21 March 2012
Our lives are so busy with other stuff that we miss the real purpose of living and enjoying life. Five years ago, on the way to the Springbok Rally in De Hoek, near Oudtshoorn, I was greeted by some kids while riding along a piece of dirt road along the Carlitzdorp Dam. I stopped and gave them what sweets I had with me. As I am a photographer I took some photos of them and a little girl, only a few months old at the time, who stared at me through an open window of a small white-washed stone cottage. This was Michè, little did I know at the time I was going to regularly stop here.
Over the next 5 years when in the area on some or other ride with a club, a group of fellow riders or on my own I stopped, gave them sweets, stationary for school or some basic toiletries and took more photos. I had printed and framed the previous photos and would give it to them each time I saw them. They know have a wall in their cottage adorned with family photos, something they would never have had the opportunity to do otherwise. So a quick stop made a huge difference to their lives, and mine. This is all it takes, just a quick stop, say hi, listen to their story and be on your way again. That is their lifestyle and this is mine, such very different lives we live.
I decided to do a ‘long way round’ trip to
I had a quick bite to eat at the Wimpy in Ceres and headed off on the dirt towards Sutherland.
This was the first dirt I encountered, I was excited, dirt roads just stir up such emotions deep in ones soul. It was hot, the display on my bike hovered around the 38 and 39 degrees Celsius mark. Not even the air was cooling me down. I had to close my visor of my helmet as it was cooler inside the helmet than outside. The miles on my GPS slowly reduced as I was nearing Sutherland, I was in my element.
Just outside Sutherland near Asbosskerm, a place you have to experience, I came across a fellow biker on the side of the road, this was Henry, on a 990 KTM, he was busy repairing a puncture. I stopped and gave him a hand. Once sorted we rode on to Sutherland together where we were going to spend the night in the campsite.
I made a fire and braaied some pork sausages and a sweet potato in the coals. Henry thanked me with a cold Windhoek Draft, cheers Henry!
The next morning I said my goodbyes to Henry and headed off towards Fraserburg. It was just as hot as yesterday. The dust clouds bellowed behind me as I made a trail across the Karoo Plains.
A quick stop in Fraserburg to buy a cooldrink and check out
the museum and I was on my way again. A local guy said I should take the dirt
road to Merweville and then hop over the N1 towards
I took my time up the
I headed down the 37 km’s one-way road into Die Hel and arrived early evening.
I set up camp and made something to eat. Fresh whole-wheat bread with tomato, onion and pilchards, yummy. I boiled some water and made a mug of rooibos tea, I sat back and let the world go by, slowly.
The next morning I packed and headed back up the 37 km’s. It
was slightly overcast for which I was very thankful. It was another beautiful
From Carlitzdorp I followed the old cement road towards
Oudsthoorn and then joined the
I spent the next 4 days here at the Buffalo Rally, 3 of the 4 days it rained, but this did not dampen the spirits of the Rally.
On Sunday, the 18th of March I departed
I then followed the prompts of my GPS, via Stilbaai,
Witsand, across the ferry on the
On the outskirts of Bredasdorp I popped off on another dirt road towards Elim and Baardskeerdesbos to Gansbaai.
By now I was craving a piece of fish so I went looking for a
restaurant that would serve me a piece of fish. It was Sunday, as with most
such towns everything is closed. I spotted an open pub, it was Ernie’s Pub and
they served me the most delicious fish and chips. I finished it off with a
Windhoek Lager and said my goodbyes. There were no more dirt roads, this was
the end of my journey, from here it was just the black stuff. I followed the
black stuff around Kleinmond, Rooi Els, through
I have recharged and am now ready to go back to work and face the corporate life.
Thank you for reading this story, if you find yourself in or around the Carlitzdorp Dam do stop and say hi to Michè, it will make you the richer, I promise. If you would like to know how you can help Michè and her family please contact me.
Kevin van Blerk
Well done Kevin
Thanks for sharing
Bliksem, dit klink lekker!
This is a great road report with excellent photographs, thanks for sharing.
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