Updated: May 8, 2020
When your December holiday starts, and you know you want to travel but just do not know where. Then your father phones and asks you to join, hey!! why not.
I will skip all the boring roads and places we stayed, not that it exists in his adventure and I will go straight to the Baviaanskloof. always wants adventure and I am always keen to join with my better half and son if it is possible. Asking him where we are going? To the Baviaanskloof he says, his 2nd/3rd time there my first time.
I will skip all the boring roads and places we stayed, not that it exists in his adventure and i will go straight to the Baviaanskloof.
N9 to R332, we left Willowmore to stock up on what we needed. PS. Do not try and buy alcohol over December there, you will only get quarts, and long beers. Obviously which does not work that well with camping fridges, after about 1 hour of up and down alas we found some cans and for the fairer gender their choice of refreshments.
Off we go towards the R332, road unknown to me, gravel my road of choice and you can keep a steady speed without trouble. 10km, 20km, oh the road is winding.... 35km in to the unknown for me and we hit the first pass, Nuwekloof Pass, 5.9km in length consisting of 41 bends which include 1 full horseshoe bend, and 10 bends in excess of 100 degrees. The gradients are generally easy and does not exceed 1:12. Yeah through the pass and the road is flat, long and even.
Slowing down we get to Studtis Poort, Poort which suggests not a pass but more of a inbetween the valleys. The Poort is 6.4km in length with an easy gradient and crossing the Baviaans River 9 times by means of low water bridges or just through the river ruff and tough. Always play it safe in the Poort, as it can have deep water crossings after heavy rains.
Onwards we go to Doringkloof Bush Camp, where we will be staying.
Lovely green grass to setup your camp. The camp sites are nice and big, we did not struggle with space to setup camp and park are 4x4's next to it. Ablution is clean and more than efficient, there is also 2 4x4 trails on the farm and one close by, which is said to be a killer.
We stayed at the camp a few days, the started exploring. We took the road to Patensie from camp. A 112km drive through the Baviaans, if we just knew. The drive from the camp took us over 4 mountain passes.
The first being Grasnek Pass, 8.3km in length with a total of 83 bends and an average gradient of 1:11 with on section going up to 1:6.
The second being Langkop Pass, 3.4km in length it is one of the short ones, but it packs a gradient of 1:4 in certain places. The road is partially paved in certain sections to help with traction.
The third one being Holgat Pass, 4.7km in length and contains 49 bends of which 10 are greater than 90degrees. The pass is partially strip concreted. Passing/overtaking is impossible.
The final one before Patensie is Combrink's pass, 5.5km in length and contains 73 bends. The average gradient is 1:16. it is single width most of the way, so passing/overtaking is difficult.
In total i have never driven this much as for bends. It makes the road feel longer and the up and down works on your body.
We got to Patensie, got some refreshments and had a chat about Grootrivier Crossing. Well we are here lets do it, adventure awaits. From Patensie heading west on the R331, you take the gravel road turnoff that says Elandsrivier/Osseberg trail. Follow the gravel road till you get to the turn off that says, West: Grootrivier Poort to your left. Follow the gravel and twospoor road. You pass through a few gates, as a farmer thought me "if it is closed you close it again". Well we got one closed, with some sheep grazing, opened the gate and poof 4 ran through. We had to run after them, chase them back and could at last close the gate. Follow the remainder of the road and you will get to Antonies Pass, Grootrivier Crossing which is a low level bridge below a weir. From there we just followed the gravel road till we got to road signs that showed which direction to follow to Steytlerville.
All in all our 224km traverse drive of about 6 hours, turned into a 389km 10 hour drive. Bums sore and aching of all the sitting and bumps we got back to camp, for an adventure which was fun, and places we saw that we would most probably not have seen.
Going Back to the Baviaanskloof is definitely on my bucketlist, this time spending more time in the kloof and exploring the 4x4 routes they have to offer.
Adventure always awaits, it is what you make of it and with who. For me i will always have an adventure if my father is with me.
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