Biedouw 4x4 - Mertenhof

Tell us about your favorite 4x4 trail. Tell us how easy or difficult it was, is there escape routes for the faint hearted? Please add some photographs if you can.
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4x4 Junkie
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:57 pm

This past weekend we were three families that set off to the Cederberg for a nice weekend retreat. We left on Friday morning and arrived in the Cederberg in time to start the fires. First stopover Ou Werf (http://www.redcederberg.co.za/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;). It was fantastic. Nice and rustic with traditional herder's cottages providing accommodation and a covered lapa area provided a cosy place to relax and enjoy a few cold ones while the fire was crackling in the back ground.

Saturday morning marked our departure for Mertenhof farm via Whupperthal. The road between Ou Werf (from Ceres to Whupperthal) is really a 4x4 track all the way. I did most of the road in low range, 3rd gear. It's a stunning drive with the Cederberg splendor surprizing you around every corner.

We arrived a bit late at Mertenhof and decided to do the route on Sunday morning rather. Shortly after our arrival a thunderstorm let rip and 18mm rain fell in just twenty minutes. (ever tried to pitch a tent in a thunderstorm?). Two of the families had small babies and the farm owner, Barry Lubbe, suggested that we "upgrade" to the farmhouse - Thank you Barry and Mariette.

Sunday morning the excitement was tangible, the vehicles and drivers was ready (some not so ready), but we set off for the track. Barry decided to join us, I think he was hoping to see the two recovery vehicles being put to good use with the Landy in tow, but all the vehicles ended up being quite capable of completing the course with no hick-ups.

The trail starts with a very challenging axle twister up the mountain and gets the Adrenalin rushing right from the onset. Once this obstacle has been crossed, the trail winds and climbs through the majestic Biedouw Valley. A few other challenging parts makes the route interesting, but easy enough to bring the whole family with.

What makes this trail so special is the three sight seeing stops. The first stop takes you to a beautiful waterfall, the second to the pot holes and the third to huge rock pools that can serve as a lunch or picnic stop while taking a dip to cool down. Unfortunately it was raining quite heavily when we arrived at the rock pools, so we couldn't enjoy a dip as planned.

The trail is 30km in total and will take roughly 6-7 hours to drive if one were to do it all in one go. There is, however, an option to do one part only or to split the trail in two legs and drive it over two days making it a roughly three hours on each leg. The trails is by no means a vehicle breaker, but is very challenging and fun to drive. You never get bored with the terrain and the views are spectacular. I would put the route on a comfortable 3-4 grading, but if you want to go test your rock crawler, this one's not for you. The trail is perfect for the weekender that want to enjoy beautiful surroundings with the family while dad get the chance to play on the rocks for a bit, without scaring the living daylights out of mommy and the kids.

If you are ever in the Cederberg or Biedouw Valley, I highly recommend this route. Enjoy.
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1.jpg
On the the road from Ou Werf to Whupperthal. Still the easier bits.
Last edited by 4x4 Junkie on Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:40 pm, edited 4 times in total.
If you still have blank pages in your passport, it's probably time for a road trip.

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4x4 Junkie
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:59 pm

...
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2.jpg
Same spot. The Landy didn't do too badly.
If you still have blank pages in your passport, it's probably time for a road trip.

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4x4 Junkie
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:01 pm

...
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3.jpg
The travel party
If you still have blank pages in your passport, it's probably time for a road trip.

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4x4 Junkie
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:03 pm

...
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Three musketeers
If you still have blank pages in your passport, it's probably time for a road trip.

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4x4 Junkie
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:05 pm

...
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5.jpg
This is the first obstacle of the Biedouw 4x4 route ... nothing to be laughing about
If you still have blank pages in your passport, it's probably time for a road trip.

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4x4 Junkie
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:10 pm

...
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6.jpg
The Hilux doing what it's built for
Last edited by 4x4 Junkie on Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If you still have blank pages in your passport, it's probably time for a road trip.

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4x4 Junkie
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:12 pm

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7.jpg
With a bit of persuasion the Landy made it up too.
If you still have blank pages in your passport, it's probably time for a road trip.

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4x4 Junkie
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:14 pm

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8.jpg
Testing articulation
If you still have blank pages in your passport, it's probably time for a road trip.

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4x4 Junkie
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:16 pm

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10.jpg
Also made it over Landcruiser Rock ... effortless
9.jpg
Over Landcruiser Rock
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4x4 Junkie
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:21 pm

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11.jpg
Waterfall on route
If you still have blank pages in your passport, it's probably time for a road trip.

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4x4 Junkie
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:22 pm

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12.jpg
The catchment area for the Potholes
14.jpg
Potholes ... not the kind we see on our roads
If you still have blank pages in your passport, it's probably time for a road trip.

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4x4 Junkie
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:24 pm

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Even Bushman painting on route
If you still have blank pages in your passport, it's probably time for a road trip.

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4x4 Junkie
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:29 pm

Special mention has to be made for this 2.5 D-4D.

This was the first 4x4 experience for its driver and both driver and vehicle impressed everyone.

Well done ... we salute you.

Just remember, we didn't get the chance to welcome you to the 4x4 fraternity, properly. This will need to be taken care of on our next trip. :twisted:
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A very special vehicle ... stock standard and very capable.
If you still have blank pages in your passport, it's probably time for a road trip.

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Thunder02
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:11 pm

Beautiful part of the world :thumbup:

I see you made it a working holiday :mocking:



The Landy...........
Not all those who wander are lost!

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ChrisF
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:34 pm

LOVELY place !!

We have camped at Mertenhof a couple of times.

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:43 pm

Beautiful, thanks for the trip report :thumbup:

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:37 pm

Nice report and nice pics. :thumbup: :thumbup:

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:48 pm

Julian, that looks like a very nice trail to drive!!! Very nice trip report and the pictures are great!!! Please load some more pictures!!! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
Johan Marais

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CasKru
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:17 am

Thanks for sharing and thank you for the fodies
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:35 am

Baie mooi, thanx for sharing, will put it in my "must visit" folder
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4x4 Junkie
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:51 am

Thunder02 wrote:Beautiful part of the world :thumbup:

I see you made it a working holiday :mocking:



The Landy...........

LOL Little do you know. My buddy has an Engel fridge in the back of his Landy and after a few glasses of Red forgot to switch the fridge off before going to bed on Friday evening. Saturday morning we needed to jump start the Landy. Taking pity on the poor bloke and being a respectful Hilux bunch together, we didn't rub salt in the wounds so didn't take a picture, but then on Sunday morning just before we tackled the trail, I notice this black bag in the back of the Landy ...
DSC_1747.jpg
We let this one slide and just a good chuckle.

But on the return trip to Cape Town the Landy really started playing up with the battery finally giving up the ghost. We decided to quickly stop in Citrusdal in the hope of finding a new battery. We tried a few places, but with not much luck. Finally I decide to pull in at Toyota Citrusdal and low and behold, one of the managers were there to quickly do a fuel cash-up for the adjacent Caltex garage. The poor Landy owner had no other choice .... and this time we made sure the incident was documented properly :mocking:
DSC_1841.jpg
Last edited by 4x4 Junkie on Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
If you still have blank pages in your passport, it's probably time for a road trip.

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Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:49 am

:laugh2: :laugh2: :thumbup:

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