Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wellesley does Ficksburg! - November 2010

Date: 12 - 14 November 2010

  • Danie: BMW R1200GS
  • Mags: BMW F650GS (twin)
  • André: Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom
Very special pillion:

Wellesley, the bear. Wellesley, as you will see in the pics is a small teddy bear, donned in the typical Think Bike high visibilty vest and some really cool shades. Wellesley is the Think Bike mascot and has been all over South Africa as a pillion on a bike. In fact, he rode from Montagu, via the Garden Route and KwaZuluNatal the weeks prior to joining us on our ride. On 13 December we will hand him over to someone with whom he will tackle the long road back to Cape Town, where he will joing a group of bikers who will endeavour to ride nine Cape Mountian Passes in a single day. Wellesley has recently been in a bike accident, but that did not stiffle his love for touring the country, with the wind in his face.
Wellesley was rather miffed when he realised that the "cherries" of Ficksburg were actually cherries and not females of the sexy kind.

The ride:

This would be my last ride on the Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom as my BMW R1200GS was already on order. It is difficult to describe the feeling as I was very excited about getting the BMW, but it would be a sad occasion to say goodbuy to the Strom. As I write this, the Strom is long gone and I am busy adapting to German technology. I digress.


Bapsfontein, Benoni, Heidelburg, Deneysville, Heilbron, Petrus Steyn, Reitz, Bethlehem, Fouriesburg and on to our accommodation at Camelroc Guest Farm on the Caledon river, right next to Lesotho. In fact, the turn-off to Camelroc is at the border post.

Man alive, the wind blew us of our wheels for all of the 400 odd kms! It was certainly some of the worst wind I have ever ridden a bike in and we were all tired to the bone when we arrived at Cameroc. Why does the wind always blow from the side? It is a conspiracy, I tell you! All those car drivers stuck in peak hour traffic who wishes this on bikers when we zoot past. Yeah! Must be that.

Camelroc is an awesome place to stay. It is wedged between the Little Caledon River, the Caledon River and the majestic Maluti Mountains. The name refers to a rock that looks like a Camel. We loved our stay there and will certainly return. The amzing thing is that they still have a "honesty bar". You help yourself and write whatever you use in the book. On departure, you pay for what you used. If you are ever in that area:


Camelroc, Fouriesburg, Ficksburg, Clocolan, Ficksburg, Fouriesburg, Clarens, Golden Gate, Clarens, Fouriesburg and of course, Camelroc.

It was a lovely day for a ride. Beautful weather all the way. No wind. Not too hot, nor too cold. Perfect biking weather. Mags dragged us into a Cherry stall and when we departed, bikes were loaded to the brim with Cherry stuff, alcoholic and otherwise. Brunch at Clarens was spoiled by a Harley Davidson Club having taken over the town. One Harley sounds awesome, on occasion. Plenty Harleys, all morning long, is about as musical to behold as 60 000 Vuvuzelas at a soccer match. You have to be brain dead to think it, cool.


Camelroc, Fouriesburg, Bethlehem, Reitz, Frankfort, Oranjeville, Deneysville, Heidelberg, Benoni and home. Some bits were windy again and especially between Bethlehem Reitz we really battled. Again, you guessed it, side on wind. Strewth!!!

We found the most incredibly little restaurant in Frankfort. Very nice and tide, friendly people all round and great food at surprisingly low prices.

Worth mentioning:

  • Camelroc is absolutely awesome. Well worth a visit if in the area. They have all sorts of chalets and a "Honesty" Pub with TV and DSTV and stuff. You write up what you take and pay when you leave. Accommodation is very neat and clean and the scenery robs you of your breath.

  • Safari Restaurant in Frankfort. They build a truly lekker brêkkie at a very reasonable price. True Freestate hospitality.

  • Road from Frankfort to Oranjeville: The first part you play "Dodge the Pothole". Then, from around Jim Fouché Resort to Oranjeville, it becomes "Pick a Pothole" as you can't avoid them anymore. You just sort of pick the one that looks the least menacing.

  • Wellesley: He loved the ride and is a very well behaved little bear. A pleasure to have on a ride. He can join us again anytime.
The camel shaped rock that lends its name to the resort of Camelroc.

Wellesley and André, route planning.

Our accommodation for the weekend. Super nice with an awesome view.