Dirt and Trail September 2019


SA's adventure magazine

Day 1 - Knysna to Prince Albert via

Prince Alfred pass, Uniondale, De Rust

and the Swartberg pass.

After a night in Knysna, and a fried

breakfast prepared by Carlien; Charl,

Serenity and I we headed to the petrol

station to fill up and meet with my Dad,

Len, who had ridden through from George.

Bikes full and tyres inflated to around 1.6

bar we embarked up past the Simola Golf

and Equestrian Estate, where preparations

were on the go for the Simola Hill Climb

later that week. Then into the Diepwalle

forest towards the Price Alfred pass. We

stopped at Angie’s G Spot for a break

and drinks were ordered under the tent

which replaces the wooden structure

that was recently taken down for legal

reasons. We rested briefly under a small

thatch umbrella while looking out over

the Keurbooms River. There wasn’t much

to see but it was peaceful, having satisfied

our curiosity and stretched our legs, we

moved on…

As you near the top of the Prince Alfred

pass you really need to stop to admire the

all absorbing vista down into the valley you

have just ascended out of. After leaving the

cool of the forest and passing Uniondale

and De Rust, the temperature soared and

we were happy to stop at a clean and cool

stream coming down from the Swartberg

Mountains. Here we topped up any water

containers with the best kind of water and

splashed our sweaty and dusty faces, it

was lovely and refreshing. The route took

us past the Cango municipal camp site,

which we rode through to investigate.

Two or three caravans were set up on the

sprawling lawns enjoying the isolation and

quiet with a back drop of the Swartberg

range. The place is a little neglected, but

if you are looking to get away from the

crowds, it seems like a good option. From

that point we enjoyed a section of twisty

tar, before ascending the Swartberg pass.

These bits of tar invite you to open up and

lean into the bends, but beware as it has

some corners that just keep closing on you.

It is wise to always ride within one’s limits

and with room to manoeuvre should you

need to stop or change direction suddenly.

Always be ready for the unexpected lying

just out of sight around the corner. Better

to always arrive alive…

As we ascended the southern side of

the Swartberg we had to stop at one of

the viewpoints to once again taken in

the view. In terms of visual stimulation

this trip had plenty. Descending on the

northern side similar awe-inspiring vistas

and careful riding awaited us. Not far from

the bottom of the Swartberg lies the town

of Prince Albert. Before checking into our

accommodation, we hit the local Spar

to stock up on food for the evening and

morning. It consisted mostly of meat, but

also some avocado, cheese, tomatoes,

onion and green pepper for a wholesome

salad. After unpacking and our removing

boots (aaahh), showering and a fresh set

of clothes we had the obligatory chat with

our woman folk. Having fulfilled this duty,

we relaxed with a cup of freshly brewed

coffee. A bit later we lit the fire for the

steak and boerewors. Toasties were also

constructed, and like the night to follow,

we ate like kings. The day of riding was

good. At some points, the heat made it a

bit tough, but all in all it was one of the

best days of adventure riding to be had.

There was nothing tricky, though at times

caution was required, the Swartberg pass


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