We leave Montagu and start climbing almost immediately. At first it is very gradual but quickly escalates into the Burgers pass (summit at 30km) and then Rooihoogte pass (summit and highest point for the day, at 47km and 1234m above sea level). Then we go down a very fast and flat section to reach the N1 at 76km. We travel East on the N1 for 12kms, turning left onto the R46 – towards Ceres – at 88kms.
Follow the R46 of Die Venster (at 114kms) to the T-junction at 121km, turning left towards Ceres and to stay on the R46. After the T-junction we start climbing again – for the last time today – reaching the top of the Hottentotskloof pass at 131km (and 1200m above sea level). From here on we have a brilliant downhill (sometimes with terrible headwinds) for the last 30 kms all the way into Ceres. Finish at Hoërskool Charlie Hofmeyer, on the left, just before leaving town on the western (Cape Town) side.
(Any rider interested in riding through to Tulbagh, the official overnight town for 8 March, may inform the ride captains, whereby support for this additional 30km stretch will be provided.)
The longest stay, but the easiest to navigate with just 3 left turns.
- Turn right onto N1 at 76kms
- Turn left onto R46 at 88kms
- Turn left to stay on R46 at 121kms
Mountain passes for the day
This is our signature mountain day as we encounter no less than 4 passes – Koo, Rooi, Venster & Hottentot – plus a few more lumps in between.
We finish in Ceres but are transferred to Tulbagh and start the next stage from there. Hence the focus on Tulbagh below.
Named after Governor Ryk Tulbagh, the town is situated in the Tulbagh basin and surrounded by mountains on three sides – the Obiqua Mountains (to the West), Winterhoek Mountain (North) and Witzenberg Mountains (East). In September 1969 the Boland area was hit by an earthquake that caused considerable damage to the town. After the disaster in Church Street extensive projects of restoration began and because of this work Tulbagh now contains possibly the largest number of Cape-Dutch, Edwardian and Victorian provincial heritage sites in one street in South Africa. Tulbagh was established in 1795 and has a population of about 10,000 today.