Eastern Transvaal Motorcycle Tour 2010
September 2010, Friday the 17th, we met for breakfast at Middleburg (old Transvaal) Ultra City. After a hearty farmhouse breakfast we bulleted down the N4 to Machadodorp, then turned onto the R541, down Skuwreburg Pass towards Badplaas and then on the R38 Jambilia Pass to Barberton. Where we were made to feel welcome at the Gold Nugget Guest House by Chrissie and Mario and Natasha and son. Friday evening we had a lekker, typical South African braaivlies, with steak, wors and salad.
at Middleburg Ultra City
parked at The Gold Nugget Guest House in Barberton
Andrea Botha runs the tourism side of things at the mine
"The Barberton Odyssey"
Happiness is... ten bikers in a black-taxi, going to find some gold
Saturday after breakfast ten intrepid bikers clambered into a 'Black' Taxi and were driven to the old Angus Mine in the western mountains of Barberton, where our tour guide Andrea Botha, took us gold-panning in the nearby stream and then into the bowels of the old gold mine. Andrea operates the tour company called Barberton Odyssey, and she does a darn fine job. We climbed down ladders, walked along old mine tracks, saw a few bats, ducked under low rock-cutouts, learned about how miners toiled and suffered in the 1800s, with their old mining techniques and equipment, or lack thereof. Doing a full circle, we eventually emerged a few meters from where we started, with a new appreciation of just how difficult the whole mining for gold thingy used to be... and still is. I think everyone on the mining tour will now look at gold through different eyes.
Andrea Botha demonstrates how to pan for gold
Lizelle looking for riches
Rudy concentrating on finding gold
Flip panning for gold
Andrea gives us a history lesson
Ian Lacey descending into the bowels of the earth
brothers Rudy and Flip inside the old mine
When we got back to civilisation we hopped on our bikes and went for a ride, afterall, that's what our Redline Runs are all about... riding, riding, riding :-) Mario (of The Gold Nugget), on his Honda 750 Africa Twin, led us to Nelspruit and Kaapsehoop, where we had Pancakes and coffee, and then rode the road back to base in Barberton.
Saturday night we relaxed under a clear, warm African sky with another braai and good friends. What more could a man want, basking in the glow of another perfect day in paradise (well almost).
at the bottom of Jambila Pass
Early after breakfast on Sunday we hit the road home. I was home at Noon. By four o'clock my bike was clean again and under cover... and I had a smile on my dial.
My trip-meter indicated a weekend trip of 934 kilometres. Just hope none of us get any extra photos in the post.
Rudy Opperman on his fast Suzuki GSX-R1000
Dennis Schultz onthe way home, on his immaculate Yamaha YZF-R1
Words and photos by Kenn Slater
REDLINE RUNS: THE STUFF GREAT WEEKENDS ARE MADE OF