Another Orange Ball dips behind the horizon over the Atlantic…

Yes- another take on last weeks’ Orange Photo Challenge!

The one thing orange I really love, is a good sunset. Here where I live in the South African Bushveld, north of Pretoria, we do have some magnificent sunsets! But we love to travel to see our world through different eyes. So- totally different from my normal world is a sunset over the ocean, only possible over the West Coast of our Country…

And here was last Tuesday’s sunset. I really, really enjoyed it a lot. I sat in awesome wonder at the beauty of something that happens every day…

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The location is Tietiesbaai, near Paternoster, about 150 km north of Cape Town on the West Coast. Tietiesbaai would roughly translate as “Boobie Bay”- but it does not refer to beautiful female anatomy, it was named after a certain Mr Tieties. It is a lovely place to visit, in Cape Columbine Nature reserve, there is no electricity, also no cellphone reception. Just you and nature… like a good day of rest is supposed to be…

Tripadvisor Link: http://www.tripadvisor.co.za/Attraction_Review-g1055305-d1204559-Reviews-Tietiesbaai-Paternoster_Western_Cape.html

Orange- The Southernmost flower in Africa- WPC

I know, I know! It is so last week’s Photo Challenge… but I was far away from civilization, ok?! Ok…

The theme last week was Orange… and I was standing in front of the Southernmost flower in the whole continent of Africa… at Cape Agulhas, South Africa. Where Ewan and Charlie ended their Long Way Down bike ride. Where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet.

These flowers grow all over the place in that beautiful part of my country. And still I do not know what they are called. People like Seegogga and Toortsie living nearby might know…

But here goes my take on orange- the flowers and some lichens on the rocks…

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The Wall at Williston Mall- Weekly Photo Challenge

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/wall/

Just a little background: Williston is a very small town in the Karoo region of South Africa. It is very dry around here, and towns are far apart. In this rustic little town of Williston there is a must-visit site. The Williston Mall…

On my road trip with my son the past two weeks we stopped there after a long day driving of nearly 1000 km. It was very hot. They promised the best milkshakes in the Northern Cape province. And it was!

The walls of this travellers delight kept me busy a while. My son remarked how a Discovery program like American Pickers would love all these old artifacts, craftfully adorning every bit of wall space…

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#20 Done and Dusted…

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Yes, the route was less than half the original. So it does not do to compare times with previous races.  But it sounds good to me that I finally rode  a Sub 3 hours official Argus race. Nearly broke 2 hours!

But the South Easter blew quite heavily up on Hospital Bend. Past Grootte Schuur Hospital, where Chris Barnard did the first ever successful human heart transplant so long ago.  We also did not get any grace on the incline at Edinburgh Drive, also known as Whine Burg Road.

The route felt a bit crowded with a possible 35000 people entering the race. Yes, 35 Thousand!

I enjoyed my race today! No excuses, no regrets!

Will wait for the official time, my little cycling computer stated my time as 2 hours 7 minutes for the race.

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My team manager also had a great day at the Victoria and Albert Waterfront in Cape Town, waiting for his star athlete to take him to beer and home…
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What a day!

47 but still great!

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No, not my age anymore…

ON Sunday I will ride my 20th Argus. (Cape Town Pick ‘n Pay Argus Cycle Tour…)

BUT Table Mountain has been burning since last weekend. The fires has been conquered to a great extent. A great health threat still remains with possible flare-ups and soot.

SO the race organisers took the difficult decision to shorten the route to 47 km. It is usually a 109 km race around Table Mountain, now just 23.5 km out on one side and then an about turn back.
I am disappointed, as I have really tried to train hard for this race. But then: a lot of people lost so much in the fires. And the firefighters put up such a brave fight against nature’s power. 

So- I really understand the decision and will try to do my first sub 3 hours Argus ever! 
I am so grateful that the race was not cancelled altogether.  I salute the race organizers and marshalls for still hosting the greatest one day cycle race.

Meanwhile- we are really enjoying the good times with our friends in the Cape. Having a great time with my son!

We just celebrated sunset over Robben Island at the Blue Peter Hotel, a very significant place in my life as that is where we celebrated our honeymoon, on the 31st of March, 25 years ago…

Today was a beautiful day in Cape Town, and in my life!

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But the young man is starting to scribble his girl’s name in the sand…

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2015 Started with two BANGS…

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here this morning to tell tales of great sorrow…

This year did not start good…

On the 3rd of January my eldest son decided to do some agricultural work with my beloved Roadster.

And then, three days later, on the way back from the farm where he is working, the Beetle died. Yes, that Beetle that we spent so much time on restoring last year.

Such a small thing can have such huge consequences…

The tappet covers are kept tight by a cork gasket on each side. And one of the cork gaskets just collapsed due to old age. All the oil blew out there, and then some bearings in the engine started breaking. The engine has this huge knocking noise.

After all the things we have done to restore the Beetle, this was just one step too far… Now you can imagine Adele singing the theme song of Skyfall… “This is the end…”

I posted all my misery on facebook, and a friend in a neighbouring town made me an offer I can’t refuse…

So- the Beetle is being sold, as is…

In the next day or two it will be collected, and so a memory will be gone… I have known this car all my life, and owned it since I was 18. It is now 47 years old. But the new owner does have the skill to restore it properly, and bring it back to life. I don’t.

