Cape Conquest Tour ~ February 2022 (Irish Group)
Our first Cape Conquest Tour came and went in a flash last month (Feb 2022). Three riders from Ireland graced us with their presence; It’s been almost two years since we enjoyed a ride group. The comments on the ride were complimentary and favorable, weather was absolutely stunning with almost perfect seven days of sunshine and rain free.
The standout musings were as follows:
- Stunning Weather. Of course, the gents are from the Emerald Isle, meaning they’re not really used to 7 days of sunshine or the warmth of a few afternoons when we travelled through the Great and Little Karoo regions. These afternoons touched the mercury well above 30c, the first beer at days end was extra extra special. The diversity though, spending an afternoon at 35c and later that very same day heading from the rugged rustic semi-desert Karoo onto the lush Garden Route was quite astonishing. The much milder and temperate conditions of around 23c was astounding for the riders. The diversity of scenery, flora and fauna and superb roads found in the Western Cape is a bit special and after so many years of riding these roads still leaves me at days end with a gleeful grin.
- Good Mix of Accommodation. The gents were treated to a night in spacious luxury tents in a game lodge with en-suite open air showers and decks with views to the Swartberg Mountains. Antelope (Nyala, Springbok and more) and Hippo were all within eye shot and ear shot. A sundowner’s game drive was enjoyed and meeting African Elephants up close and personal in the morning was also I believe a once in a lifetime experience. A few idyllic evenings were enjoyed under the Karoo nights skies enjoying a Braai (BBQ), our hosts joined us on these evenings. Now… the night skies down here offer up some of the best star gazing on the planet; the most incredible milky way dome sparkling overhead. All the riders were over 50 years of age and all, bar none, had never seen such an ‘evening show’ before. They all would’ve loved to have shared this experience with their woman… sigghhh.
- Great Food. Whether it was the aforementioned BBQ (braai) meals or the sit-down restaurant experience, all the meals received a thumbs up. Ostrich steaks were enjoyed as were pork belly ribs, beef steak and lamb chops to name a few mains. Breakfasts were always sumptuous and often included boerewors sausage along with the usual eggs, toats, fruit, cereals etc.
- Mountain Passes. Swartberg Pass and Seweweeks Pass took the unanimous award for best gravel roads traversed. We did also do Prince Alfred Pass, which was less of a hit, due to the condition after some heavy recent rains. The pass had some sections well washed away with the good stuff gone and some challenging rock and stone to deal with. Scenery was good though and the beer that evening well appreciated on the Garden Route. The asphalt passes, as always, were sublime. Too many to mention.
As I write this posting, I am awaiting the March 2022 Cape Conquest to kick off with a small German group… watch this space … better still come down for a ride. if you’ve read to this point, feel free to drop an email and ask any and all questions you may have: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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