6-day mountain bike tour through the Baviaanskloof, across the back of the Kouga Mountains, across the Langkloof, down Prince Alfred’s Pass to Wittedrif
This time we decided to plan a more compact private tour, which still included the incredible Baviaanskloof but followed an old Thomas Bain-built pass to the coast. Previous tours had been the 400 km trial from Baviaanskloof to Montagu, a repeat of that route in 2014 that skipped the Sanbona section but still averaged 80 km per day, and a selected passes tour last year which featured Swartberg, Rooiberg, Seweweekspoort and Bosluiskloof passes with shorter daily distances.
The itinerary was as follows:
- Day 1: Komdomo to Rooihoek via Combrincks and Holgat passes, Baviaanskloof;
- Day 2: Rooihoek to Doringkloof via Grasnek Pass, Baviaanskloof;
- Day 3: Doringkloof to Uitspan, Baviaanskloof;
- Day 4: Uitspan to Uniondale via Nuwekloof Pass – overnight at the extremely well-appointed guest house at Vetvlei Farm (the only night we didn’t camp), which is highly recommended;
- Day 5: Uniondale to Angie’s G Spot, De Vlugt via the Ou Wapad to Avontuur and then down Prince Alfred’s Pass, the longest pass in the country;
- Day 6: De Vlugt to Wittedrif via the rest of Prince Alfred’s Pass and some unnamed nasty climb.
The daily distance averaged about 40 km and made for plenty of photo and tea stops – in other words TOURING (this tour was planned by hikers and not mountain bikers). Once more we were blessed with sunny, warm weather, although the fast descent to De Vlugt was characterised by light rain, muddy eyes and a slick road. As we cruised into Santie’s folks’ home at Wittedrif to enjoy the long-promised lemon meringue, it started to pelt down, effectively ending our planned 2-night camp at Nature’s Valley before it had begun.
The tour group comprised 8 riders and 3 drivers of the 3 backup vehicles. As we refine this cycle tour concept each one is different to, if not better than, the last. This one was simply brilliant.
Honourable mention should be made of Zandile Meneses, of the Karoo2Coast MTB event, and especially Jimmy Zondagh, a farmer at Uniondale, who kindly helped us to use the Ou Wapad between Uniondale and Avontuur. Jimmy arranged for the unlocking of the gates on the morning of our crossing.