The R44, Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond- another brilliant Bikeride…

And I could not do it with my Bike this year…

But I did it with the next best thing. No, I am not in the Ferrari/ Aston/ Lamborghini or even Merc AMG class, not by a long shot… But my friend handed me the keys to her Mini Cooper S, the convertible, to go and play. And so I also went to Kleinmond to meet another blogger,  much better known than I… 🙂

The road from Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond is another of the most scenic drives you could ever hope to ride.  Let me show you…

And if you turn around, the view is just as splendid:

This view is overlooking False Bay, with Table Mountain across the bay. The winding road goes up and down, through Rooi-Els, next to Pringle Bay, and then through Bettiesbaai.

When I did this route in my friend’s Cooper S, the famous South Eastern wind was blowing fiercely. It was such a beautiful piece of nature’s majestic power. The clouds came rushing over the mountain tops, and there was a spray being blown up all across the sea. It was definitely not a day for any sailors to be out on the water.  But the sea’s color was the most beautiful shades of blue, azure, indigo, royal blue…  Even in her bad temper days the Cape is still one of my favourite places in the whole world.

I really missed my bike, and with the wind blowing this fiercely I didn’t know if it was a good idea to drop the top of the Cooper S. But the sound of that engine was magnificent- such an aggressive growl. And it took the corners with such tenacity- it really has excellent stability through tight turns…

I enjoyed the company very much in Kleinmond, and had a lovely Mediterranian lunch with them.  There is an alternative route back to Somerset West, on the N2 highway. It is much faster to drive. But who needs fast when you have a view like this? So I turned around and drove the same route back…

Some days in life are just much better than the rest…

 

Dankie vriendin vir die karretjie se leen! Dit was great!

One dark day on the Olde High Roade to Cape Town…

I had such high hopes for my trip to Cape Town. Everything went so well the whole of the 1850 km journey South. There were some amazing experiences along the way, like Meiringspoort:

And  I had such a good time on Route 62!

Everything went just wonderful, till my bike arrived in Cape Town itself. Maybe my bike is a Blue Bull in Stormer Country (rugby joke, only the Southern Hemisphere will understand it…)

Last Friday morning, everything in my life was just in perfect order. I was busy with the perfect Bike Trip. Then suddenly, my bike just started coughing, like not getting any fuel through to it’s engine. I stopped at a filling station along the way, filled up and found that there were still more than 10 liters of fuel on board…

It just would not start again. Two men on really interesting BMW’s stopped to help me. These are their home built BMW’s…

They bought me coffee, and we searched for a fault. The battery poles were loose, and it soon started again. Thanks guys, you really helped me a lot, your time is greatly appreciated…

The bike started up, and went fine along the highway… for 2.4 km. Then it just died again…  I did like Who wants to be a Millionare, and phoned a friend. There I stood along the highway, looking puzzled in a seedy part next to kraaifontein.  I put my cellphone on my bike’s seat, to hear it ringing. I bent down to look at the battery poles again. The next moment, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a brown hand grabbing my cellphone. And the thief sped of down the highway. I tried to run him in, but he was much faster than me.

So that is why I was out of communication so long time- without wheels or a cellphone, I was really stranded in the most beautiful city in South Africa…

My BMW is still in Cape Town. I flew home yesterday, because it was my wife’s birthday, and one is also supposed to earn your living by the sweat of your brow… My cousin’s husband is sorting out the bike for me, and I really hope it is not too expensive damage…

But I completed my journey, attaining my goal, arriving safe at home. In the larger scale of things this was a successfull ride…

We will ride again…

The Journey is not always predictable…

Such a lot has happened since I last had the chance to blog.

My bike had such a wonderful ride down to Cape Town. but since it got here,it kept on breaking down. Suddenly I was stuck in on of the most beautiful clties in the world without transport.

My plan was to finish the cycle race, rest my bottom on Monday, and start the journey home on Tuesday, arriving at home tired but happy tonight.
The other major problem- while I was stranded next to the highway, a vagrant came and stole my cellphone, running away much faster than I am able to…

So- my ride is broken, and I had no coms with the world for quite some tiime.
BUT- all is not bad!
* The main purpose of the ride was to compete in the Argus Cycle race. with the help of my friends I got to and from the race. I successfully completed my 19th consecutive Argus, keeping the dream alive to do 21  in a row.

* I experienced the most awesome support from family and friends. I have met some wonderful people on this journey. It was great meeting Mukhtar and Julia. I had an awesome night with Basil and Anne-Marie at their home in the middle of the vineyard. Thanks Leon and Karen for last  night’s Braai (bbq)!

