We embarked on a 2-day gravel grinding trip in the Karoo. The first evening we stayed in Montagu and prepared for our early departure on day 1 of the tour. Our water bottles were prefilled and nutrition prepared. We left one vehicle behind in Montagu and packed all our overnight items into the support vehicle.
Saturday morning the two gravel bikers and our support vehicle headed off to the Keisie / Koo Valley along the R318. The first mountain pass that we encountered was Burgers Pass which was a long grueling 10km climb. The views from the top were breathtaking.
Next up was a 7km climb to the top of Rooihoogte Pass. On the descend the Karoo gusts had our attention. It was not long before we would leave the tar behind and join on the gravel road leading to Nougaaspoort. The last little climb of the day outside Leeuwenboschfontein was enough for me. We arrived at our destination having completed 74.4km with 1276m elevation gain.
We spent a lovely evening under the Karoo skies. The next morning (day 2) we set off to head back to Montagu via Ouberg Pass. The weather was cooler and the gravel road condition was very good. I was looking forward to less climbing on this route. We had some steep descents (elevation loss 1206m) and many free kilometers heading back into Montagu.
The 2-day trip was 146.1km with 2003m elevation.
Written by Kamin Taute