As is the RideDOT.com way, we're backtracking again, like so many other times on our trip. This is our second time in Mossel Bay and as usual, we're not very adventurous when it comes to finding accommodations. If we liked a place that we stayed at the first time round, we go back again.
I e-mailed the lady where we stayed at the last time we rode through and she was surprised we were back so soon, but she welcomed us back anyway.
Wow, what a difference two weeks makes. Mossel Bay is so sunny now!
It was a quick stay, we were out again early in the morning. The last time we were here, our departure was shrouded in fog. This time, however:
It was nice to actually see the ocean views as we left Mossel Bay
Heading back through George, we decide to step off the main N2 highway, bypassing the over-hyped Garden Route once again.
Instead, we're taking a route called the Seven Passes Road
The Seven Passes is part of a system of back roads parallel to the main highway, it runs between George and Knysna (NICE-NAH! haha!) through some heavily forested areas. The well-graded gravel path takes us past rivers, bridges and gorges. All very scenic and serene.
Despite the name, none of the Seven Passes offer up breath-taking mountain vistas. Instead, the gradient is fairly gentle. It wasn't obvious where one pass ended and another began. If it wasn't for these Seven Passes information signs, we wouldn't have guessed that we were on a different pass.
Stopping on the bridge off the Touw Pass, the third of seven passes. Really? We thought we were still on the first!
Still, having slogged though the main N2 highway before, this was a much preferable route to make our way back to the Eastern Cape.
Brake lights flash angrily as Neda plays Chicken with an oncoming logging truck, barreling around the corner!
It's times like these when you have to do a quick double-check in your head: "What country am I in right now? And which side of the road should I be riding on?"
A cloud of dust and smoke envelop us whenever we pass a large vehicle
The back roads are always better than the highway
"I'm on my way! Doing 90 down these country lanes, singing to Tiny Dancer..."
The last of the Seven Roads Passes is Phantom Pass, which spits us back onto the N2 just outside of Knysna's city limits. Just in time for lunch!
On my GPS, I key in a search for restaurants in the area and there seems to be a large clump of them right on the shores of the downtown area. So we head there.
Right into Tourist Central: Waterfront Kysna Quays
This place reminded me of the VA Waterfront in Cape Town, with the expensive boats in the marina and the overpriced restaurants and souvenir shops.
Trying to find a T-shirt that said, "NICE-NAH!"
We got some nice seafood pasta here
After lunch, we hit the road. Once again, we opt out of the N2 Highway, instead we will be heading north out of Knysna.
Shanties line the R339
Township outside of Knysna
Prince Alfred's Pass starts off in a thick forest just outside of the city limits
The tar road ends, turning to gravel once we leave the forest and our bikes burst out dramatically into the Outeniqua mountain range.
The pass rapidly climbs 700m within 14kms. Unlike the Seven Pass Road that we took before lunch, this is a true mountain pass!
This is our kind of road, hugging the side of a mountain while our tires kick up loose stones and rocks. If we take our attention off our route, we can quickly steal glances over the edge, a steep dropoff showcasing the picturesque valley below. All the while, the backdrop of green-tinged hills and grey-coloured mountains in the distance move ever so slightly in parallax with our motorbikes.
Aloe trees line the road as we round the top of a mini-summit and head down again
Switchback up ahead while heading down the pass
Some video I shot of our run through Prince Alfred's Pass:
I thought about editing out the middle part, but I left it in to show off how sophisticated my camera setup is
Amazing road! So glad we came back to the Western Cape to experience it!
Towards the end of the pass, at the Keirboomsrivier, there is a campground called Angie's G-Spot. While we were hanging out in Port Elizabeth with Jacques and Phillip, we heard them talk about this place. So we had to stop here for the evening.
Why the name, G-Spot?
I read a write-up about this place:
"Some years ago Angie and Harald took a drive on a motorbike in the surrounding area.
“I kept raving about the scenery along the way. When we arrived at this spot, we saw a piece of driftwood shaped like a G. All this meant it was a great spot, so we decided to build here, and give it the name Angie’s G Spot. There is no sexual connotation, though,” said Angie.
The owners, Harald and Angie, welcome us to their little oasis up in the Outeniqua Mountains
But really, it was their dogs who did the real welcoming.
They were so curious and friendly, hanging around us while we set up our tent
There were a couple of other dogs, but they were running around and woudn't stay still for a picture. This one was the laziest. Neda called it Derpy. So mean.
If you don't have your own tent, you can rent one. A bit more expensive though than just renting some grass for the night
Some women have a biological urge to have children. Neda has a biological urge to adopt a dog
We get asked all the time why we don't have kids. In North America it's slightly more socially acceptable to be child-free. But here in Africa, like in Latin America, the locals look at us like we have three heads when we tell them that we don't have any plans to have children. Back in Canada, when we tell people we're not having kids, they only look at us like we have two heads...
That's so much better.
I already know what our life will look like when we stop traveling. We'll have a dog and all our motorcycles will have a dog-carrier installed on the rear-seat or tankbag. I don't think we're going to go the sidecar route.
Neda and I have discussed this many, many times. This is an inevitability.
We're the only ones in the campsite, so the dogs kept guard over our tent and bikes while we turned in for the night
In the middle of the night, I got up to go pee and had to step over a couple of snoring dogs posted outside our tent! :D So cute!