* I am flying home tomorrow to be picked up by my wife- on her birthday!

The future will show what will happen to this BMW. it is in good hands…

The horse is sick, but the journey continues… so let’s ride…

Cape Town is HUGE fun on a bike!

Yesterday I awoke to my first full day of fun in Cape Town. It started with a trip to the hospital, where I visited a friend who fell of her bicycle. She broke her elbow.

Then I went to Houtbaai for lunch. I must say the Cape Townians do have a very peculiar way of driving, not biker friendly at all. They tend to drive very slowly, and close all Bike-size gaps very quickly.

It was good going over Kloofroad to Kampsbaai. That is the habitat for some of the richest people in the world, and some supermodels hang out in the coFfee shops and bars overlooking the sea. I also saw some cars parked there that I only saw on Top Gear so far. Like a brand new yellow Lamborghini, driving slowly past the supermodels…

The road to Houtbaai is a part of the Argus Cycletour route in reverse. I felt the cold hand of fear reaching out to grab me as I drove down Suikerbossie drive… That is one hell of a climb on a bicycle if you are unfit and overweight like some people I know…

One of my old traditions is having Snoek and Chips at Mariner’s Wharf- a tourist trap on the working fishing harbour at Houtbaai.

Afterwards it was the same route back- oh what fun it is to ride Suikerbossie on a bike with a Boxer engine… I went all the way to Pinelands, to have a coffee with a friend at Old Mutual’s head office. A Company with it’s own mall, gym, and train station! Impressive!

Last night I had an excellent evening- sushi and Sauvignon Blanc at Eastern Fusion in Melkbosstrand, overlooking the sea. We had some of the deepest and most satisfying discussions I had in a long, long time…

Afterwards we enjoyed some KWV 10 year old brandy- one of the world’s best- neat but on the rocks…

With all that I slept like a baby- must be the fresh sea breeze…
A very good day- worthy of a long Bike trip!

Route 62 to the end…

After breakfast this morning at De Rust, I continued onwards to Oudtshoorn, the ostrich Capital of South África.

Oudtshoorn is the miserable memory of many young South African men, as it was the prime military base of the Infantery, in a time when some of us were compelled to do military service. It is both one of the hottest, and coldest places in South África. Nowerdays the memories are much better as it is also the venue of the Klein Karoo Arts Festival yearly in April.
I joined the Route 62 in Oudtshoorn, towards Calitzdorp. It is really semi-desert and passes the military training grounds. Calitzdorp is known for it’s award winning Port wine, although the “Port” name is still in dispute. It is also a place of fond memories for my wife, as her grandparents lived there and her father grew up in Calitzdorp.

Just after Calitzdorp is the most exciting patch of Biker heaven, the Huisriver Pass. It is one of the most fun to play around places in all of South África, with excellent twisties!

Yes Mr Speedcop, I did see you behind that bush. No Mr Speedcop, I have no idea how my numberplate got covered with oil. Especially no idea how the oil got covered in dust- must be the roadworks along the way. Just send the ticket to Mr J. Malema, poste restante Thohoyando, Venda…

After Calitzdorp, eventually (the last time I had this much excitement was on my honeymoon) you reach Ladismith. And after that- Bonnievale. But 30 km before Bonnievale you get to Ronnies Sex shop- a world famous pub along Route 62. Go see for yourself! A true hıghlıte, no porn.

Bonnievale to Montagu- had some serious crosswinds, the Southeaster was blowing like crazy today. It felt like riding right into a hair dryer! Still much better than any day at the office!
From Montagu onwards the landscape is changing again- you are now approaching the Cape Winelands. From Montagu just 8 slow but beautiful k’s to Ashton. Ashton is the home town of Koo fruit products. Then just about 27 km to Robertson. The home town of locally famous Klipdrift brandy. And from Robertson it is near Worcester where the Route 62 ends, meeting again with the N1 highway.

I was very tired and saddle sore after nearly 1800 km in 48 hours. So I took the easy way out, going through the Huguenot tunnel into Paarl. I didn’t take my sunglasses off, and it was one of the most Claustrophobic events of my life- I will rather do the Bainskloof Pass again next time…

I safely arrived at Melkbosstrand, and now am watching the sunset behind Robben Island from the Blue Peter Hotel in Bloubergstrand- where I enjoyed my honeymoon 23 years ago. When I again reach a computer I will put some photos on.

At the end of this Ride, at the Blue Peter Hotel, I am reflecting back on the journey. It was far, hot, tiring, and full of challenges. But I just kep on Riding till I reached my destination.

These journeys are also a metaphore for my life. Just keep on Riding, eventually you’ll get there!

