We headed to Cape Town recently, to see a few clients, drop off one of our cameras for a service and update some of our stock images of a couple of Cape Town's tourist icons. En route we stopped at the little town of Montagu, the end-point of our Giant Little Karoo Trek that we'd ridden with a bunch of cycling buddies some months previously. It struck us again what a wonderful spot it is - quite "historic" with lots of cute little eateries and interesting places to visit. We dropped off the Haibikes at Long Acres Cottages (a delightful self-catering spot where we had stayed previously) as we had booked a couple of nights there on our return home.
Cape Town was great, with all the attractions of a big city, and with many new images in the bag, we left early on Friday morning, fighting the infernal traffic, and arrived early in Montagu. Michelle and Jeroen of Long Acres greeted us like long lost fiends. The conversation turned immediately to cycling and Jeroen suggested a route up towards Ouberg Pass (we'd ridden down it on the Giant Little Karoo Trek), turning left into the mountains onto a jeep track before dropping into the valley and back down to Montagu. Coincidently it was the same route that we'd downloaded from Bicycle South that we were keen to try.
Rather than take the main road out of town, we chose a quiet little back road that got us safely onto the country roads and gravel, heading up to Ouberg. This region is quite exquisite: rugged, rocky mountains, vineyards and orchards in their autumn colours, and dry parched veld all making for some wonderful gravel travel. We stopped often to shoot pics, marvel at the countryside and just enjoy being on the bikes again. Alas, our dallying about had eaten up precious time and when we reached the point where were to leave the main road and take to a jeep track heading up a dauntingly steep mountain, we realised that we'd run out off time. If we continued it was doubtful if we would get back to base before dark. Damn! Regrettably, we turned back and, despite not being able to ride the whole route, enjoyed a fast, downhill run all the way back to town.
Montagu is not far from where we live so we will go back and ride the full Jeep Track and Joubert's Pass Route, but in the meantime we have included a link below to a modified version of the route that we downloaded from Bicycle South. (Pretty much the same - I have just changed the final few kms back into town).
There are a number of other routes around Montagu (and of course you can create your own) which we'll include here at a later stage - watch this space! Also, the tourist centre has maps as does Long Acres, and Jeroen is a goldmine of information on where to ride.
The Mystic Tin - Great food, craft beer and pleasant atmosphere. S33° 47.227' E20° 07.212'
Piccolo Tesoro - Chilled atmosphere and wonderful pizzas S33° 47.239' E20° 07.116'
The Saturday Morning Market - Great little country town market. We had delicious "breakfast rolls" for R20.00! S33° 47.220' E20° 07.123'
Be sure to visit: Capedry Montagu Farmstall - really cheap dried fruit, nuts etc (riding food) S33° 46.814' E20° 07.881'
Stay here: Long Acres Cottages: S33° 47.423' E20° 06.971'