The Giant Little Karoo Trek route through the Little Karoo. Western Cape. South Africa
Route profile - Anysberg to Montagu. (That's Ouberg Pass you see on the right.
Route profile - Calitzdorp to Van Wyksdorp. (That's Rooiberg Pass in the middle).
Route Profile - Rietfontein to Anysberg with the peaks of Little Swartberg Pass and Die Outol Pass clearly visible.
Route profile - Van Wyksdorp to Rietfontein, the easiest ride of the lot.
Chillin' at The Calitz in Calitzdorp on Route 62 - beers and wine at the pool. The Giant Little Karoo Trek.
So, we’re staying at The Calitz in Calitzdorp on Route 62 - a rather nice spot with great decor. Bring 8 eBikes into the mix and it just gets better!!! The Giant Little Karoo Trek starts tomorrow morning.
The calm before the storm - all rearing to go at the start of the Giant Little Karoo Trek From left: Sue, Tony, Pat, Joy, Dave, Sharon, Bruce and Roger.
We head out of Calitzdorp on tar (that wouldn't last long...) with the glorious Swartberg Mountains in the background.
Tony and Joy about to tackle one of the many hairpin bends on Rooiberg Pass.
Tony, Joy, Dave and Sue on the climb up Rooiberg Pass.
Tony, Joy, Dave and Sue leading Pat in the support vehicle up Rooiberg Pass.
Dave on Rooiberg Pass, seemingly very chuffed to be out on his bike in the Karoo.
Pat (designated driver for the morning) in Bruce's Discovery, negotiating one of Rooiberg's tight corners.
Bruce and Sharon on Rooiberg Pass with the famous Towerkop Peak near Ladismith, in the far distance.
Tea and sandwiches on top of the mighty Rooiberg Pass. The Giant Little Karoo Trek.
Bruce at speed at the start of the downhill after cresting Rooiberg Pass
Nicole (owner of Paddagaste where we spent the night) and Ralph (of Raplie's Tequela Shed) were kind enough to ride out (on conventional bikes) to meet us on the slopes of Rooiberg to escourt us to Van Wyksdorp.
Flood? Really?! In this dry environment? Apparently, yes - a few months previously.
We imagined that once we'd cracked Rooiberg, the descent into Van Wyksdorp, our overnight stop, would be pretty much downhill. Not so! Not so at all - there were a few serious climbs to tackle.
Road conditions on our first day out varied from tar to smooth gravel to patches of stone that made the going, er, interesting on occasions. The Giant Little Karoo Trek.
Tony leads the team out of Van Wyksdorp and past the town's iconic windmill at the start of the second day's riding
One of the many fans that cheered as along on the way out of Van Wyksdorp. Actually, the only fan!
Tony and Joy heading for Mond van Pietsrivier. (We hadn't heard of it either!)
We'd stop for a break at about the halfway mark each day, the support vehicle going ahead to scout a suitable spot for tea. That white spot in the centre of the pic is Sharon in the Discovery looking for a picnic site.
Sharon and Pat lead Tony and Sue up the last climb of the second day to our accommodation at Rietfontein on the slopes of Touwsberg.
Such were the evenings on the Giant Little Karoo Trek. Rietfontein Cottages.
Dave and Sue share a moment in the late afternoon light at Rietfontein.
The night skies in the Karoo are just awesome.
8 bikes on a 270km ride works out to some 2 160 bike kilometres and the only breakdown we had was this puncture - not bad at all considering the harsh conditions.
Sue's puncture sorted, we made haste on the long downhill out of Touwsberg Nature Reserve.
What a way to start the day - a gorgeous 6km downhill out of Touwsberg Nature Reserve.
Touwsberg Mountain looking just wonderful in the early morning light.
In the distance are the Anysberg Mountains our destination for the day but before we got there we had to skirt the Touwsberg massif on the right, resulting in an 79km ride.
Day 3 took us through some pretty little poorts as we followed the Prins River - very much like Seweweeks Poort but just smaller.
Bruce shooting pics while riding...
Tea stop on the 3rd day en route to Anysberg, the Touwsberg massif to the south of us.
And up we went! We all knew that Day 3 would be the toughest of the lot but the climbing and distance took its toll on battery life. In the end, 4 of the bikes (old 2016 models with 400wh batteries) ran out of power a couple of kilometres before we reached Anysberg camp.
After some serious climbing up to the Anysberg Mountains we found ourselves looking out over a wonderful mountain biking playground. And some awesome sweeping sections of gravel to boot.
Bruce does the gentlemanly thing and into Anysberg Nature Reserve we pedal.