Only seven of us rode from the Krystal Beach Hotel in Gordon’s Bay to the entrance to the Hemel en Aarde Valley on Monday 4 October.
Our first and only stop was in Bettiesbaai, for coffee and cake, at Coffee on Clarence. Upon arrival, the local brewery supplied us with drinks, snacks, and supper, while Hornbill provided us with their trusted accommodation. Our staff was treated to a family suite at Hornbill. Excellent value!
On Tuesday, we had an early snack at Hornbill, and headed up the dreaded Hemel climbs till the top of Shaw’s Pass, where Craig waited with a proper roadside brekkie…..from there, we had a lunch-pie at Van Brakel Stoor and breezed (into the headwind, no less) to Napier, where David and his menagerie of animals welcomed us to the Stellar Overberg Farmstay. We were spoilt with a beyond-perfect vegetarian snack table, and drinks, as sustenance till supper-time, with a scrumptious pasta dish, something vegan for Ellen, and local wines.
On day three, Nic snuck out early, as is his wont, while the rest of us stuck into too much breakfast, and struggled the whole day to catch him, which we only managed to do just before arriving in Swellendam. We took all of our ride-victuals roadside, as there are no shops or farmstalls on the beautiful R319. Drinks and beds were provided by Aan de Leisure, and our supper was a late braai. Craig outdid himself.
Day four saw Bennie get his pre-flight covid test, while the early starters cruised over the ‘Three sisters’ to Bonnievale, with the rearguard, led by Janine and Bennie, catching the vanguard at the end of lunch in Robertson. We all jumped in the truck at km110, as we wished to avoid the busy Worcester traffic. Our beds were made, along with supper, at Damas Guest Farm.
With another shitty headwind for Friday, we changed course a bit, and split our ride in two: first from Wolseley to Stettyn Cellar, and then a ride up the iconic Franschhoek Pass, where Ellen showed her turbo-trained mountain legs. Beer-lunch and goodbyes at Hey Joe Brewery.
Then, on Sunday, after the CT Cycle Tour, we braai’d. Of course. This time, at Nic’s, where his mad friends also joined.