Meiringskloof & De Rust

What a wonderful morning so far! I left Beaufort West just after seven this morning. The first 138 km of the day was pure Karoo driving. The early morning air in this semi-desert is something special- and you always miss it in the airconditioned car. I want to describe it as the smell of a woman you are deeply in love with, earthy, pure, enticing… The smell of the partches of trees along the way- amazing. A small tortoise crosses lazily over the tarmac and is avoided with big respect.

Meiringspoort is one of the special places in South Africa on a bike trip- just one of those places that cuts you down to size to where you belong. The road is full of twisties and I think you go over 23 drifts along the way, each with it’s own delightful name.

De Rust is a small, touristy town. I am having breakfast at Jack Sprat’s before I get onto Route 62 at Oudtshoorn. The only nuisance in this part of the world is some of the local indigenous people, drunk this early on street, fighting over the “right” to guard my Bike against “skelms”. But all in all- a wonderful day so far!

Lost in the Desert on a horse with no name….

This was one of those days in my life I often dream about. I spent the whole day on my BMW’s back.

We started this morning at 07h00 at a little town in the Northern Free State, just outside Gauteng. Early morning was wonderful- the sun rising above fields of sunflower, beaming golden smiles at old Helios after whom they were named. The smell of fields of corn (mielies!) were fresh in the early morning breeze.

But soon the fields of corn were displaced by old mine heaps of the Free State Goldfields. Not so pretty to see…

I stopped briefly in Bloemfontein, the capital city of the Free State province of South Africa. I needed a new pair of sunglasses, my 3 sons still need to confess what happened to the old ones. I also stopped for my favourite hamburger in South Africa, at Stadium Take Aways. Their burger with bbq sauce- excellent! Is it my imagination, or did these burgers shrink in size the last 20 years?

After Bloemfontein, going south on the N1 highway, it gets tougher. The landscape is slowly turning from agricultural to semi-desert. It was hot today!

On the motorbike my mind started drifting. I found that my bike has no aircon built in. There was no windows to open. There is no CD player. The only sound was the faithful old Boxer engine purring along nicely. Ah- German engineering at its best!

When I crossed the Orange river into the Northern Cape province, I was quite severely tossed about by crosswinds… But all in a day’s work… Or rather, it was much better than being at the office, heat, wind, sunstroke and all…

I wanted to go to Oudtshoorn tonight, the Ostrich capital of South Africa. But between 3 Sisters and Beaufort West I was trapped in 3 Road wORK delays. Jjj

My BlACKberRY is. DYinG!!

Let’s try again after 20 more restarts…

The road work delays were extremely bAd- I drank about 3 liters of water this afternoon. When I arrived at BW I saw I would not make Meiringspoort in the daylight. As it is a special place of intense beauty, I decided to leave it for tomorrow morning. Tomorrow will also be spent in biker’s heaven- Route 62.

But tonight I am alone in the Formula 1 hotel. This is the downside of a bike trip- it is bad leaving my wife at home. I am extremely blessed with my wife, who sees when I need some time to think things through in my life!

Just a last piece of advice- never trust the Spur in BW. They advertised a full plate of Spare Ribs for R79, I only got 4 thick pieces of bone, presented in 2 portions with a tiny amount of meat between each two bones. Definitely not cool!

It’s raining again…

No big deal for my sister in England, and my sister in law in Ireland. They have rain every day, so much rain that they wish for a sunny day.

Here in our little piece of Northern South Africa, it is quite drought stricken most of the time. The weather is sunny more than 300 days of the year. It is not unknown for several months to go by without rain. Just yesterday I lamented the fact that the sun is killing my lawn. No amount of municipal water could revive it anymore.

But today is a good day in my life.

My son played his first game, from the bench, for the Highschool’s first team in rugby.  The rest of the world, except maybe New Zealand and Australia, would not understand how huge honor it is for a dad to see his son’s first First team game. He came on in the second half, and scored a try from a stormdown. What a moment in my life- to see my son do something much better than I ever could!  I am so extremely thankful for this special morning in our lives!

And then, after the game, it started raining!

This is the view from my office window: The rain is streaming down the street!

There is the small matter of a motorcycle trip in the near future. But we never say no to rain around here! What a morning!

Writing and deleting, writing and deleting…

I have written this entry quite a few times now. And deleted it every time so far.

 

I am sitting in my study, waiting for my doctor’s appointment in 45 minutes time.

I am listening to some Adiemus, and restoring my music collection on my laptop while I am waiting.

I am a little bit scared.

I am.

Art by http://www.kendubrowski.com/Newsite/html/Southstreetexhibit.html