Cape Town Day 2

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This morning the Cape region woke up to a beautiful day!  My host, some family and friends started this morning with a 12 km hike. I drove the backup vehicle, a Audi A3, red… what a car! 

We had breakfast at the News Café overlooking Table Mountain… ( from Table View)

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At Melkbosstrand’s purple Ice cream shop I had a very good cone… world class ice cream! (I happen to know the guy who makes the ice cream mix in his factory, in fact I had breakfast with him this morning!)

This afternoon was amazing! My friend had to officiate at the wedding of Miss Fitness South Africa.  And I was a pirate viewer, I sat on a balcony in the beautiful old Dutch Reformed Church of Riebeek Kasteel.  I did take a photo of the bride and groom, but will respect their privacy.  Yes, she is stunningly beautiful, and he is very handsome.  I really hope that Tiaan and Kim will have an amazing life together, may they truly be happy!

The bike ride there was so good, I have never been to the twin towns of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West before… this is the pass from Malmesbury to there:

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We had an amazing time, but most of my photos are on my camera, and I dont have access to a computer to download it.  Perhaps after the tour…

Sunset at Melkbosstrand was another picture!

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I took a photo of these life guard stations last year. I walked to the supermarket to buy some groceries. On my way back, the sun finally set on a beautiful day..

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And, to share it with my friends from Minnesota, over at Patrons of the Pit, I prepared dinner for me, my friend and his daugter.  We had a BRAAI: a barbeque. We had some lamb chops, some Boerewors, our local sausage. And also some “pap & sous” An African dish made with ground corn flour (mieliepap!) and a tomato and onion relish.  This is the barbeque pit Cape Town style: because of the famous winds around here, specially the south easter, all barbequing takes place inside the house with a well ventilated chimney. What about the smoke? It gets blown all the way to Brazil, across the ocean from here.

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Today was an awesome day! And tomorrow our Word Riders tour starts. i am not sure when I will have access to wifi, I will try to keep you posted!

Cape Town Day 1

I am really physically  tired after the trip down here. But today, without trying very hard, I have done another 200 km.  I had to go buy another new helmet, the other one was killing me with pressure on my ears.

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New helmet at Ferryman’s, one of my favorite waterholes… At the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. I usually finish my Argus Cycle races with a beer here…

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Then I had a quick walkabout at the Waterfront, just to experience some of Cape Town again.

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My English sister is having her birthday today and is in SA for the week. We had lunch at Laborie, one of Paarl region’s Vineyards with an awesome restaurant.

I barely made it back to Melkbosstrand for a quick nap, before going out with some friends to the Blue Peter Hotel in Bloubergstrand, for a sunset beer.

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This is the view of sunset behind Robben Island:

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I am really tired at the moment. The one problem I always have in the Cape: so many friends, so little time.   Tomorrow we are going to Riebeek Kasteel, a place made famous by being the birthplace of General Jan Smuts, one of the founding members of the United Nations. He is reckoned to be one of the 3 most intelligent alumni of one of the Oxford colleges, with Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin being the other 2.

Well, my friend is officiating the marriage of Miss Fitness South Africa. And I intend to be a pirate viewer at the wedding, from a distance…  Watch this space!

First goal reached!

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After 3 days in the seat, and about 1850 km due South, I have reached the first goal- my friend’s house in Melkbosstrand, just north of Cape Town. When I saw Table Mountain I almost wept… not being there on the 9th to ride my 20th Pick ‘n Pay Argus Cycle Race.  But it is good to be in Cape Town! Tomorrow I will need to rest, and go look for a larger helmet, my new helmet hurt me a lot!

On Saturday we are going on the Bible Society of SA’s 2014 Word Riders tour, visiting some rural areas in the Western Cape.  I will blog as we go along… now I think I need to rehydrate, with another beer…

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Lunch in Bonnievale at the colourful Karoo Be Vo..l..k

Life is GOOD on a long Ride!

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I am on my 3rd day of a 1650 km Ride to Cape Town. Actually I have added another 200 km by going through Meiringspoort (photo) via De Rust to the Route 62, one of South Africa’s most loved biking routes. Yesterday was also a dream, turning a nightmare in Richmond, where I was fined R2500 for some oil on my number plate.The oil: I nearly lost my oil filter due to the guy changing the oil that just screwed it on by hand. But BMW in Bloemfontein quickly helped me for free! Thanks guys, that is service!

And then, when I entered Beaufort West after an extremely long, hot, windy, slow day, I heard a hissing sound fron my rear tyre. The valve just broke. There is no bike shop in BW! But two of their Supa Quick guys stayed after closing time to help me fix it. Thanks Wilhelm and friend, you two helped save my day! But it was also extreme grace that it happened in a big town and not 90 km from the nearest town, this Karoo can be a very desolate place!

All good now, having a dream ride this morning! Blogged from Jack Sprat’s at De Rust, a lovely coffee shop.

This morning’s ride was LEKKER!

Lekker= a very good Afrikaans word, meaning nice, good, delicious, awesome, indescribable and so many more… in one word… The Dutch also have this word, but for them it just refer to good tasting food. We use it for EVERYTHING good…  Lekker man, Lekker!

