A Good Ride, and a bad Experience…

This morning, we had another beautiful winter’s day on the BMW…

We just do winter in style around here! It is a friend’s birthday. So we decided to have a surprise breakfast run for him.

In our region there is a world famous bird watching resort- Nylsvley– a Ramsar Wetlands area with over 280 different bird species. It belongs to the National Parks Board.

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The ride there was a beauty, blue skies, about 11 degrees Celcius, not too bad dirt road for the last 7 km.

The first indication of trouble was when we arrived at the first gate. The security guard wanted us to park our bikes there. Then the restaurant is about 100 meters further on, before a second gate before you enter the conservation area, where the birds and the antelopes play…Bikers don’t like to walk in riding clothes.  Fortunately someone more senior came out and said we could ride to the restaurant. I promise, my Remus Titanium exhaust will not disturb any birds on the other side of the second gate. We later wished they just stopped us at the gate.

We came to the restaurant. And it is a beautiful building, made from rock walls in a very traditional style…

Really impressive buildings at Nylsvley, the government has really pumped a lot of money into this place. We arrived at about 9h20 on a Satudray morning, with a booking made the day before. And… we were the only people there. On the bnsiest morning for breakfasts in our part of the world.

The inside of the restaurant was beautiful, although a bit confusing mixture between local nature and Asian exotic decorations all over.

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First problem: no one else there, and no music playing.

Second problem- our waiter really, really had a hard time understanding the most basic requests. By that time, after our first part of the ride, we really were looking forward to a decent cup of coffee. And yes, they do have filter coffee. On the menu. But they only have Ricoffee available- an instant brew made of chicory. We should  have walked out then…  We decided to order tea.  That might have been the only thing in the pantry anyway.  But the waiter patiently asked our orders for our meal, getting a rare steak confused with well done a few times in his writing on his notebook.  We waited about 20 minutes. And then the waiter reappeared, and told us no, there is no steak available. We were 5 people, they had enough provisions to help 3 people with an English breakfast. No more. After we booked, it turned out they did not have anything available to make a breakfast.

And that is one of the problems of the New South Africa. A lot of money is pumped into certain areas, and then there is just no customer service. The waiter, and the cooking staff will get a salary for today. But all they sold this morning was 5 cups of tea. And nobody sees anything wrong with this system. While they are at a very special wildlife place, which has the potential to be a huge, selfsustaining tourism success story. So, we left.  And we will not be back to the restaurant. And we will tell all our friends about our bad experience. And next Saturday their restaurant will be empty again. Not because of location or facilities. Because of BAD management, and someone in charge who does not give a (word that is frowned upon when pastors say it…)

And went to Euforia, a privately owned beautiful Golf Resort about 20 km further on. We arrived just too late to have breakfast at their restaurant. The waitress there told us that the kitchen is closed, and there is no more food available on the entire resort. After our experience, and hunger pains slowly killing us. She saw our faces drop, and started laughing, it was just a joke. It is a Golf Course, and downstairs they do have another restaurant, which provides the halfway stop for the golf players. So we went downstairs.

I had a steak and egg dish with french fries. The steak was beautifully cooked, medium rare just like I like it. And it had a good pepper sauce.  The view, on a winter’s day, is still so clear and beautiful- not like our friends are experiencing at the moment in Cape Town at all…

This is how we like our winter days! Sorry Cape Town friends, the winters here are much better than yours! But we hear there is some cold coming soon…

So this was today- a very good ride with good friends, a BMW R 1150 GS and a Triumph Tiger 800 on the open road.

And yes, Nylsvley is beautiful, but they DO NOT have a restaurant anymore… they just don’t know it yet.

And Euforia has a much better experience to offer. In South Africa, dear tourist, go for the privately owned experience every time. Government just don’t get it…

 

13 thoughts on “A Good Ride, and a bad Experience…

  1. You are summing up life there well this year my friend. Posts about the bitter struggle with issues of security and injustice that 99% of outsiders cannot even envision, yet alone contemplate; and then there are these positive posts about long bike rides, a choice of a couple of great machines, a nice pick-up, restoring the Beetle and what would seem all the trappings of a successful life. As Kirkistan aptly put it, bipolar indeed.

    I wish you well and hope you get to enjoy more of these good times, and see far less of the dire. But reality sucks I know, so instead, here is another gem from our mutual friend….🙂

    http://jtm72.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/proper-way-to-call-someone-a-bastard/

    Spike🙂

  2. No, didn’t like the story at all. It’s very depressing to read of governments so careless of their constituents, Vosper. Sounds just like ours, in its own way. 😐

  3. While you have a lovely “winter”, it is the start of rainy season here in the Philippines. We also came from a 230km trip and got rained on in the mountains. But still a nice ride despite the cold and strong winds. And at least we had good coffee and brunch up in the mountains. Cheers to a good ride!

        • Hi Kirk, not sure if I am up to it… we need a new government. The ANC is killing this country. But with only 3.5 million tax payers, and 16 million people on social grants- guess who will keep on earning 16 million votes to have the country stay exactly the same as it is now… With me being a White South African, I will just be branded a racist if I keep on commenting on things not working out under ANC rule. I am not a racist though, this thing has nothing to do with skin color at all. But in South Africa, if you question a president who have 5 wives, at the same time, each in a state funded palace, and then he takes a fortune of tax money and build himself a mansion in the deepest rural areas… to question that is racist… here…

          • Thanks for the overview. Reading your posts from such a distance (the U.S.) I can hear the frustrations. I confess to knowing very little about your country, but your posts are giving me some context and a window.

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