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This weekend we headed to the Karoo for an activity filled weekend. Friday night we stayed at De Bos Guest Farm in Montagu. The facilities are excellent and this destination is highly recommended.
On Saturday morning we had an early start. We needed to leave by 7am to head to Gecko Rock Nature Reserve outside of Touwsriver. This is one of our favourite destinations. We left one vehicle behind at De Bos as we would be returning on Sunday again. 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 gruelling 10km climb. The views were breathtaking. By now the support vehicle was safely at Gecko Rock and awaiting our arrival a few hours later. At least there were other activities to keep the driver occupied.
Next up was a 7km climb to the top of Rooihoogte Pass before we would leave the tar behind and join on the gravel road leading to Gecko Rock.
The last little climb of the day at Leeuwenboschfontein was enough for me for one day. We arrived at Gecko Rock 4h41:26 later having completed 74.4km with 1276m elevation gain.
We setup camp at De Wets Rus Campsite #2 overlooking the splash pool and under lovely shaded trees. The Karoo heat and gusty wind was getting to us. Nothing a Castle Lite or 2 or a man weighing down his tent could not resolve.
A lovely evening was spent under the Karoo skies. We had some lovely rain overnight. The next morning we set off at 7am again (yes two early starts) to head back to Montagu via the Ouberg Pass.
The weather was cooler and the road condition was very good. I was looking forward to less climbing on this route. Our elevation gain was 570m and the elevation loss 1206m. We had some steep descents and many free kilometers heading back into Montagu. After 3h44:29 we had completed 71.82km. The timing was perfect between the arrival of the support vehicle and us. That was a total of 146.1km with 2003m elevation over two days.
I would highly recommend this route and for those stronger (than me) you could complete it in one day if you have adequate water with you or get someone to supply along route. Now for some recovery until the next route planning starts.