On Thursday Morning our neighbouring town of Warmbaths/ Bela Bela looked like this:

Well, this morning I went there again…

I first tried Nguni Jack’s, but their kitchen was not open yet…  It is just behind the palm trees next to the dead traffic light on the photo above… It really is a good place to eat if you ever travel here… (Nguni Jack, next time I want a Draught on the house for this free ad!)

2014-03-15 08.58.51So I went next door again to Maxi’s… their kitchen was open. Remember them from two weeks ago?

If you look at the upper photo- they were flooded on Thursday. This morning they are open for business. Only the carpet looks a bit wet, further on it looks as good as always. So I had to go in for a quick breakfast, supporting their business. I have respect for people getting back on their feet after a disaster.  The road to Warmbaths is very bad, with huge potholes. But their municipality is busy at the moment, trying to fix it. Some of the holes are so big it took quite a few sandbags to get it level to the remaining tarmac. It was too dangerous to stop and take photos. Except for this one place just as you go out of Warmbaths north to our town- the stream is still flowing strong next to the road.

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Half an hour ago… on my way home…

The sad news is: as far as I know the elderly lady who got washed away at Klein Kariba- her body is still not found, her husband’s body was found last week.

The good news:  My BMW feels really good, and ready for the long road down to Cape Town on Monday- 1650 km South from us…

I will try to blog on the go- for Word Riders 2014 in the Western Cape Province of South Africa…

Finally: Blue Skies!

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This is the view from my bedroom window this morning! Yes, I know, we have more than 300 such days in South Africa. But we now had 2 weeks of heavy rain, and extreme flooding. But look at that blue sky- I am going for a RIDE! Final test for Monday I am going down to Cape Town on my BMW, 1650 km south… Enjoy your day!

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First time visit to the Cape for Word Riders

And I am one of them…

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A week from tomorrow the Word Riders will again take to the road to provide Grade 7 learners with a Bible of their very own.

This year the trip which takes place under the auspices of the Bible Society of South Africa promises to be a very exciting and scenic one as the motorcyclists roar their way along the Garden Route and through the Southern Cape.

This is the fourth annual tour that the Word Riders undertake and also the biggest one to date.

From 22 to 29 March, 45 motorcycles will visit 61 schools and hand over 3 247 Bibles to learners from schools in little towns like Barrydale, Calitzdorp, De Rust, Wagenhuiskrantz, Napier and Elim.

Although the route they will also travel through more well-known tourist destinations like Montague, Oudtshoorn, George, Mossel Bay and Struisbaai.

This trip also includes a business breakfast at the Let’s Go Bowling Italian…

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Even more flooding in Limpopo!

This week around our town is quite hectic! Thank God our town has been spared the worst of the flooding.

Yet another dam wall has broken above Klein Kariba, and the flooding today is even worse than on Friday,

The place where I had my breakfast last Friday in Bela Bela (Warmbaths)?

This is how it looks at the moment!

Photo: Solidariteit

Photo: Nedene van Rooyen

Aerial photo of Warmbaths (Bela Bela) as shared by Berna van de Venter

Sunday Morning I had breakfast with friends at the town of Vaalwater. And this is what is happening there at the moment:

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The emerging city of Ellisras (Lephalale) is now a disaster area. Nearly all the roads there is now flooded and closed, with bridges washed away…

Photo- e nuus- motorboating in the streets of Ellisras

Ellisras- photo Beeld…

Ellisras- the road to Marken- Photo Wikkie Petzer

We are a bit worried, the rumours is starting that our town’s dam wall is under threat as well, but that is not substantiated.

But do you know, we South Africans do have a way of making it better with humor…

Taken from Corné Nel’s facebook page

Shared by Benanta Smit

Shared by Anichia van Vuuren. Translated: Fasten your bra straps and take out your dentures, this road is f****ed…

What every woman need in a time like this, shared by Irene Breedt

It is my wife’s birthday tomorrow. I want to take her out to dinner tonight. But the restaurant I have in mind is not very high above our river’s water level. With my experiences of Warmbaths and Vaalwater flooding just after I have been there last weekend, I am getting a bit paranoid…

And then David Warner of Australia really hurt our Cricket team in last night’s T20 game, played over just 7 overs due to rain. He scored an incredibly fast 40 runs… damn, the man is good, can we keep him?

As we have a saying in our country, (maybe everywhere else as well…) we are just trying to keep head above water.

I have tried to give credit to all photos used. It is just too dangerous to go there myself, and be in the way of rescue teams. This post is just to keep my friends aware of what is happening in our world at the moment.

Please pray for us if you do… 🙂

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Ps- At 18h04 our town’s dam wall was still holding, and we enjoyed a lovely meal at our town’s new steakhouse- Nguni Grill…

Photo by Mpho Chokolo, Acting Manager Technical Services, Modimolle Local Municipality, and shared by Nedene van Rooyen

Mushrooms jumping up all over the place…

While we are experiencing such a lot of rain, there is a very interesting phenomenon. All over our gardens there are mushrooms appearing, lots of different types.

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This mushroom is more or less the size of a saucer or small plate… it is huge!

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These are quite small, growing all over the compost heap…

I have never seen such mushrooms here in our garden before. Now I would love to know: which are poisonous, and which are edible?