Friday dawned clear and sunny, I do not suffer from hangovers so the previous night's excesses did not bother me, this was my day to visit the rally, the 8th annual running of Africa Bike week. By the time I got down to the rally road it was already hot and very humid, typical Kwa-Zulu Natal!
I was quite early so I had no trouble finding a place to park but it was filling up quickly.
I had no sooner arrived when I saw three "Rhodesian Survivors" rolling in, here I am in the midst of a reunion and there are more of them, we chatted briefly and it turned out that they were from Australia on a touring holiday which included the rally.
I wandered around after a bit of a breakfast, the Harley stand was obviously in full swing with a whole lot of new models on display including a fantastic looking trike priced at a whopping R450,000!
It's not so easy to enjoy a rally on your own, at least that was the way I felt, I went into the main arena to get out of the midday sun and have a couple of cold beers and enjoy some of the live music, which was very good.
By mid afternoon the place was heaving with revellers and the various stands were doing a roaring trade, rally road includes a lot of restaurants and pubs as well as food stalls and the usual purveyors of both hard and soft drinks.
I went and bought a "Bike week" tee shirt at an exorbitant price but I had to have one, by then I had had enough and took a ride along to Ramsgate to visit "Pistol's Saloon", a place that had been recommended to me and which was crowded with bikers, a very interesting place.
A couple of cold draught beers there and I was ready to call it a day - been there, done that, got the tee shirt. A hell of a long way to visit a rally; 1,650kms.Dinner with my friends that evening was great.
Saturday was completely the opposite; cold, wet and windy and I was grateful that I had been down the day before, my host Barry had invited a bunch of ex-cops to his home "The Woanery" for a braai but us Rhodies were not about to let a bit of inclement weather put us off!
Barry is an excellent host and a collector and dealer in Rhodesian and Police memorabilia, he has a huge collection so his pub is an interesting place, it was to be full of people later in the day!
John Alford and I took turns at bar duty, John is an excellent fellow whom I had the pleasure of meeting, he was there with his Harley but was unable to ride that weekend due to a rather badly wrenched knee.
The braai later was great, Barry has a sheltered area but it was too cold to stay out long - the party moved inside and a great time was had by all;
"Stretch" Hughes, my old comrade from the Crime Prevention Unit, the fact that I was able to meet up with all of these excellent fellows was what made my trip to Margate so special. All good things must come to an end, I was leaving the next day - please let the weather be kind to me!