So- yes- two dreams have died this year- the one of me going on tour with my son on the bikes before he goes to the USA to work there for a year. And the dream of the Beetle doing a road trip into the sunset.

But there are some nice bike trips for me and my wife in planning at the moment- so keep on watching this space. BAd times usually don’t last forever…

But this is the end…

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Thanks to all my friends for 1014!

In a little over 2 hours time it is South Africa’s time, together with Jerusalem and Moscow, to go into the new year. Yes, I know, it is a man made time line, and it is just another rotation of the earth around it’s axle, and another rotation of the pale blue dot finished on it’s journey around Helios…

BUT… like the service intervals on a car, some measurement of the passage of time is still needed sometimes. We need to close one chapter of our lives, and move forward to a new chapter. I need new beginnings, new challenges, new opportunities… and maybe so do you…

In 45 minutes I have to go to our church to prepare the music and the lighting and sound for our midnight sermon. We start at 23:15 and end at 00h00. I am finishing a sermon series based on Psalm 23, which started the first weekend of December. Tonight I talk about the last verse- “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me…”

So, my dear friends- Christians or Muslims, atheists or Spaghetti Monster worshipers- thank you all for being a part of my journey in 2014! Thanks for all your visits, your comments and the good wishes and prayers when 2014 was sometimes a dark year…

So when the sun turns around it’s axle, and a new piece of time is delivered to live fully, my prayer for every one of you is that you may be blessed, be happy, and have peace, wherever you are! And whatever that may mean to you…

May the best times yet be in our future!

Peace!

Ewald

The joy of rain in the summer heat…

Some people live in places where it rain every day. They are so used to it, that the joy of rain might be lost…

On the other hand, we who live in dry places have the utmost experience of joy when the rain comes. Christmas Day was extremely hot and dry, and yesterday the rain came again.

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So I grabbed my trusty old Canon Powershot SX 150 iS and went to play in the rain…

Rain to us is a symbol of new life. And my vegetable garden really enjoyed the cooling down…

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Yes, I know, my tomatoes do not look like supermarket quality. But they are organically grown, with NO insecticides used at all… and they taste delicious!

Another new experience… Sweet chili sauce…

I am trying to grow some vegetables organically in my huge backyard. In some black planting bags I have a few chili plants. They are giving their fruit in abundance this year.

So I decided to try something new. I looked up a few recipes on Youtube, and found some that is not too difficult. That was last night at just before midnight. This morning, after swimming my 50 laps (1.25 km) I jumped in to start cooking my very own sweet chili sauce. Following this Aussie bloke’s advice- thanks mate!

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So here is the recipe- I don’t have any idea how to translate it into that other ounces and pounds and yards and inches business…

You need about 250 grams of chili. 2 Cloves of Garlic. And 1 2/3 cups of white vinegar.

You blend at first about 150 grams of chilis with 1 cup of vinegar and the garlic in your blender. Then after it is blended smoothly, add the rest of the chilis.

Now get a pot on high heat on your stove. Add the blended mixture, with another 2/3 cup of vinegar, and get it to boiling point. Add 1 1/3 cup of castor sugar, boil it all together nicely while stirring, till it is reduced by about a 1/3.

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Let it cool down, and pour it into some sterilized bottles. How do you sterilize bottles? You take it to the vet, and they will spay it…

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It is really a great feeling doing this for the very first time, and to know that the fruit comes out of your own garden, and is organically produced without any insecticides used…

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That doesn’t seem like much sweet chili sauce, but hey, one small step for man…

There is just one small niggling thought in the back of my mind, and if Jamie Oliver, or Nigella Lawson, or Marco Pierre White happens to pass by, please help with this question- exactly which brand of peppers/ chilis should be used in sweet chili sauce? Sweet bell peppers? (That is why I am not asking Gordon Ramsey- he might be 6 weeks older than me, but he will call me an idiot in the kitchen…)

Because I only have jalapeno’s at the moment… and my sweet chili sauce is burning like hell. I am going to market this sauce, let all my church members have a spoonful before church on Sunday, and then deliver a sermon on the fires of hell…

The Longest Day…

While some of you have enjoyed the longest night in the history of Planet Earth yesterday, it was the longest day here in the Southern Hemisphere.

We are finally having a little bit of rain here in the Limpopo province of South Africa. It is also hot summer days- and when the sun shines, it is ideal riding time.

So, dear Biker for Live… (sic)

Yesterday I had a lot of fun. This old Biker took his daughter and a friend to visit another dear friends in the neighbouring town at sunset.

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What a Ride it was! The clouds were building up over the northern horison, beautiful high cumulonimbus, promising another spectacular thunderstorm soon. The western horizon was clear of cloud, with the most beautiful golden shower of light. The wind was like Baby Bear likes it, not too hot, not too cold. Just right. And spending some quality riding time with friends and having good coffee with them- what could be more perfect on the Longest Day?

I had fun…