass is a beautiful section of road bordered by indigenous forest and spectacular views, which cannot be enjoyed while concentrating on the sharp, twisting road ahead
Peter on his GTL
After a boring slog back to Polokwane 0n the R71we refuelled at the NI Ultra City south of the town before heading down the R101 all the way to Bela Bela.
The R101, a lovely road, the surface is good, classic bushveld all the way and apart from having to drive through a few towns, beats the N1 with its pricey toll gates hands down. If you’re travelling north, consider the R101, you won’t be disappointed.
Lunch was enjoyed at Den Dekka at the complex outside of Bela Bela. The route then took us to the N1 and back to Gauteng. The highway was busy, busy to the point of requiring high levels of concentration. All got home safely. Thanks to those on the trip and looking forward to the next one.