Swellendam bike trip – Cape Town to Ashton to Swellendam to Barrydal to De Doorns.
Initially I started this bike trip with the idea to ride out to Hartenbos and back for the day, but as I reached the mid point of the journey the adventure took a different direction. But let’s begin from the beginning…
Swellendam Motorcycle Trip Route Map:Get it on Google Maps
Swellendam Bike Trip Features:
- Bain’s Kloof Pass
- Slanghoek Valley
- Rolandale Farmstall (Swellendam)
- Tradouw Pass
- Karoo Lodge Barrydale
- Die Kloof Farmstall (Montagu)
- Rooihoogte Pass
- Hex River Valley
- Hex River Valley Pass
- De Doorns
- Du Toitskloof Pass
Swellendam Bike Trip Report:
It was early Monday morning after a very busy weekend. I reached an intersection where, If I turned left I would go to work, and if I turned right I would go on an unplanned adventure…. So needless to say I turned right. One of the privileges of being one’s own boss.
I headed for Wellington and as I rode I felt slightly dismal on behalf of all the people I passed on their way to work. I reached Wellington before the first shops opened their doors and passed through to reach the summit of Bain’s Kloof Pass.
From atop Bain’s Kloof Pass the world seemed quiet and peaceful as the sun started to rise over the valley below. It didn’t feel like a Monday morning at all. Instead you half expected it to be a Sunday.
I ventured onwards through Bain’s Kloof and reached the t-junction that heads to either Ceres or Worcester. Worcester it was.
As I entered Worcester I realized that this trip was going nowhere with the only two bars of fuel indicated on my screen and searched for the nearest fuel station.
With a full tank of fuel and a 320km range limit before I would need another pit-stop I set off to Roberstson, then Ashton, then Swellendam, before it was time to stretch the body just outside Swellendam in Buffeljags at Rolandale Farmstall. Here I wanted to buy some refreshments for the road but after walking through the lovely farmstall I decided a farmhouse breakfast would be in order.
While enjoying my lovely prepared breakfast and a strong coffee the thought came to mind of riding Tradouw Pass as I have not done this one since my first trip with my current steed.
So a plan was set and instead of travelling to Hartenbos I would travel to Barrydale instead. A win-win as I would enjoy an old favourite pass as well as a favourite milkshake at Diesel and Crème.
I reached a very hot, for that time of the morning, Barrydale and decided to stop at the Karoo Lodge instead of Diesel and Crème seeing as its one of the restaurants I have not visited.
Unfortunately the restaurant was closed and waiting for the new owner to renovate / re-open. I remounted my steed and chose to head in the direction of Karoo Saloon.
This was not to be my day for refreshment stops. Upon reaching Karoo Saloon the sign next to the road stated “closed”…. Again I set off to venture onwards and passed through Robertson and Ashton before making another stop. Montagu.
I ride through Montagu a lot and everytime I do so I remind myself to stop at Die Kloof Padstal / Kloof Farmstall on a next trip. This day was that day… I am very pleased to say that this is a very nice farmstall and restaurant and recommend a quick stop even you only want to browse through their shop.
After refuelling in Montagu another pass I have not yet completed came to mind. Burgerspas. This pass is situated between Montagu and Touws River. There are two passes on this road, the first being Burgerspas and the second Rooihoogte Pass.
Burgerspas was a nice short and well tarred pass with some nice tight s-bends. There is also a good lookout point in the middle of the pass that overlooks the valley below. I thoroughly enjoyed this pass and had to remind myself at times that I was on an adventure bike and not a speedbike.
After spending quite some time at the lookout point, where I enjoyed a pre-packed lunch of steak and some brocolli slaw, I rode to reach the next pass, Rooihoogte Pass.
Rooihoogte pass was also lovely but not spectacular. It offered some decent elevated views over the countryside but without a signpost saying “Rooihoogte Pass” I might have missed this one. A lovely ride nonetheless.
Luckily I knew that this pass was not the final scenic road of my trip and I headed to Hex River Valley where I encountered Hex River Pass.
Just after Hex River Pass I stopped next to the road to stretch the legs when the local farmer pulled in at the gate in front of me. As I always state on my journeys; it is amazing the people you meet and how welcoming and friendly they are. He spoke of his vineyards and the worry that it might rain soon, mentioning that rain would detrimental at this stage for his grapes.Amazing to meet these people who are willing to share their life stories. Always a pleasure.
From Hex River Valley I followed the N1 through De Doorns. This road is definitely one of the best scenic drives in the Western Cape. With my soul fully fed, one stop remained for the trip before heading home. Du Toitskloof Pass.
After my final stop at the viewpoint on Du Toitskloof Pass it was time to go home with the final stretch on the N1.
Swellendam Motorcycle Trip Gallery: