Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Second day 2nd leg - Malagas Pont over river towards Witsand

This continues the series of my Motorcycle Adventure travels from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth which is the first goal, over a two day period. Details of the whole trip here.

So day two like day one had the odd wrong turning, mainly because I was so interested in the surroundings I wasn't concentrating on the route properly. Also my Sat Nav is not mounted, I keep it in my jacket and it's too much of a time waster to keep stopping and checking. I've learnt now when to check it though and will definitly purchase a proper mounted one now.

After breakfast I headed down the correct road and very shortly came out at the Petrol garage I needed and for the Pont over the river, which I was very much looking forward to. I first filled up and noticed a nice little hotel over the road which I explored, but forgot to take some pictures to show you (sorry). I will visit it again in the future so more pics eventually.

Here are the pictures of one of the last ponts I am aware of in South Africa. I remember as a kid going over a few in the Kwa Zulu Natal area as there are so many rivers and hills there and in those days the road infrastructure was not very mature. This was my first pont since I was a kid. Here are the pictures:

Arriving at the Pont - difficult to take a picture with both hands on a downhill while leaving the bike running I discovered

They bring the pont closer and we can drive on

They drive the pont manually by walking down the side pulling on the fixed cable across the river

Charged us ZAR 13 about GBP 1.20 or USD 2 to cross on the Bike. Cars cost 3 times more

Hard work to get the momentum up but after that if didn't appear to take much effort to get us across

They must be pretty fit doing that all day every day. Mind you it's not a busy road.

View of holiday homes along the river banks.

Stopped her to confirm the directions on GPS/Sat nav

Now for the trip to Witsand beach
Having done my first check on the Sat nav and knowing the route to follow was "first right, first right, bear right" I just carried on. I ended up turning onto a Farm road on one of the "first rights" as it was as well maintained as this one above and so didn't bother to check the Sat nav again. Mistake. I ended up going something like 10km on someone's farm before reaching ever narrower and narrower tracks until I ended up in a corn field overlooking the river I'd just corssed on the pont! F...

On the bright side it was the best part of the ride as it had interesting turns, tracks and ramps. I was racing along having fun, then had the joy of doing it all over again on the way back! Great an extra 20km on an already very long ride for the day. I also had to avoid an apparently angry farmer chasing me on a tractor yelling and asking me what I was doing on his farm. Fortunately a Dakar can out run a tractor in even in second gear, so no problem there.

Finally reached Witsand having travelled an extra 20km, but a great leg of the day.

More tours on our list of tour route summaries are available, where we explore these sorts of motorcycle adventure tour routes. Just choose one of our events and reserve yourself a place on one of the future motorcycle adventure safari events. 

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