Old bridge Limpopo

A Motorcycle tour to the Limpopo Province and the Magoebaskloof area, South Africa.
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Author: Steve and Carole Eilertsen. stevei@icon.co.za

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My first stop on my BMW GS1100 is Thohoyandou in Limpopo province. Here is a tip about good motorcycle touring i.e. you have to have a reason to go where you’re going. My wife and I have befriended an American Peace Corp volunteer who is in Limpopo for a two-year period working amongst victims of domestic violence. This is a good cause. Would I go to the States and do the same work among the Jerry Springer crowd? I think not! This 22 year old, female law student from New York needs our support and appreciation especially living in a town whose greatest claim to fame is a Wimpy and an over priced casino hotel. I take her the bottle of Tahini she asked for and then out for a nice dinner, at the casino hotel. South Africa gets many volunteers every year who generally work in remote, rural areas. I recommend finding one in an area that interests you and providing them with physical and emotional support. They really do appreciate it.

After dinner, I drop her off at her accommodation and head for mine. Thohoyandou is a bustling town and my budget hotel is full. The only room left is the presidential suite, which I take. It is an education. It has with a 3-meter square ceiling mirror set in an intricate wooden structure above the bed. The structure has yellow tassels, red leatherette, purple crystals and a gold plated light fitting. I note with amusement that the mirror in the bathroom is so small that I’m tempted to shave lying on my back in the bedroom. The note on the back of the door is addressed to all our ‘beloved guests.’ Nowhere in my extensive travels have I ever been called a ‘beloved guest’ and I go to bed feeling all warm and fussy inside. I know that this is in stark contrast to my poor wife at home and I fall asleep quickly before the guilt sets in.

The structure on the ceiling complete with mirror, yellow tassels, red leatherette,
purple crystals and a gold plated light fitting.

The light fitting - a photo taken looking up, standing directly beneath it.

I spend the next day heading south and taking photos of old, disused and broken bridges. They are a reminder of the days when civil engineering produced challenging roads to ride. Roads that were ideally suited to motorcycles like my GS1100 that were only built a 100 years after the roads fell apart. Then they were replaced by straight roads which makes owning any sort of adventure motorcycle ridiculous. That is why I’m heading towards the mountains and forests of Magoebaskloof where the roads are old, unpaved, rocky and fall from straight!

Old road Limpopo Williespoort

The old road that runs alongside the river bed through Williespoort, Limpopo.

Old bridge Giyani Limpopo

The old bridge over the river just outside Giyani,

Old bridge Limpopo

The river crossing 50km south of Giyani. 



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