Easter Weekend Ride!

In South Africa it is quite traditional for Bikers to go to the Eastern Transvaal/ Mpumalanga for a Easter Weekend Ride…

Being a pastor, and this being the most holy weekend of the Church year, I can almost never go for a far ride and an Easter Weekend away.

But today we nearly had a FAR Ride!  A good friend I met at last year’s Word Riders Tour, and his wife, invited me and my wife to ride along today,

We did not reach Mpumalanga but we did ride a good 360 km today!  Remember- South Africa can be quite a dry country. So we love water. And we go out of our way to see the sea, and if that is too far away- a proper dam will do nicely. OK Canadian friends, we dont have anything to compete with the Great Lakes…

But: 180 km from our home is the Loskopdam between Middelburg and Groblersdal. And there we went this morning.

Here is some of the fun- I did not take many photos today…

IMG_2343 IMG_2353We had a lovely lunch at the Bospot- (Bush Pot… not difficult to understand Afrikaans!) Restaurant. I enjoyed the Calzone Pizza, but I really thought a Calzone must be folded like an omelet?  In any case, it still was lovely.  I just wished we had booked at a guest house and could ride some more… But tomorrow is Easter Sunday, not to be missed in my congregation…

But thanks Philip and Marietjie, this was an AWESOME day!

 

Meiringspoort- Cee’s Which Way Challenge

Cee challenges us to share some roads/ bridges/ paths/ Railways etc…

Being a biker, we always take photos of our bikes in front of…

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This is one of the 23 Drifts in Meiringspoort, a place of legendary beauty where the road to Oudtshoorn cuts through the Swartberge (Black Mountains…)  This is one of my favourite places to ride through on a bike, much better than in a car. Because you want to have the ability to look up, and also smell the water, and the grass, and feel the wind in your face…

I also went through here last year on my way to my 19th Argus Cycle tour- I love this place!

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Also,  later in April last year I drove through there with my wife and our 2 youngest. I shocked them by jumping naked into the freezing water at the waterfall- here is the photo…

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You didn’t really think I would put a photo of THAT up here, did you? It was a Bucket List item…  If you ever get to go this way, do swim in the pool underneath the waterfall. But remember- it is freezing cold water!

And so- the Way between Beaufort West and Oudtshoorn, through Meiringspoort- what a Way!

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The end of Word Riders 2014 for me…

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This morning we had a final session at a school in Bredasdorp. Most of the group continue until tomorrow. But I had to leave with some friends to get my motorbike on the trailer north…

I had an amazing time! Last Saturday a few old friends from last year’s Word Riders, and a lot of new strangers came together at the Bible House in Bellville. We rode nearly 2000 km together, and visited 61 schools, giving out 3200 Bibles.  Most of the schools we visited are in rural areas, where the social needs are many, the alcohol abuse and other evils abound.

Strangers became good friends, and we had an amazing ride! In total since leaving home I rode about 4000 km. This morning, from Struisbaai to Sir Lowry’s Pass was an amazing ride, really one to put on a to do list of Biking routes in South Africa. The ride through Cape Town’s industrial areas were not that great… So: why do we do it?

We ride to these areas, in partnership with local churches all the way, to bring hope and love to communities in need. The church and Christianity has a bad name in some peoples eyes, and I know sometimes it is deservedly so. But there is also another side that is not often mentioned. In South Africa the churches are the biggest role players in social upliftment, and material help to hungry people. The churches also brought most universities and hospitals into being in the 1800’s in our country, and still plays a huge role in education in rural areas.

We rode to bring hope and help. To people like them:

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And to him, and his friends:

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May the children of South Africa have love, life and peace! Every one of them!

Thanks for reading!

Word Riders Day 6

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This morning started with a beautiful sunrise over Hartenbos. Then we had quite a cool ride over the Garden Route, visiting schools in Riversdale, Swellendam and finally Struisbaai.

The ride and the day was quite hectic so no photos of that.

But when we arrived at Struisbaai, we just HAD to do it! Take a photo at the southernmost point of the African continent.

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Ewan Mc Gregor and Charley Boorman also stood here at the end of Long Way Down…

And now we are sitting at the harbout in Struisbaai, having a cold one at nearly the end of the day.

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The end of the Word Rider tour is officially ending on Saturday at Bible House in Bellville. But my bike has to go on a trailer north tomorrow, so my tour ends tonight. Tomorrow I am staying over at old friends, but I will be without any wheels. So sorry if I miss you on this trip, all my Cape Friends.

Thanks for following this tour with me!

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The fishing boats are coming in with a catch of nearly 2 tons of yellowtail… wish we could buy one and grill it on the coals, we have a date at a restaurant…

Word Riders Day 5

Things are getting funny around here. After yesterday’s wet day, one of the guys in our bungelow went and buy himself a hair dryer, and left it on for hours in his riding boots.
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It was time for major repairs, like the petrol tank reatouration on my colleague’s f##$/@ beat up Suzuki…

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But today we visited another few schools with great results!

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After a few schools in the Great Brak, and George and Sedgefield regions,  we had lunch at the beautiful Knysna.

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I saw a few amazing yachts in harbour:

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On the way back at Sedgefield I came across a dealer of antique cars…

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Regular readers will remember a Chevvy Fleetline wreck a few weeks ago. This is how they can look!

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Tonight we are having a large barbeque. And tomorrow we are going slowly to the Southern point of the African continent at Cape Agulhus. This is where Charley and Ewan also ended Long Way Down.

I am suffering from a huge tooth ache! So this is enough for today, and my steak is calling my name…

Word Riders Day 1…

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This morning we started Word Riders 2014 at the Bible House in Bellville… Before that I stopped at the Thruxton Bikeshop around the corner, and saw some beautiful oldies. And some newer oldies as well…

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But this tour is not just about bikes- We have 42 bikes with some 70 people on the tour. The first stop from Bellville was at the beautiful but touristy Franschhoek.  Then some fun on Franschhoek Pass

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The wind was really blowing , as we made our way over Villiersdorp, Robertson, Ashton to our overnight stop at Montagu… this is a beautiful town with white and green houses all over, in an old Cape Dutch style..

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Realy a gem of a place on Route 62…

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This town is famous for wine and dried fruit.
It was really hot on the bikes again today. We are staying over at the school hostel. This is the view at the moment:

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We are knackered! Having our first dinner as a group together tonight, and tomorrow some of the pastors will conduct church services in towns along the route, the congregation of Ladismith will suffer me on their pulpit! A good first day in a beautiful part of South Africa!

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

Sunny Friday Morning- Ride!!!

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It has been raining hard in our part of the world since Saturday. Now we have a bit of sunshine. I have a new front tyre (Bridgestone Spitfire), a new helmet, gloves and riding jacket that just had to be broken in… so, I am on the road, stopped for a huge bbq mushroom and bacon omelet in our neighbouring town… life is still good!

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