Closest Town: Worcester
Grading: Moderate with technical river crossings | Duration: Depends on your expertise.
Location (Area/Province): Breede River Valley and Western Cape
Configuration: Return Routes with other options.
Start Point: Nuy Winery
Access: Access to be arranged through Nuy Winery
Beware of: Gorge may flood during rainy season
Facilities: Various accommodation options at Nuy, wine sales.
Cell Reception: Some cell reception
An adventurous there-and-back trail into the wilds of the Waaikloof Gorge. Expect sections of sand, a scattering of devil thorns and getting wet on half a dozen river crossings during winter. There are a number of other route options except for Waaikloof, and these offer rollicking rides within the hills of the Nuy Wine Farm. It is again a good idea to use both tyre liners and slime before heading out on the trail.
On your bike
Waaikloof Return Route:
From the winery tar road, head into the hills along the Werda Valley dirt road, also sign-posted as the Gecko Hiking route. This road passes the winery staff accommodation and wends through vineyards before you turn right (1.2 km) along a climb into the koppies. Ascend into the neck and follow the road as it curves left before dropping down to the river (3.7 km).
Just before you reach the river, turn right at an old rusty gate and stick to the right of the water course. It is quite sandy in places, but not so you have to ever get off and push. After about one and a half km, you will start entering the stunning Waaikloof gorge, with rugged cliffs rising up on both sides (5.2 km). You will also get to your first river crossing; these could be wheel-deep at least, depending on rain higher up the valley.
The route gets rougher as you head further up the valley, with regular river crossings every half a kilometre or so. The scenery is stunning though, and you may be lucky enough to spot black eagles on your ride. After 5.8 km, you will reach Villa da Werda, a hideaway cottage right at the top of the gorge. This is the turn-around point, so enjoy the ride back.
Off the bike
Lots of hiking and other activities in the Worcester area, with the Brandvlei Dam a popular spot for water sport. Good and affordable wines at Nuy itself, so make sure you stock up.
Telephone: +27 (0)23) 347 0272
GPS: 33°41′59.4″S 019°42′55.5″E